On Friday night, I told Frankie I wanted him to check the weather forecast and decide which day this weekend would have better weather for a hike. This kid has always been obsessed with the weather, checking the 10-day forecasts not just for our area, but for distant places he's traveled. Place names bookmarked in the weather app became some of his first sight words. He makes up different weather forecasts for his various toys and imaginary worlds (bunny world, spaceship world, train land). And he's just recently started writing up and illustrating his own weather forecasts. Given all that, I suspected he would enjoy this assignment enormously, and he rose to the task, taking his new responsibility quite seriously. First thing Saturday morning, he scrolled through the hourly forecasts for both days and determined today would be best.
He also decided he wanted to go to Clark Reservation. Even though we were just there a few weeks ago with my Mom (and I was, in fact, there for work Friday morning), I agreed. It is such a special and interesting place. Plus, hunting season is currently open, so parks and other locales where hunting is not allowed become preferred destinations. We got a late start, but Clark is super close and we know the trails inside out, so it didn't matter. We set out along the Cliff Trail, then took the Long Trail to the second intersection with the Pulpit Rock Trail, which we followed the whole length back, crossing kitty-corner over the Long Trail to the Switchback Trail (which Frankie is strangely obsessed with and drove the wanderings of this hike). At the end of the Switchback Trail, we turned left on the Big Buck Trail, then a quick right on the Dry Lake Trail, which we took back to the parking area.
I have never seen that playground so crowded, a lot of families trying to squeeze in some outdoor time during this exceptionally mild fall, I guess. Frankie was a little overwhelmed after the peace in the woods, so we didn't stay for too much madness, which left lots of time for milkshakes on the way home. Notch 8 Cafe has quickly become a favorite post hike destination. They make all the gelatos in house, in small batches of widely varying and delicious flavors. Frankie sticks with strawberry when it's available, but I like to mix it up. This fall they've been featuring a New York Maple that is amazing!
|rattlesnake-root (Prenanthes sp.)|
|Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)|
|herb-Robert (Geranium robertianum)|
|Frankie thought it would be funny to sneak into my flower picture|
|He doesn't always cooperate for photos|
|hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)|