A summer Friday and the kiddos and I had zero plans… my favorite kind of summer day. I knew I wanted to embrace doing nothing after lunch, which meant I needed to do something with the kiddos in the morning to check off playing mom for the day. Solution, a hike. Rather, a trail walk. I was debating about heading back to Coal Creek Falls which we hiked back in 2015 and again last June. It was my first hike with all four kiddos, alone. But then I remembered the Swamp Monster hike. And since doing something new sounded more appealing, I decided we’d get our Swamp Monster on.
It was a short, 20 minute drive to the High Point trailhead. What a nice trailhead. Noted for future kiddo-free hikes. Parking was ample on a Friday morning. The trail was clearly marked with signs, including distances. Saige is all about maps so we stopped at the main trailhead entrance. She checked out the sign with all the trails mapped out.
We made our way to Swamp Trail. I expected to see the wood sign with Swamp Monster in blue at the start of the trail like I found when searching images online. Nope. Nothing. Maybe we entered the trail at the wrong spot? We walked on the trail and I thought maybe I was totally wrong about the Swamp Trail being the same as the Swamp Monster Trail. We didn’t find any storyboards for the first 10 minutes or so… the kiddos take a while to stop and check things out. Turns out the storyboards start after about 0.3 miles.
The Swamp Trail is a short trail, about 0.7 miles out. We stopped to read all seven storyboards, about Zoe the raccoon. We walked a little further before turning around, totaling about 1.6 miles. This was the first time I’ve taken all the kiddos without any stroller or backpack carrier. Which is why I wanted short and flat. Baby didn’t even ask to be held; Saige asked to be carried the last few minutes until she was reminded that she’s a big kid. That was an easy sell. She kept on walking.
It was a relatively quick outing, about 90 minutes including the drive there and back, and the trail walk. I checked off my I did something fun with the kiddos for the day and ended up having a fairly relaxing afternoon. They all put on their swimsuits and turned on the sprinkler under the trampoline. Baby came inside after a while all wet, lied on the couch, covered herself over with a blanket, and slept until dinnertime. We ended the day with pizza and an episode of Trading Spaces. Not too shabby for a day with no plans.
It’s nearly impossible to get a picture of all four looking and smiling at the same time. Proof.
Searching for the Swamp Monster.
Reading the storyboards.
Picking and eating huckleberries. Outdoor school kiddos in action.
Saigers wanted a flower in her hair. And she made silly faces.
So of course Baby wanted one, too.
Blaise wanted his picture taken in front of a tree that fell and its roots. Saige jumped in. They sure love each other.
And finally, mushrooms. Blaise asked me to take a picture of them.
Noted for future hikes.
Until our next no plans day outing.