June 10, 2012

A Sunday Hike on the Bone Trail!

Today was a perfectly perfect day to be out of doors, so we decided to head just to the mouth of the canyon at the end of our road and walk along what we now call the Bone Trail.  We call it that because it's the fence line that runs along the base of the mountains at the river, and sadly many deer seem to try to get down to the water, can't cross the fence to do it, and either die there of thirst or a mountain lion helps them initiate their journey to the next world.  So, there are always full skeletons along the fence.  Don't get me started on how horrible this fence is or I'll cry.  But our scientific little ones think it's downright awesome to get to examine bones, especially full skeletons, still right were they met their end.  This is a most adventurous hike.  And this will therefore be a post with far more pictures than you care to look through!  Sorry!

To get to it, you have to cross a stream that eventually becomes a raging river!  Very exciting!

First bone, right at the gate.  A nice jaw bone with molars still in it!

It was just such a gorgeous day!

My little adventurers, all in a pack to keep them safe from prowling Cougars.  I always feel like bait when it's my turn to be in the back.  We call it the back of the line bait!

Haha!  The Fierce bone hunter found a spine!  What a goof!  The kids wanted to bring the entire thing home, because we were here 2 years ago when that deer was fresh and gross and they feel some sort of sentimental attachment to it.  Yeah...we didn't go for that.  It's still there and we will visit it often but I don't really want an entire spine in the yard.  Sorry.

 Our road from above.  How lucky are we to live on a road with so many trees?

 I have a slight obsession with taking pictures of the kids from behind.  It's a problem really.  And this is my new all time favorite.  No goofy, cheesy smiles, no faking it for the moment.  Just childhood bliss captured unaware.  Hunter just spread out his arms to let the tall grassed slip between his finger.  He revels in the moment.  I love that guy!

 And then, of course, he found a new jaw bone and had to try it on for size!

 Haven wanted to go off trail, straight up the mountain, which required a little discussion on the rigors of going straight up.  Joe explained ridges and knobs the way I'm sure his father had explained it on many a hunting trip, and Haven persisted that we must go up.

 And so up we went, literally into the wild blue yonder.   This is when talk of how old they have to be to go hunting commenced.  Yeah...Joe and I don't exactly eat meat anymore, so I threw out the idea of hunting with a camera, the way Joe always talked like he might.  That didn't go over well.  Who ever heard of vegans who hunt, anyway?  Sure we'll eat a piece of fish at a restaurant once in a while if we don't know what we can order (and feel sick after), but hunting?  It seems absurd.  But we're vegans for health, not morals, so I'm going to try not to stand in the way of this manly right of passage when the time comes. Lucky for me it's not coming any time soon and there's a lot of time for them to learn to value cameras over guns.  Right?

 That's our little city from way up on the knob.  Looks so insignificant from up there.  Really puts things in perspective. 

Joe and I have always admired this little tree but we've never gotten as close as we did up on that knob today.  The rebel tree that doesn't need anyone else.  The individual that stands sovereign above our sleepy street, inspiring us often to think about our own purpose.  Weird how many times Joe and I have discussed that tree and what it could represent.  All the others grow in groups.  But not that one.  I adore it.  It inspires me. 

 He inspires me too.  Such an emotional little fellow these days. But still, he remains so joyful and wise even as he passes through the tough patch.  He'll be 5 next week and I tell you, he's got the insight of an old man.  He seems even to be annoyed by his own emotional outbursts, like, I'm so above that.  Why did it just happen?  What took over?  It's kind of hilarious, actually, and even he laughs at his own instability.  But this picture captures his contemplative nature.  Love it.  Love him!

Teeny, tiny bits of color are everywhere once you're on the mountain.  From the street it looks like a wash of brown and a little green that hasn't yet been sucked out of the earth by summer.  But up there is purple and yellow and white.  Butterflies, dragonflies and bees.  

 My little man, up near the clouds.  He was in heaven!

 Hannah Jane and I both loved this tree.  Fallen and mossy with a copper colored covering.  She shares my affinity for trees dead and alive.  When she's got her own camera with her we get lots of pictures of dead trees. 

 Back down we went.  I was back at bait station.

 Back across the water and into "the jungle" to get back to the road.  

A most magical spot to spend a Sunday.  Hannah Jane said, "We're so lucky we don't have to be in church.  We get to be here instead."  Which prompted both Joe and I to mention that this IS church.  Out there in God's creation is the perfect place to stop and make mention of Him, appreciate the wealth of beauty all around us and offer thanks.  To this she suggested that we build a church up on the hill.  I told her God had enough buildings-maybe too many- and His creation was worth keeping as it was given here and there so we don't forget where we came from.  I think it's hard to remember our inherent nobility in the city or suburbia.  We need to go back out into the wild, slow down a bit, and feel just how calm it can be. 

Okay...that felt a little preachy. Oops.  There's just such a peace in those mountains and valleys that makes you get all cheesey reflective.  I love it.  When we get out and go, it makes me wonder how we survive a day indoors.  It's where we're meant to be. 

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