Yesterday morning I took the kids on a hike. We went to the Northwest River Park, almost in North Carolina. Last November I took the kids there and took pictures for the Christmas card. I had been wanting to go back and yesterday was a beautiful morning to go.
Last year, we just did a little bit of hiking and ended up at a playground instead. This year they wanted nothing to do with the playground. The sign said the hike was 1.5 miles, so I decided to go for it. I figured it would take about an hour and if the kids can play on a playground for an hour they could probably walk for an hour.
So, we hiked. We found all the trail markers. We found many many acorns to put in treasure bags. We found bridges and Jack tested them out to make sure they weren't bouncy. He had to cross each one first and then would give me the okay to come across. There were 4 frogs along the way. Maybe they were toads because they were all brown and lumpy but we called them frogs. We looked through hollowed out trees. We found a bench and had a snack. We listened to birds and things crunching in the forest.
Unfortunately when we got to the end of the 1.5 mile trail, we weren't quite back where we had started. We were on an access road to the river and had another half mile to go. At this point, the kids were getting a little tired. I was too. Mostly I was getting a little tired of being patient. Although I enjoyed pointing out all the wonderful nature around us and seeing the kids get excited about acorns and sticks and frogs, there were a lot of moments requiring patience.
Casey wanted to hold my hand the whole time. Kind of cute, but not as easy to take a hike like that. Then she would just stop walking and whine when we walked ahead of her. Walking at their pace was also hard for me, especially when Jack would walk right in front of me. Trying to explain (multiple times) how I knew where the path was when we were between markers was...trying. Stopping for every group of acorns we saw got a little old.
Overall though, it was a great experience and the kids seemed to like it. They really didn't even whine much about being tired until we were almost back to the car...and I didn't blame them at that point. Even though we'd only been there once, Jack remembered that there were boats and a mini golf course and several other details that even I had forgotten. For Halloween, there is a Northwest River Ghost Train that takes people on a scary ride to the river. We got to walk past some of the scary things and check them out in the daylight.
And, we now have a nice decoration to show for our hike. Jack collected quite a bag of acorns and wanted to come home and immediately make an acorn wreath. I cut out a cardboard wreath for him, put some wood glue on it and he went to town putting the acorns on. He's pretty proud of his work.