Monday, April 27, 2015

Back on the Nature Trails

 After leaving the Heidelberg Project, we stopped at Grandma's because it was coffee time for Mom and the boys wanted to share with her about their visit to the project. A quick explanation of their take on all they saw, they took off to play with the kids next door. While trying to wrangle my boys to head home, I was surfing Facebook and happened to come across as post about free donuts at a cider mill we have not visited in a few years. Instead of heading home to make dinner we were on our way for donuts.

After enjoying our cider and donuts without any bees to pester us, I thought we'd walk the short path at the mill. Almost at the end of the path, Jordan found a side trail he wanted to follow. Jordan is more into the "off the main trail" hiking, than the semi-paved paths. We followed the newly found trail for about a mile, when my phone died. Not having a clock to gauge how long before the mill closed, I really wanted to turn back. Jordan keep insisting that we were  almost at the end. There was a large loop and that's where we called it quits and headed back to the car. Jordan and Joey had spotted where they thought the trail continue, and were really bummed I wouldn't let them follow it. So I made a deal with them, we'd come back the next day after church and see if the new path continued to anywhere.

True to my word, we drove back out to the mill and followed the same path. We had packed lunches to eat at a nifty little bridge. We'd spend as much time wandering whatever paths they found, and wandering them as far as they wanted. Turns out, we had been only 5 minutes away from where path appeared to end on a dirt road. The boys had more fun the second day we walked the path as there was no need to rush. They spent a great deal of time climbing on and around the trees. We were almost back to the semi-paved path when (being the cool mom) I found a snake. I'm cool enough to tell my kiddos to come check out the snake, but not cool enough to actually pick it up. I allowed the snake to continue on it's way. Jordan and I were having a debate about rather it was a garter snake or something different; Jordan said garter, I said something that would be happy to bite my toes. During our debate we happened upon another snake. Unlike the first snake this one was happy in his sunny spot on the path and wasn't going to wiggle out of our way. It actually stood it's ground and kind of pulled itself into a squiggly "S", we carefully inched our way around it. Seeing 2 snakes was more than enough for me, I was ready to get back on the main path.

We walked the main path all the way to it's end. My boys were not too impressed the the straight line packed dirt path I had wanted to walk. Today must have been their lucky day, because lo and behold there was another side path. They were excited about taking this path, that looked as if not many people have traveled on it. So we took the less traveled path; I had told them I would walk whatever path they wanted (me and my big mouth). This path was exactly the type of path Jordan had been hoping we'd be walking. The kind where every so often you have to look for matted down grass to make sure you were still going in the right direction. We climbed over fallen trees, ducked under branches, and gotten ourselves turn around a few times. After off-roading our hike for a mile and a half we came out of the dense trees just behind the mill.

So all in all we walked just shy of 2.5 miles while ducking and diving through the trees.

*I later learned that the first snake we seen was could in fact have been a garter snake. Considering that we second we we saw was a brown snake, the first could have been a brown snake. I guess we'll never know.