Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Arizona Adventuring

So now that the holidays are over, we have decided that it's time to start exploring our new state (or new to everyone but Ken!) And boy, was this a weekend of adventures!
On Saturday morning, we took the kids a few miles down the road to the White Tank Mountain Regional Park. We choose the Waterfall Trail for our first foray into hiking. It's a short 1 mile loop. Armed with binoculars, camo vests, water and granola bars, we set out!

The kids were particularly intrigued by the "Beward of Mountain Lions" sign. They kept asking when we would see the King of the Mountain. Ken assured them that there was no danger of seeing a mountian lion given how loud they were being!

And they were off!
See those plastic toy binoculars that Corbin is holding? They work!
And they allowed the kids to see the Petroglyphs up close!

We had a blast climbing the rocks.
My sassy girl.
My handsome boys.
Headed back down the trail. Can you tell that Kirra is frumping? She was "tired of walking" but said she had enough energy to play on the playground at the bottom of the trail. :)
Headed off the trail to explore a bit.

Ken explains about saguaro cactus.

And we wrap up the hike with a "kid soda" (aka Root Beer) and chocolate. Cheers!
And, as promised, we hit the playground for a few minutes before heading home to clean the garage!

In addition to cleaning the garage, the kids helped Ken sweep up a bunch of leaves that had accumulated around our neighbor Claire's house. We had a hard time convincing them that jumping in a pile of leaves on concrete wasn't a good idea!

So that was Saturday. And I know what you're thinking - what a busy weekend. But wait, there's more!
Sunday morning after church we decided that we should head to Prescott, a short 100 mile drive, for lunch! The ride there was uneventful. We had lunch at The Palace Saloon, an awesome saloon that was built in 1901. I'm not sure what the kids liked more - the "cowboy doors," aka swinging doors, or the plastic glasses with flashing lights that their Shirley Temples came.
After an awesome lunch, we headed home the long way.  When we came across dirt road to Wolf Creek, Ken couldn't resist. We had a great time bouncing along the road for the first 8 or 9 miles. It was sunny and warm and the view was wonderful.
Funny faces, everyone! Is Kirra my "mini-me" or what - we struck the exact same pose!

Then we started to see snow. The kids were upset that we hadn't brought their snow boots and sled!
Then we turned a corner onto the north side of the mountain.  It was quite a bit cooler and we were seeing more snow and ice. 

Everything was going fine until we turned a corner and came across a group of teenagers that were stuck.
Ken helped the boys get unstuck and we decided to turn around and get out of the snow and ice. And what should we come across on our way out but...

a tree that had fallen across the road in the 30 minutes or so since we had passed this exact spot! Fortunately, there was another explorer who had come up to the tree and he had a rope! First Ken had to help free the end of the tree.

Then they used the rope to pull the tree off the road.

Having had enough of the woods, we headed back to civilization!

Based on our experience on the forest service roads this weekend, the kids have decided that we need 2 types of kits when we go exploring. Here they are:

Emergency Kit
* Saw (they wanted to cut the tree!)
* Rope (because when a tree falls in the forest, it can block a road!)
* Shovel (for digging teenagers out of the snow)
* Granola Bars (everyone got a little hungry)
* Water (and thirsty)
* Camping stove (for heating water)
* Oatmeal (in case we ever have to spend the night)
* Blankets (same as oatmeal)

Adventure Kit
* Snow Jackets
* Snow Boots
* Snow Gloves
* Sled (Corbin said for moving rocks, Connor said for sliding down hills)

So that was our weekend of adventuring in Arizona! I wonder where we'll end up next weekend!

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