Last weekend (yeah, I'm a little behind!), Jeff, the boys, and I went to Ste. Genevieve, MO, to do a little hiking. It was the first time in ages we've been able to do anything more than have a meal with the entire family because Daniel and Nathan's schedules have been crazy. We had seen an article about the area we hiked in the Post-Dispatch a couple of months ago and saved the article.
Our first stop was Hickory Canyons Natural Area. Two short hikes, one about 1/2 mile and one that was 1 mile. It was beautiful. Because the trees didn't have any leaves yet, you could see the canyon walls really well. The weather was warm, and the company was good. :D Of course, we forgot the camera, but thankfully I was able to use my cell phone camera to get some pictures.
All my boys
Yes, it was nearly 80 degrees out. Yes, the child is wearing snow boots, pants, AND a hooded sweatshirt. What can I say? He has a mind of his own.
The article we'd seen was about how beautiful this area is in the winter. The water continues to seep even when it's cold out, so the canyon walls end up with gigantic 50-foot icicles on them. We definitely need to go back next winter and check it out.
Nathan. No, he's not peeing. He's texting. As he and Daniel did all day long. Kind of like we got to bring the girls along with us but not have to hear them talk! :D I can't explain the shirt, but it was quite the popular look on our hike. For the boys, that is.
Don't miss the fact that Daniel and Nathan are walking across this tree. I had about 35 heart attacks this day, including the time that they jumped from a rock ledge to a tree and then shimmied about 25 feet down to the ground. They did ask my permission first, and I said yes. I figured they're pretty good climbers, and I figured Jeff would tell them yes. I'm trying really hard not to be too overprotective. Ugh.
We also went to Pickle Creek (or Springs, I don't remember which right now and don't care enough to get up and dig out the brochure to check) Natural Area. Jeff and I were there in 2005, when we camped near Ste. Genevieve for our anniversary. Some people at the campground told us about this trail, which passes some neat rock formations. It's not Arches National Park, but it's pretty neat. And a lot shorter drive!
Unfortunately, by the time we got there, Daniel had pretty much decided that he was finished hiking. Despite having approximately 27 pieces of french toast for breakfast 3 hours before, he was starving and seriously crabby. Especially when he saw that this trail would take about an hour to hike.
Ah...family togetherness at its best! In the green shirt you see Daniel, who would have been right at home leading the Bataan Death March. "Scenery...whatever!! Keep moving!
Jeff and Jacob
This was a neat formation. Daniel's take (well, my take on Daniel's take), "Yeah, arches. Whatever. Seen 'em. Keep moving. KEEP MOVING, I SAID!!".
Daniel: stalking ahead. Nathan: texting. Jacob: looking for the troll under the bridge. Jeff: wondering why the heck he married someone who already had kids!?!
This was the coolest area! A great big rock outcropping (this is just one small part) with a really steep drop off the end (yeah, where Jeff is standing. "Back a little...a little more...."). It would have been fun to explore, but we had one starving crabby 16 year old and one rambunctious fearless 5 year old. Discretion here was definitely the better part of valor. Another time...
It really was a good trip. The weather was beautiful, and it was wonderful to get to do something all together. We topped off our day with a stop at a Chinese buffet for dinner and then headed home. Glad you could come along with us!!