Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lagoon Valley Hike

It was a miracle. The temperature was only supposed to reach 84 degrees in Vacaville. I had an overwhelming need to get the kids outside in our one day reprieve from the heat. I figured now was as good as time as any to attempt hiking alone with the kids. They were practically young adults at the ripe old age of 23 months and had proven to be fairly good in public so I  gave it a go. And guess what? It was a tremendous success!

We went to Lagoon Valley Park which is on the very edge of Vacaville and has hiking trails, a dog park, a lagoon (shocking I know), and a frisbee golf course. It is also where we are having the kid's birthday party at the end of the month so I thought it would be a good chance to go beyond the picnic area and explore the park a bit more. I equipped the kids with their monkey back packs and carried the leash attachments with me just in case. Mari was not so thrilled with her backpack.

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Being the fantastic mom that I am, I chose to snap a picture and ignore her cries and start walking. Once Mari saw that Ben got to cross a super cool bridge all by himself she shaped up and ran to join him.

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We started down one of the many trails shared by hikers, bikers, and horse back riders and it didn't take long for us to see a group of horses. The kids thrill level went sky high. The day was already a success in their eyes.

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Those weren't the only animals we saw that morning. We also saw turkey vultures, hawks, gray squirrels, ground squirrels, and deer which kept the kids gasping and giggling with excitement.

Since things were going so well I decided we needed to take on a little challenge. There was a steep dirt trail that went up the side of a hill to an oak tree and picnic table at the top. Now I am sure people thought I was crazy climbing up the hill holding the hands of two little kids but I knew the incline would be great for Ben's therapy and the challenge would provide us all with satisfaction once we completed it.

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And complete it we did! Sure there was a slip or two and a little protest by Mr. Ben due to his hatred of all things not level but once we got to the top and Mari gasped and shouted "Wow!" I knew it was all worth it. The kids got huge grins on their faces as they looked out and took in the view.

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We sat down and had some snacks and enjoyed our time at the top. The kids enjoyed stomping on the lookout platform and making great sounds with their feet.

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After we did our fair share of snacking and lingering we decided to march on down another trail. Ben stopped to examine the rocks like he always does and Mari tromped along like a good little hiker.

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The kids decided to have a game of chase down the hill and laughed hysterically  as Ben raced to catch Mari.

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Unfortunately Ben raced himself right into a bush and there was blood all over the place. Luckily it didn't seem to bother him and he went right on trucking until I could find a spot to clean him up a bit.

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From there we followed a paved path and made an exciting discovery. A grove of redwoods right here in town! Hume Grove that was the perfect spot to picnic or relax in the shade.  We will have to keep that spot in mind for future use!

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Nap time was fast approaching so we made our way back to the car and headed home. The morning had been a great one. I was so pleased with our accomplishments and felt incredibly proud of Mari and Ben for being such great little hikers. I look forward to many future hikes together and many more discoveries of special little places that we can share together. I encourage you all to explore the world near your own homes with your children and rediscover the world through their eyes.


Cheryl Lage said...

What a wonderful post! Fantastic scenery and great inspiration to do some nearby family exploration.

(Don't feel bad...or at least don't feel alone. I have quite a few "cry" moments captured as well. ;) )

Mashel said...

How fun! What a wonderful memory you made with your kids. Isn't times like that what life and motherhood is all about.

The jones Family said...

This looks so fun! I so admire your sense of adventure. You never seem to let the babies stop you from doing great things. You are awesome!

Debbie Moore said...

How great that they did so well!! I have one of those backpacks, I need to get another. What fun!!!

Jenn H said...

You AMAZE me and INSPIRE me. I think I need to get a backpack baby carrier, strap Adelaide in and take the other 3 younger ones as well and go on a hike, maybe I'll just try across the soccer field to the playground for starters, lol!

Tonya Staab said...

I'm so glad it was a success. I didn't know if I'd missed a post on the group about it, but remembered an email about you going. The kids did great. That was some serious blood on the little man. Those backpacks are fantastic. I've only had to use them a couple of times but they are great. I've heard that if you have a runner, you can just link the 2 together that way they can't run in opposite directions but you don't have to hold onto them. I may have to try it LOL.

I gave you an award last night too so you must come and collect it.

Unknown said...

I love how you put the backpacks on without the attachments at first. I wouldn't have thought of that. It gave the kids a chance to prove that they could follow directions and have a bit of independence instead of just starting them out on a "leash". The hike looked like such a success, can't wait to see you again soon. I cannot believe they are getting so big. It seems like yesterday they were just born...

The Romero-Schroeder said...

Great POST, i love it and as always you find such wonderful places to take the kids!