Last Friday, Greg called me at work to tell me he had gotten off work early. He was well-rested and had plans for our weekend. The first order of the weekend was dinner out on Friday night. Woohoo! Mexican food, at that. My favorite. Sign me up for that excursion.
His next order of fun was a hike in the mountains on Saturday morning with a cold-chicken picnic. Whoa! I'm all for that cold-chicken picnic ~ but hiking? Me? Have you seen my athletic proweress? No, that's right, I didn't think so. Nevertheless, I am a good sport and agreed to it. Afterall, we needed some cooler, more refreshing air in our lungs, right?
Saturday was an overcast day. Perfect. The temps in the mountains were cooler. The kids must have thought we were suddenly transported to the Arctic Circle because they insisted they wear their jackets.
The kids wanted to climb just about every boulder we passed. Once on top of the boulder, they insisted on having their picture taken. Camera hogs!
There was quite a lot of waiting for Mommy as I was draggin' my wagon up the mountain. Sometimes Greg and Stephanie went further ahead, then stopped to wait. Heather was my constant companion, usually no more than a few steps ahead of me. Greg assured me we were in no real hurry ~ we could go slow and stop as much as we wanted. This made the hike so much better because even though I needed to stop and catch my breath (a lot) the kids got to stop and look at things without us pushing them along to get somewhere. So much of our days are spent hurrying on to the next thing. They don't always get time to stop and touch the rocks.
Not far into the hike, they decided the jackets were too much afterall. Oh, I tell you we are such city girls. They wanted to climb onto this log that laid across a ditch. I wanted to let them. But they were unpracticed in log climbing and I cringed the whole time they were balancing their way to the middle.
We found a small spring with just about a trickle of water. At other times of the year, this is actually a flowing creek. The kids had a ball traipsing along this path that was under and over logs and back around.
As we neared the canyon we were headed towards, the hike got more and more interesting. No longer was it a trail, but more of an obstacle course. There were lots of rocks and logs to navigate.
Almost there! This is were we almost stopped. We were in a canyon and it looked like it might rain. Getting caught in the rain in a canyon is not a very smart thing. We had decided to make this the end. But while we were taking these pictures, the sky cleared up a bit and we decided to go a little further.
Apparently we were much closer to the goal than we thought, because just around the corner was the "slide" we were looking for. This "slide" was made from years of rushing water during the spring snow melt. It is just big enough for some kid booty. They climbed up the backside and slid down it over and over.
What a gorgeous view. All of the mountain views during our hike were breath taking. And of course, the scents! As soon as we got out of the car at the beginning of our hike, I was taken back to my childhood days of going to camp. Stephanie and I agreed that it smelled exactly like camp.
Can you believe on our way out of the canyon we found a mermaid singing on a rock? I know. Completely amazing. I think she's much prettier than Ariel! This mermaid insisted we take her picture as she sang.
On our way down the mountain we found this little cave area with "rain" coming from the moss. Very cool.
The hike was 1.8 miles one-way. About a half a mile into the hike, Heather found a big rock she wanted to take to school and share with her class. We talked her into putting it by the side and getting it on the way back down. Stephanie later found a pocket-size rock that was just as cool for Heather to take. We didn't think Heather would actually find the rock on the way down ~ we were thinking she'd forget about it, even. Nope. Not only did she remember she was supposed to look for her rock, she actually found it. We told her she had to carry it. She did for a little bit, then turned to me and said in a quiet voice that she wanted to share the little rock with her classmates. Yeah, that's what I thought.
When we reached the car, we were ready for that cold chicken and some cold drinks. We tried to find a picnic area, but didn't want to pay the $7 to get in the gate. So we found a nice little area to park, put the back seats down, and ate in the back of the car. I think that may have been more fun than a picnic table! All of a sudden we were feeling full and drowsy. We decided to take a little nap in the back of the car too! So we closed the doors and snuggled up the best we could with jackets for pillows and rested. Stephanie didn't fall asleep, but the rest of us did. After about half an hour, we headed down the mountain toward home.
What a great day! The kids had a blast, which made it all the more fun for Greg and me. It was so nice not to worry about anything except what was going on at the moment.