Saturday, July 07, 2007

How to spend five hours....

Goodwin Forest State Park

Earlier this week, we decided to take a small hike after swimming lessons. It was around 11:30 am so we grabbed some snacks, water, and our letterboxing bag and hit the road (notice I didn't say lunch because after all it was supposed to be a small hike). We sprayed ourselves down with Deep Woods Off (we've learned our lesson)! and off we were with our trail map in hand.

After getting off to a rough start, we couldn't find our first box, but did find a box with no clues to it, we were on our way. We ended up wandering around, following clues and having fun. We ate our snacks slowly and really weren't too hungry even without lunch. The girls attempted to pee in the woods. Einey had no problem, but Meenie made a mess. Not fun! Little girls and squatting in the woods is not good!

We really urged the girls to use their five senses. We encouraged them to smell the wildflowers, talked about how different it smelled than by the lake, or in the middle of the pine forest. We discussed how the forest changed as we walked, from overgrown fields to pine forests to cedar groves to a marshy causeway. We listened to deer in the forest, birds singing and trees creaking (I thought one was about to fall!). We watched a deer leap through the forest over a stone wall and into a field. We saw old stone foundations and an equally old dam. We saw butterflies and birds in abundance. We spied another deer on the edge of a stonewall. We watched chipmunks scamper and a great blue heron soar across the lake. We looked for frogs and turtles by the pond. We looked for beavers by the beaver dam and observed a tree the beaver's chopped down. We saw red squirrels and gray squirrels. We saw people with dogs and people on horses. The girls picked wild flowers and ferns.



And 5.5 hours later, we emerged from our journey. Happy. Hungry. Exhausted. Kids catching their second wind. Only two deer ticks. And 14 more stamps later. We went home, ate dinner and crashed!

Note to self: eat before you go on a "little" hike!

Did you know that the CT State DEP has letterboxes? Yup. Collect five stamps and contact them and once it's verified, they will send you a patch. How cool is that?


Fairly Odd Mother said...

I keep wanting to try letterboxing---your day trip looks like so much fun!

MMHR said...

How did we miss out on a day trip here?!...I just adore all that shaded summer green...great shots!
Your potty story gave me a laugh, Little bit needed a potty break on a lovely windy stretch of the 85 (our road trip to uncle mikey) she was excited to get out of the car and climb up the hill into the trees but when I explained there was no bathroom hidden in the woods she gave me a long look and then said "drive momma, drive to the potty!"

Happy Day,