Blue Mountain Reservation has many trails I have never hiked, including one that goes to the summit... On October 18th, we went on a hike with our Homeschoolers Nature Class. Mikro and I made it about 95 percent of the way up, but we fell behind at the end, and the trail all but disappeared, so rather than be the ones they had to call out the helicopter for, we waited below. Along the way, we saw leaf galls, bark beetles, a wood frog and lots of beautiful foliage. It was quite a workout, especially for Mikro, who had never before hiked really uneven terrain. He very did well, considering.
Afterwards, I was astonished to find that the kids still had enough energy to run around the playground for another couple of hours before the moms called a halt. At the playground area, we got to see a red tailed hawk attempting to catch a squirrel for lunch. He failed, as the squirrel dived into a nest. Which made the hawk try harder... he almost succeeded in ramming the nest out of the tree, but ultimately, the squirrel escaped. This happened literally right over our heads. Amazing!
After the playground, Mikro and I walked to my friend Leela's and spent the rest of the afternoon socializing and painting and sampling Leela's amazing Indian cooking (well, I did. Mikro stuck to his usual yogurt. Sigh.)
My back hated me for a couple of weeks after the hike, but seeing Mikro so proud of himself for overcoming his fears was worth the price in pain.