Every now and then, the stars align and we venture into the Great Outdoors without ruining it for everyone else.
Saturday was not that day.
We love to hike but unfortunately, our kids also love to yell and scream.
|So you say a perpetual motion machine cannot be made, eh?|
We tried (as we always do) to explain that people are out to enjoy the birdsong and contemplate the sweeping vistas before them in peace, and perhaps careening through the woods screeching like a troop of rabid howler monkeys may be slightly off-putting to those individuals.
They try, they really do, but their excitement just gets the best of them.
And to be fair, there are 7 of us so even if everyone is well-behaved we're still quite the spectacle.
As we walked toward the heronry trail we were taking, the first people we came across was a group of 4 or 5 teenagers on ATVs and dirt bikes loitering around under the power lines and generally looking cool.
They quieted down as our family paraded past (possibly wondering if we were going to start throwing candy,) but seemed like polite young people who even said 'hi' to us without even a hint of sneery teen irony.
We continued walking; at the end of this trail was a cliffside overlooking a pond where herons often nested in the trees.
When we reached the overlook, though, it was unfortunately not empty.
Seated on twin rocks pointed toward the trees, there was a couple, obviously enjoying the quiet moment alone in nature. Her head rested on his shoulder, and they also looked like serious birdwatchers, as evidenced by the zoom lens the size of the Hubble telescope in her lap.
They probably knew their minutes were numbered when they heard us stampeding through the wilderness right at them, and my kids wasted no time shattering the silence:
"Can I climb down to the bottom?" (No.)
"I want the binoculars first!" (Of course you do.)
"I don't see any pigeons!" (That's because this is a heronry trail, dear preschooler.)
|Nice place, but what's up with the lack of pigeons here?|
The toddler occupied himself by wandering among the rocks trying to get away from me so he could fall off the face of the cliff, trailing a faint scent of human waste behind him (we'd left the extra diaper in the car.)
We didn't see any herons that day (and the couple left shortly afterward,) but my kids had fun.
I'm sorry everyone, but we really do like to hike and I'm pretty confident that eventually my kids will even be able to share the trail with you without totally ruining it.