Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend of hiking

Bub wasn't feeling very good this weekend, so I took the dogs and boys out for some hikes in hopes of getting everyone tired. It worked on the dogs.

We got up early on Saturday morning and met Nana at the bottom of Middle Canyon so that we could all hike up to the "T". I've never hiked this before, so we had no idea how far or how difficult it would be. Turns out, it's not bad if you know what you're doing. In the end, if two 4-year olds can do it, it's not hard at all.

Here's the "T" from the gate (which included three No Trespassing signs that I pretended not to see):

Getting to the "T" isn't hard or long unless you're stopping to look at flowers, bugs, rocks, and whatever else little boys like to look at. However, once you get right below the "T", there is a horrible little trail that you need to scrabble up:

And, technically, you don't have to scrabble up that miserable, loose rock, goat trail if you see THE SWITCHBACK TRAIL that makes it ten times easier. There was a group of three guys and their three pre-teen boys at the T, and one of them trotted down the switchback to show us how to go. I think that he was worried that we were going to slide down the rotten trail and get hurt. He was really on to something because we probably would have.

Once we got to the "T", we found that it isn't a big cement letter painted white nor is it a bunch of white rocks trapped in a rebar formation (although it looks like it used to be both of these things). Instead, it is a big vinyl thing that is (unfortunately) fun to slide on. After almost going head first down the steep hill, I put a quick stop to the sliding.

So, we sat down for a quick snack of watermelon, yogurt, water, and PB&J sandwiches (which the dogs ate because I dropped them all in the dirt).

Then, we called Bub to tell her that we had made it and wave to her. (Since we can see the "T" from our house, Meatball was convinced that she could see not only the "T" but that she could also see us; we just looked really, really, small.) We really had a good time, and we managed to spend three hours of a beautiful day enjoying the sunshine.

On Sunday, we got a later start. Nana didn't go this time, so it was just me, the boys, and the dogs. We went a little ways up Jacob's Canyon which is just east of Stockton. This was a totally different kind of hike. It was much drier and dustier. We really didn't know where we were going, so we just wandered around relatively close to the car. It was much hotter since we started two hours later than the previous day. There was a lot of trash and shotgun shell casings. While unfortunate, it gave me a good chance to talk to the boys about littering and taking care of the things around us that we love and appreciate. I wish we would have had some garbage bags. We could have filled them. We didn't hike nearly as far or as long as the previous day because we found some really silky sand and spent a lot of time getting very dirty in it. Who cares, right? They were having FUN!

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