Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Stone Mountain
This morning I boldly decided to join a hiking group for their weekly hike. I have been an online member for a yer, drooling over great descriptions of great places they go to. In my defense, they hike on Wednesday mornings, the time we had homeschool coop classes. So I figured that summer would be the perfect opportunity to try this out.

We drove to the hike's location: Stone Mountain Park. There we met a whole new bunch of hikers/homeschoolers. The rules for the hike were pretty simple: stay on the trail, stay with the group, wait for everyone at the fork of the trail, listen to any grown-up. The hike itself was in the shady wood, at the former site of 1996 Olympic target shooting and cycling venue. The stadiums were dismantled afterwards. The boys went ahead with the group and I walked with 2 yo. There were tons of mushrooms on the path, all different shapes and colors and kinds. She stopped and pointed out them all. She also saw every root, branch and overturned tree. Some of those were blocking our path so we had to climb over them. There were a few bridges and some stones to hop on. We ended up being a tail of the group. I brought a baby carrier for her ( for those curious, Ergo), but she preferred the freedom of walking. She walked over a mile on a 2 mile hike and would have kept at it, were we not so far behind everyone else.

We caught up to the boys back at the parking lot. There, a frog was discovered inside a pipe and a frog rescue commenced. Inside another pipe, a black widow was spotted. It seemed to me that all kids in that group knew what a black widow looked like. My 6 yo sat down for a minute to have his juice box and then jumped up in pain: a fire ant bit him behind the knee. He was jumping and yelling. One of the women had homeopathic drops with her and she offered to give them to reduce the stinging. I figured that by now, any psychological trick would do. (Kashrut-wise, it should not be a problem, whatever's in there is diluted beyond batel beshishim and probably till the Jupiter's orbit anyway.) Then she offered drops for stress; I joked that I should be the one taking them. Whichever way, he calmed down.

a frog in distress (supposedly)

Black Widow
Then we drove further with the group, till a wading area. where they were planning to have lunch and wade. I brought lunch, but not changes of clothes. Sadly, I told kids to wear sneakers, knowing that we'll be hiking, so they had to take off socks and everything. Wading while keeping clothes dry does not work, especially when you are playing sharks and mosasaurs. At least the day was quite hot, so they were not shivering when they got out.

Wading fully clothed: my mistake

Much better

Building a castle with a moat with a new friend
 On our way out of the park, we saw a deer crossing the road. The boys identified it as white-tailed deer.
deer crossing
We had a lovely outdoor day, and I am looking forward to more great hikes.

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