Sunday, September 21, 2014

3:28 PM
The last few weeks have been pretty crazy around here, with all of us barely able to surface for a deep breath. However, with some acclimation to the new routine and a couple of work-related milestones behind me, I have started to feel antsy again which usually means I need to go to the mountains!  I think my kids were feeling it too, as evidenced by the fact that my son wistfully looked over at the picture of a lake and snow covered mountains on the Arrowhead delivery truck that was stopped next to us at a traffic light and said Mommy, maybe we could go swim there tomorrow? That'd be nice. 
A Potential Sign that Your Kid has Nature Deficit Disorder
Unfortunately, just because my major deadlines were at least temporarily behind me didn't mean that my husband's were and so we were (stuck) at home this weekend (again), able to participate in soccer games and swim lessons, but missing the escape and freedom of one of our trademark weekend adventures.

Determined to sneak some outdoorsy fun into an otherwise mellow weekend, I organized a little Saturday morning hike for us.  About a mile from our house is a large and lightly-used County park that is pretty undeveloped except for a few trails, picnic areas, and, it turns out, one of the coolest playgrounds I have ever been to.  I have been running here a lot lately but had never brought the family. That changed this weekend.

The hike was about a mile each way - switchbacking through ancient live oaks and other native flora.
A slide built into a mountain? I'll take it!
Bouldering and killer views
Biggest Spider Web Ever
So this two-hour excursion wasn't a pristine, soul-cleansing backpacking trip through Yosemite, but it was a little time spent out in nature, having fun, testing boundaries, and trying something new.  The kids were thrilled...

Running Free
...and in a small way so was I.  Every weekend can't be epic, but many small moments can.  Sometimes all it means is taking the time to find the hidden treasures in your own back yard.

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