Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Hiking in the Grass
What a great day. I mean, vacationing with kids you have to expect that some things won't be completely awesome - say when your 6 year old cries for the first part of a hike because her pants are too uncomfortable and it's just SO HOT - but overall, this day was one of the best I've had in awhile.
We started off with a short hike, first thing in the morning so it would be cooler. Of course, as we drive into the parking lot, the prison bus is offloading their work crew to do trail maintenance at the same time. Peter and I kind of looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders as if to say "well, I guess that's the way it goes" and herded the kids up the hike. After Miss E got over her intial whatever-the-heck was going on, we hiked to a little pond, had a snack and watched the kids throw rocks in the water. Throwing rocks into water = always fun.
They took off their shoes to wade in a creek and as they were drying off and putting them back on, Peter quietly says "Sarah, there's a fox!" And sure enough, about 10 feet away from us was a fox in the brush holding her prey in her mouth. She just sat there a minute, trying to decide what to do and when she pushed past us, crossed the creek on the bridge and went into the brush. We finished putting the kids shoes on and then wandered (on the trail) across the bridge and there the fox was again! We snapped about 100 pictures and just kind of followed her around for about 10 minutes. It was amazing. We stayed on the trail the entire time so she could have easily escaped off into the brush but she just hung out, walking, drinking and sunning herself. Peter and I couldn't believe it. We kept telling the kids how rare it was to see a fox up close, blah blah blah, and they really were pretty excited.
After the hike we went to the shores of the lake where Mr. T and Peter waded in the water and Miss E and I read our books on a blanket in the shade. It was a relaxing and cool way to spend the hottest part of the day. Then it was off to the local town for dinner at the brewery and fishing. We went back to the same lake we were at yesterday but after dinner, which is a better time to fish. This lake is in the middle of nowhere in the prairie and when we arrived there were two other people fishing but when we left it was just us, the fish and a great blue heron. The kids both "caught" a fish which was really exciting for them.
We took pictures of each kid with their fish - Peter held Mr. T's and Miss E's but not before he tried to hand it to her (seriously, handing a 6 year old a live fish to hold is not a good idea) and it thumped itself on the rock sustaining a minor head injury. No worries though, after a tense moment of it hanging upside down in the water, it swam away. At dusk the kids threw rocks in the water, played in the grass and we just sat and breathed in the vast, empty prairie surrounding us.