I made a concerted effort to get us outside in March, with some success. Prior to this hike we'd spent about 20 hours outdoors, and walked about 15 miles, mostly in the neighborhood. The weather remained unusually cold, and our tallies included quite a bit of time shoveling, sledding, and herding ice. We sorely lacked in the woods department though. I was eminently conscious of the depth of the snow, and didn't want to get Frankie in over his head again, like on our snowshoeing adventure in December. We finally got a day with both sunshine and above-freezing temperatures, so we headed back to Clark.
What a joy to be in the woods! I let Frankie choose our route for the most part, asking him which way he'd like to go at many of the intersections. I was pleased that he made some novel choices, electing to start out along the Cliff Trail instead of Dry Lake, which is our default, and venturing out onto the Power Line Trail. He hasn't been back to that corner of the park since he was riding in the Kelty pack, but his range and confidence are increasing all the time, and I'm loving it! We have so much fun.
Afterwards, I let him play on the playground for a really long time. Guilt about his disappointment last time contributed, I am sure, but it was also refreshing in that there were other kids to play with. It seems like we only see other kids outside when the weather is warm; it's been months since he's had the opportunity to make new friends on a playground. There was a little girl who was sitting at the top of the bumpy slide, scared to go down, and Frankie kept lapping her, going down and running back up, then going down again. It was wide enough for two, so I suggested they ride down together, and they were both on board. It was ridiculously cute. Of course she loved the slide, and they kept playing together until I finally dragged him away.
We stopped for milkshakes on the way home; I am not above shameless bribery. We ended up adding another two miles and 4 hours outside to the March totals. And did I mention it was 35 degrees and sunny? It is impossible to convey how exciting this is. Spring may actually come after all.
|the snow is melting fast on the Cliff Trail|
|the first of many, many snacks|
|view down to Glacier Lake|
|Frankie found a golf ball in the woods - we carried it out|
|the Pulpit Rock Trail|
|walking on top of the snow|
|me and my boy|
|on the Power Line Trail|
|back in the woods|
|stopping for a drink|
|the stream is flowing|
|the dry lake|
|Cliff > Long > Pulpit Rock > Power Line > Long Extension > Long > Switch Back > Big Buck > Dry Lake.|