Yep, it was a good day for a hike. Of course, the weather is changing from the gorgeous sunshine we have had for the last several days, but we got our hike in before the rain started. We met Sarah and her boys at the Tradition Plateau Trailhead at Tiger Mountain. I even was able to drag the hubby along for this one. He had the camera most of the time, so many of the pics on this post are actually from him.
My wonderful husband
Beginning our hike
We tried out some new-to-me trails at Tiger - the Swamp Trail, the Big Tree Trail, the Wetlands Trail, and the Around-the-Lake Trail, with part of the Bus Trail thrown in for good measure.
It's good to have a map along for all the cris-crossing trails
Though most folks trek up to the top of the mountain, or at least farther up on its flanks, we stuck to the lower sections for these flatter and easier kid-friendly paths.
There are story boards along the Swamp Trail
Smiles from the baby
Walker sticking his tongue out
There weren't as many folks at the parking area as I expected for a holiday, but we did pass several people throughout our walk.
We ended up going about 3 miles, I believe. Kids of all ages did well - the baby slept much of the time in the pack, the 4-year-old is stronger now than last fall, the 8-year-old was speedy and uncomplaining, and the 13-year-old put up with everyone. We made one little stop for lunch and a rest, at Round Lake. The kids threw rocks in the water and later sticks for a dog to chase.
This is about the only access to Round Lake
Walker gets his lunch
Annika takes a break. We bring along inexpensive foam mats to stay dry. She's only half on hers, and was already wet and muddy from playing in the lake.
Gabriel's hands got chilled
We visited The Bus - it's looking a bit worse than I remember - and enjoyed our stroll.
Gabriel checks out the mysterious bus "artifact"
Good thing his tetanus shots are up to date!
The kids and adults appreciated how green and mossy many parts of the trails are. It's kind of neat in the swamp area, and the Big Tree is, actually, big.
The Big Tree
How this giant escaped logging, no one seems to know. Annika really liked all the ferns we saw. A few plants are beginning to bud, but otherwise it still looks like winter in the forest.
A rare photo of me
Whenever I get out with the kids, I get to thinking about all the other places I want to take them this summer. I hope this is the year we really get our groove on, as far as hiking goes. We all benefit from making the choice to get out and enjoy nature and move our bodies. And it is a choice, really - to stay home and work on laundry and dishes some more, or to leave the dishes in the sink and come back with more dirty laundry in exchange for great memories and fun experiences.