Last week's fifty-yard hike along the lake inspired us with it's simplicity, beautiful views, and the fact that it was free and made the kids take a long nap, all at the same time, so yesterday we set out for a more ambitious hike in a canyon near our town. Because everything has to be so freaking educational in our family, we brought along the kids journals and stopped several times so that they could record their observations. Charlie found his first subject in the cactus garden planted next to the parking lot. To say he was enthusiastic about my assignment would be an understatement.
Wes played along during the first stop, but later got distracted by all the rocks there were to be thrown into ponds and off of cliffs (the picture on the bottom is the one he drew of the cliff we stopped to observe).
The kids were total troopers. Climbing up the rocky trails was their favorite part.
We paused when we reached the top of the cliff to draw this tree.
The view was beautiful from "the top" (of a hill approximately as tall as a large public high school's football stadium).
After that stop we walked for what felt like six miles along a two-foot-wide trail along the edge of a cliff. It was probably not even a quarter of a mile. The view was spectacular, but the kids were getting tired and my blood pressure was getting closer to the red zone every time we passed a slippery spot with no trees. We paused for an observation break along the skinny trail (The tennis racket bag is Charlie's baby carrier for Phent. You can see Phent's head sticking out of the handle end).
And then we had a picnic and cajoled everyone back to the car with the promise of a trip to a nearby outdoor restaurant for a Corona (or maybe that was just me) and some playground time. We think we went about a mile and a half in total. The kids were totally wiped. Happy, dirty, and very, very tired.