Monday, September 19, 2016

Third Trek for the Family in Just As Many Days!


Our view on the way to our hike adventure!
This way too large house really stuck
out surrounded by desert.


Layered mountains all around us!










Hello Luvs,

So....yes....I am bringing you another blog already! Ya might have thought that I would take some time off since it is the weekend, and I had a crazy hike today. I had layer upon layer of dirt on me afterward. So much that my kiddos kept bringing it up. No, I do not get special treatment from them. Even if I am the one who makes sure they have yumminess prepared and placed in front of them. Or that I am the one who kisses and takes care of their boo-boos! 
Can you see the bike
chain pulls?

This center's bldg. is a work of art...!

If you are new to the blog the goal is to share with you many things. One of those is letting you know about great family friendly activities in the areas we visit. Since our family is tackling a roadschooling more nomadic lifestyle and you, my Luvs, get to experience them through reading HPWT. This additional blog is coming so soon because I couldn't wait to share with you the place we visited today.



With the special polarized plastic.
Art installation before looking
through special plastic.
In the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area is Mount Charleston. Traveling to where locals spend their time avoids (90% of the time) dealing with things like higher prices, serious pedestrian congestion, and helps find areas that tend to be taken care of just a little better.  We do try to follow this in whichever state we venture. Today proved that when doing this the reward is amazing. 
Baby Girl decided to take
a pic!



A visitor inside the bldg.
The visit started off with a trip to the Welcome Center. There are several interactive items for visitors along with tons of information on how they try to make the most of the natural elements/resources around them. As we fluttered around inside we saw bobcats, butterflies, beautiful bluebirds, and owls all of which were not alive (except for our friend the grasshopper <---) but still glorious to look at. The kiddos liked watching the videos about the area. The Hubster noticed that their automated windows had what looked like bike chains as the material that reels them in. There is so much to take in even thought the Center is fairly small. To learn more about it please go to this link: http://www.gomtcharleston.com.
These markers led to the
area below.
The use of natural resources
was amazingly beautiful!


After about forty minutes there we headed up to the Cathedral Trail. We were very happy to find that everything was easy to get to. This trail had folks on it but was manageable. The only little hiccup was that THE ROCKS were NOT ATTACHED TO THE GROUND! Of course they would not be embedded...but these were different than the ones we normally come across. They were not large enough to step on when ascending or descending, but too big to make any type of even surface. We were slipping and sliding just a bit. When there was an ooh or aah moment you had to be careful to watch where you were stepping so that you didn't slide to the side or loose footing. Other than that....the trees changing colors, the sun shading the sides of the mountains, and the natural vegetation were awe inspiring and begged to be photographed. So you will have to forgive me for the crazy amount you will have thrown at you throughout the blog. One thing that we were shocked about was that the area is not classified as a National Park. We have been to our fair share of National Parks and Mount Charleston holds tight with them. Oh, and getting up to the Cathedral takes about an 1.5 hours each way. Make sure to bring a hat (they have a filling station right outside the Center) and water along with wearing good walking shoes. 
Coyote prints were placed
in different areas.
This was part of the circle
installation honoring
Native Tribes.

Speaking of shoes....there is a Lad (@ASmartLad that is!) on twitter who has the best recommendations for trekking, climbing, clothing (including hoodies), backpacks, and shoes/boots among other things. Most of the time they are listed by in Top 3 which makes a decision easier than say a Top 10 list. He reviews the items and gives valuable feedback which takes out the guesswork. There are so many times I read or hear about that sound too good to be true. Then you turn around and discover after purchase that there was a little something that was not right and in fact it was....say it with me....TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! By popping online you can read about his experience (or ask him to review your item) and not buy it blindly. How awesome is that! If you are an already active person/family or wish to get out and explore nature you should definitely hop online and read what he has to say: thesmartlad.com
Always enjoy watching the
kids learn about a new area.
Off we went to explore the mountain.
                                                          
Now the rating for S.M.N.R.A.: Rated 1-5 (with 1 being the lowest)


Convenience- 5 We were able to reach the Center in thirty minutes with well maintained roads all the way.
Staff- 4 The gentlemen answered questions when asked. One was having a conversation with another visitor(?) and some profanity was spoken.
Trails- 3.8 Would have been higher if not for those pesky rocks. This might be an issue for older visitors or those who have an issue with agility.
Kid-friendly- 4 Children will come across so many things to look at, but parents should be mindful because of the rocks. The incline is gradual which is wonderful. Taking a quick break every 15-20 minutes should help with stamina on everyone's part.

Spots of yellow were throughout.
Natural vegetation at it's loveliest.

Taking advantage of National Parks and Recreation Areas is a way to get outside (one of my constant hashtags), enjoy family time, and see just how amazing the world around us is. Maybe doing this will inspire more to take even greater care of this precious world we all share.



Til next time,

Kat






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