Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Walking in the woods

Today I got the chance to spend time with one of my very favorite people on this whole planet. Today was K's school field trip and we went to Red Butte Gardens. I was under the impression that we would spend a few hours roaming paved paths looking at cultivated gardens and rare plants gathered from around the world.

OH NO! Not even close, we walked right on past the flower beds and up to a dirt path that went straight up the side of the dang mountain. Now let me make this clear, NO WHERE in my book of things I enjoy is hiking listed. It's not even on my list of things I am willing to tolerate.

I must love this kid if I am willing to subject myself to this kind of torture just to hang out with him! Add to all of that the fact that we had to ride a dang school bus to get there and I am practically qualified for sainthood here!

Here is a list of things we saw...
Milkweed (Wish I could have brought some seeds home)
Magpie Nest
Part of a paper wasp nest
Deer Tracks (Several places)
Bobcat Tracks
Deer Scat (Aka poop)
Lady bugs
Lady bug larvae
Deer Bones
Land Snails
Carnivore scat with fur (Possibly coyote)
Squirrel Hole
Badger Hole
Bobcat Scat both old and fresh
Bat House
Hawk Nest
Petrified Wood
Woodpecker Nest

We hiked more than three miles, up over the ridge and back down through the valley. It was not an easy hike, like the other teams got. Oh no, we made it to the top of the little hill and the kids said...
"Where does that trail go?"
Sue (our guide)- "Oh, it goes up over the ridge and back down the other side"
Kids- "Can we go that way?"
Sue- "You don't want to go that way, it's a long hike and pretty steep."
Kids- "Yes we do!"
Sue- "You really want to go that way? It's about four miles..."
Kids "YES!!!!"
Me (In my head)- "Oh no, no, please no!"

So, we took off UP the trail and I turned pathetically to look back as the other teams trotted off back down the hill to the gardens and visitor's center.

In the end, despite my gasping and grunting, I am glad we went the way we did. We saw some really cool things (see above) most of which the other teams didn't get to see. They spent a large part of their time standing around being bored.

This was also the perfect time of year to go on our hike, the leaves were stunning. I think God created fall to reward us for sweltering through the summer. Our recent rains, and snow, combined with the fact that most people don't willing lug themselves up mountains created the perfect conditions for animal tracks and we saw some perfect bobcat tracks. That was exciting for me.

The excitement for the boys came from the huge, and I do mean HUGE tarantula that ran down the path straight at us. Poor K, he screamed like a girl and jumped a foot in the air. Due to recent pansy readers (Yes, I am talking to you Sly) I will refrain from posting the huge spider pictures. Or maybe I won't... he doesn't look that big in the pictures, really.


Robyn said...

Good for you for sticking it out! Glad it was worth it. And I want to see a tarantula pic.

Valori said...

I want to see the pic of the tarantula!!!! I love Red Butte gardens, we went twice this last spring, it was soo beautiful! We went about 2 weeks apart and each time was totally different, everything changes soo fast!

The hikes are soo much better and worth it when they are over!!

Kris said...

Red Butte Garden is one of my most favorite places eva'. I'm so jealous. I want to see the tarantula. I wanna see your table runners too. How fun.

Did you design your own blog, it's way cute!!

jacquie said...

definitely sainthood is in your future!

Super Sly said...

I am quite proud of your little outdoors adventure. I CANNOT believe you saw a tarantula. Spiders are one of very few that make me freak.