Thursday, September 12, 2013

Family Nature Exploration

Labor Day weekend is one of our annual family camping weekends.  We love one last slow (once we get all set up...because, really, it takes A LOT to get packed, unpacked, then settled into a campsite, doesn't it?!) long weekend  before the business of fall starts up.  We have another wonderful family who we reserve this weekend to spend time with every year.  It is always a special time, but this year felt particularly so as my husband found the most amazing hike for us to do on Sunday.  

Screw Auger Falls in the Northern Woods of Maine.  Wow.  Spectacular.  

Highlights: fording a river near the start of the hike, balancing on wooden plank bridges deep in the woods, hiking approximately one mile of the Appalachian Trail, climbing up and down rocky ledges where you absolutely needed to be on all fours and hold onto roots and trees to keep your balance, and the treat at the end of the hike?  Swimming in a naturally formed pool under a waterfall.  Deep enough to dive and do cannon balls.  Bonus: we had the place to ourselves.  It truly felt like a scene out of Tolkien's The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic .







When friends and family asked how our camping trip was, all three kids said, "We got to swim under a waterfall!!"

In reflecting on our family's experiences, I like to think about what my kids as well as us as a family took away from the time spent we spent together...

Exercise, bonding with family and special friends (both children and adults), a wide variety of sensory experiences, a practical real-life lesson in geology as well as our state's geography, spiritual awakening at the falls, an opportunity to reflect on some of the scenes within The Hobbit which we read aloud together as a family within the last year, a discussion about what it would be like to hike the AT (we met a young man who was doing just that as he was sitting down to re-don his hiking boots after crossing the river shoe-less), and countless other benefits.

Where did you take your last walk in the woods?

10 comments:

  1. What an awesome experience! I've never been an "outdoor" person, but I really want to start offering more experiences like this to my children.

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    1. Oh but I bet you find lots of other ways to achieve the family benefits I refer to right? Thanks for stopping by, Brittney!

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  2. Beautiful waterfall! The woods are my happy place, though we haven't ventured far afield yet, we have lots of hikable places in our town.

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    1. Wonderful - what a gift you are giving your kiddos!

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  3. AWE-SOME! It looks amazing! That is an experience my family would love. It is absolutely stunning! Time outdoors with my family is one of my most favorite things to do. It nourishes my soul! I am especially looking forward to the crisp fall air!

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    1. Me too! Bring on that crisp fall air!

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  4. Wow -- sounds and looks magical!

    We have just moved into a house that has a wee bit of woods in the back...so luckily we hike the woods at each whim. We feel very lucky!

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    1. How wonderful! Thanks for stopping by!! Enjoy your woods!

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  5. wild swimming is the best!! We used to swim on Dartmoor each summer and always had our favourite woods and pools to visit!

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    1. I LOVE that term - wild swimming! I will use it now!!! Thank you for stopping by :)

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