Monday, March 28, 2016

Ruining Nature for Everyone Within a 1-Mile Radius

We went on a hike Saturday. For most people this wouldn't be noteworthy, but it seems like quite an event for our family of seven (kids ages 11, 9, 7, 4, and 2.)

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.

Ruining Nature for Everyone Within a 1-Mile Radius -- My kids love to hike, almost as much as they love to run, scream, and generally annoy innocent people sharing the trail with them.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
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 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 barreling in and 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.)

Ruining Nature for Everyone Within a 1-Mile Radius -- My kids love to hike, almost as much as they love to run, scream, and generally annoy innocent people sharing the trail with them.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
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, with the faint scent of human waste trailing behind him. Of course, 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.

One day.

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PurpleSlob said...

Oh, Jenny, y'all are adding to the spice and variety in the world!
(Human waste is spicy, no?)

jen said...

Knowing the sound levels of ATV's, they probably could have easily drowned out your family.

Jenny said...

We used to go hiking a lot as a family. I remember fighting the entire way with my brother and my mom giving up on quieting us down. It could have been worse, you could have been in a library or hospital or church with them that loud. I'm sure my mom had to remind herself that it wasn't so bad to be loud outside. Hopefully bird watchers would understand haha. Maybe that's why we usually went somewhere that had a lack of animals to watch like Moab and calf creek

Katy said...

Hee hee! Thankfully, we see herons daily when we have to drive across a bridge to get to our house. I just scream and point out the window, "Look kids!" Usually at least 1 of 2 sees it; the other pouts and complains he/she didn't see it. Good times.

AiringMyLaundry said...

Ha. Yeah, my daughter would be the loud one on the trail. And my son would be like, "Can we go home now?"

Queen Mom Jen said...

Haha! Been there. Rode this pony. Once we went fishing and my kids were so loud I think everyone on the whole lake breathed a BIG sigh of relief when we left!

Rosie said...

Ha, that's exactly what our hiking adventures end up like... Last time we brought two extra adults to put the little kids on their backs in carriers because they whined so much on the last hike, and it was like a ridiculous parade as the 6-year-old walked on his own, and the 5yo, 3yos, and 1yo were all on various backs. We've been trying to build up their stamina with lots of short hikes and hopefully won't be such a spectacle next time, but I can guarantee we'll certainly mess with somebody else's peaceful scene ;)

Jenny Evans said...

Well, I'm sure the birdwatchers understood why there were suddenly no birds in the vicinity...

Jenny Evans said...

We weren't a hiking family when we first moved here, so ALL our kids were like "Can we go home now?" Now I think they actually enjoy it, although it took years.

Jenny Evans said...

I hate those moments when everyone's totally happy and then you point out something through the window and suddenly there's trauma erupting all over the car because someone didn't get to see it. Why didn't I keep my mouth shut?