Or as my girls saw it....a forced march.
So being the Wolf Den Mother that I am....my thoughts of a good time involve a five mile hike in 90+ degree weather. YIPPEE!!!
I took the boys to the Dishman Hill's Conservatory Area. It is a lovely hike that climbs 1200 ft in 3 miles. It gets a bit steep at times but luckily the whining and moaning coming from me drowned out the shouts of glee from the children.
Here is our merry band of travelers starting out on the beautiful shaded trail. My best buddy, Monica, was up from Texas with her 4 kiddos so they joined us on the hike as well. A decision she later regretted approximately 45 minutes later.
The hike is called Big Rock. It is because there are big rocks. We are creative like that in our trail names here in the Pacific Northwest. This picture is taken about a mile away from the Big Rocks. This will be the high point of the hike.
If you look very closely in the picture you will see two tiny bodies standing in a crevasse of the rocks. The kids were so excited and thought they had finally reached Big Rock. I chortled to myself and stated rather proudly, "These are only Medium Rocks....the Big Rock is up the trail, we just have to hike a bit further up the trail." I knew a bit further involved a half mile up a sheer cliff containing shifting gravel but I was not about to ruin the surprise for them. I don't play that way. HA HA HA
So off they charged full of hope and enthusiasm for the Big Rock. Notice I am at the very back of the pack. This is so I could catch them and throw them back up as they slid down the embankment. That is what a good Den Mother does.
Here we all are at Leaning Tree which is adjacent to Big Rock. You can sort of see the view we had to look at as we ate our snacks. Well we would have eaten our snacks but the kids ate all their snacks and drank all their water on the way up to Big Rock. So they ate our snacks and drank our water. That is what a good Den Mother does.
The view seems to just go on forever. The sky is just huge and I swear you can see the curvature of the earth. But that could have just be brought on by dehydration.
Notice how far I am standing away from the edge as I take this picture. That is because I am so very scared of heights.
The trail is one big loop. The remaining two miles are all down hill. This side of the mountain burned down a few years ago so it is not as shaded. Having the sun beat down on your head for so long can bring on hallucinations or visions. Daniel, Isaac, and Brendon saw a "vision" of a bull moose. It was such a clear vision it was as if it was right on the trail in front of them. They were not the only ones to see this. In fact a hiker coming the other way saw the bull moose as well and told Monica and I, we were further back on the trail with the little kids, that there was a bunch of kids with a bull moose on the trail and to be sure to be quiet.
I thought to myself, "What kind of kids would be hanging out with a bull moose on a remote hiking trail?" Luckily Monica was there to remind me that they would be our kids. "OH!"
So as Monica headed down the trail to the scene we made lots of noise. Monica sang songs and I sang along in a panicked tone. To the untrained ear it may have sounded like screaming. This was to let Mr. Moose know we were on our way. This startled him enough to move about 10 feet off the trail. I should have sang louder.
After the excitement we continued our hike back down the hill. About 20 minutes after the incident I was getting requests to stop singing. I did not realize I still was.
Good news is the boys that did attend passed off their 5 mile hike requirement. They may have all turned in their resignation from the scouting program as well.