Saturday, September 28, 2013

"I Wanna Snow-Cave Camp!

Looking through the clearance section on REI I cam across a pic of a tarp in the snow. Suddenly, a little voice shouts in my ear, "I want to snow camp!"

So it doesn't snow much where we are, and it would take a little doing. How old do you think a kid needs to be to go snow camping?

winter camping

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weekend Tidbits

Both Saturday and Sunday saw Boo charming fishermen. She was shown big fish, and the guy in the nice bass boat came in close so she could see his bait.

During our "explore", Boo walked through a burr bush. She must have gotten every single burr on that push in her shirt and hair. Poor kiddo. It was bad enough that I had her climb trees without a shirt on so I could pick burrs out better, and I reached my patience limit with her hair and Lee had to finish.


The rest of the park we saw was fine, but around the campsite, the only plants were nettles and poison ivy. Turns out nettle flowers sting a whole lot worse than the rest of the plant.

While setting up camp, we found a mostly dead "It's a Girl!" mylar balloon. I stomped on it to pop it as we were packing up, and it made a huge bang that echoed like a gun. I would not have been surprised to see a ranger come investigate it.

We had a good weekend. Did you do anything fun?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Secret Trail Markings

Boo started school this year, and it's been a big adjustment. We really cut down our after-work hikes with her, because she was so tired and cranky. But on Labor Day, even though she was still out of sorts, we dragged her to the trail. And we woke her up gently (she hasn't fallen asleep in the car for ages!) After we poked some food into her, she perked back up. We took a hilly, 2.5 mile hike. And it really perked her up. She was the happiest she's been since school started. Well, lesson learned right there. Back to the woods even if she doesn't want to and would rather play with her friends.

When she wasn't running, she was making "secret trail markings". She wouldn't tell us what they were.

Secret Signs

Of note in the pic: whistle on a break-away cord, camera, temporary tattoo, and a stick.

Then her sandals gave her blisters, she she spent the second half of the hike running barefoot up hills.

Do you kids do better for being outside, even when it seems counter-intuitive?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fun with Naturalists and Docents

All the kids I’ve hung out with have taken to the outdoors like they were born to it. (Weird, I know.) They look at things, as questions, and think. 

But even though they love the outdoors, they do get something more out of it by knowing stuff they hadn’t thought to ask. Enter professional and volunteer natural world educators: rangers, naturalists, and docents. (There may be more names that I don’t know, but you know what I’m talking about.)

These people know stuff about an area that we, as visitors, don’t. They often have a table, booth, or class to attract interest. They generally enjoy interacting with the public. And even if your little angels are acting more like little devils, kids are less likely to be horrible to strangers. 

Victor the Corn Snake
Getting face time with a snake. Boo loves the snakes.

Wild Ginger
A chance encounter on the trail during the Earth Day festival resulted in smelling wild ginger and tasting invasive garlic mustard.

Tree ID
A kids tree ID hike.

Discussing Snakes
Discussing rattle snakes and other natural hazards in San Diego.

I enjoy the outdoors more when I am more informed about the interesting things where I am. Turns out kids do, too. I highly recommend finding one.

Do you take advantage of naturalists and docents?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

North Carolina Day Hiking

June30 – July 6, 2013

We spent a week with a friend’s parents near Brevard, NC. In addition to our flooded-out overnight, we spent most of the weekend tramping around the mountains and having a good time.

Cool Clouds

This is the view off the back porch. Sometimes you can see a lot more mountains, but not the week we were there.

Sock Butterfly

This butterfly loooved my sock, kept coming back despite repeatedly being looked at by the kids.

Sunglasses Retention Strap

Boo tied my sunglasses to my hat so I wouldn't lose them.

Picking Blueberries

We found some free-range (feral?) blueberries.


Even though it was the first weekend in July, it was rainy and cool most of the time. This was the only time we waded, and we weren't in the water for long.

Compass Work

We took time for compass practice. She can consistently get the compass flat enough to work, and is getting better at remembering that the red end (as opposed to the white end) is north.

Hiking Stick

She found a lot of hiking sticks. This one had some serious moss growing on it.

Kids Observing the Newt

Boo spotted this tiny newt on the trail. I'd seen it and dismissed it as a leaf bit. The kids were enthralled, and appropriately respectful.

We saw a lot of waterfalls, a lot of overlooks. We got very wet. We once covered the entire deck with drying gear. We ate a lot of smashed sammiches. The girls went to a Woodsy Owl program on the 4th.

Do you plan your vacations around being outdoors, or do you just squeeze some in if you can, or do you leave vacations for being lazy?