As I've mentioned before, my mom lives in Michigan. Mary is not at all fond of driving in the snow, so aside from an annual holiday pilgrimage when her husband Keith gets stuck with the driving duties, she doesn't visit much in the winter. Despite the storm earlier this month, snow never lasts long around here in April, so she planned a trip back east. The weather forecast for the weekend was perfect, so of course we all wanted to hike. As the guest of honor, I thought Mary should get to select the destination (from the suite of options nearest Erin's house). However, Frankie overheard me suggesting she choose, and insisted on Great Bear. Luckily, Mary hadn't been there in a long time and was on board. Win-win.
We took Alec's Trail down to the river, where we continued our string of good luck for obtaining the solitary picnic table. Erin shrugged off the carrier, there was requisite snacking and rock throwing, and Alden opened a present from Grandma that Frankie once again transported in his backpack. The river is the hotspot at Great Bear, so lots of people came and went during this period, including many dog walkers, a mother-daughter pair who rode their horses down to the water so they could drink, and a friendly six-year old named Drew who played with Frankie for a while. This was actually pretty funny, since they were equally terrible at hide-and-seek -- it was a good match. After the lengthy break, Erin needed to get Alden home for his nap, so we took Great Bear Road back to the trailhead (the most direct route), making a 2.0 mile loop roundtrip.
Someday when these boys get bigger we'll manage to swing a loop that doesn't involve the road! Not that I'm complaining about a couple hours in the woods on a glorious spring day. It's all good.
|red trillium (Trillium erectum)|
|he carried this giant stick on the entire hike - it's on my front porch now|
|Grandma got the boys matching stuffed dragons|
|cutest nephew ever!|
|coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)|