Friday, July 11, 2014

Staircase rapids

Not every adventure with our visitors should be a repeat.  There has to be room in there for a new adventure.  Today was that day.  We drove out, past the turn for Mt. Ellinor, and continued up beyond the gorgeous Lake Cushman and on to the Staircase National Park.  Ruthie clued me in to this hike and I remembered it last night when we were deciding what to do today.  I have a stretch of work days coming up.  We needed to do something. 

By the way, Lake Cushman is beautiful and we will have to find a way to get up there and do something soon. 

But today was about...

Just a two mile hike.

For you existentialists.
Of course, being us, we did the loop backwards.  As we met oncoming people, one of them laughingly informed me that we were going the wrong way.  I asked him how he knew where we were going.  If I don't, how could he?

The views were nice though.

No, it's the staircase rapids, not the trail.

We had to forge across the raging river.

The forest is awesome.  During the wetter spring season, all the moss is so green it glows.  This is the first time we have been in this region during the summer months with some time to explore.  I think I like the wetter forest better, but I haven't just survived a cold dark winter either. 

For now though, this is gorgeous.

Big fuzzy trees surrounded us.

That one looks like it is dancing, just sitting there.

Even the little waterfalls are cool.

Nana in her happy place.
Even downed trees were pretty cool

Green fuzzy trees all over the place.

When it actually came time to cross the river, they helpfully provided a cool cable suspension bridge.  This was the halfway point of the hike with pretty views down the river.

Heck, they even made the bridge pretty.  They think of everything.

Ohhh, pretty.

Max wasn't as impressed.  He decided to take a rest instead.
I was more impressed with the bridge than Max.

The kids, however, loved the rock.

There is nothing that fires the imagination quite like climbing some rocks

Michael practicing his curmudgeon

Max practicing his cute
Yeah, fine.  I had to climb the rock too.  Max made me do it.

This place makes it easy to take pretty pictures.

I think Nicholas has walked every log he has seen.

At our sedate pace, the hike takes a while.  It is easy to get a little foot sore.  So we took advantage of the cold water.

Set your piggies free!

Life is tenacious

Because I like it.

Hey, I found some rocks! Inside a tree!
Back on the trail, we continued to marvel at the coolness of this forest.  Then we saw this..

Snakey tree roots and stuff.

Of course the kids had to climb it.

Nana decided contemplation would be better than climbing.

And...waterfall.  Of course.

Obligatory long exposure shot.

Hey kids, I'm doing another long exposure shot....silence.
Mommy and her little hiker kid. 

Michael decides to try that whole contemplation thing. Looked fun.

Another adventure. 

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