Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Wander-er has returned.

I had to take Lily back home to Wausau, she had to go to Middle School Orientation.

Whoa, does that ever make me feel old!

When we got to her town early we decided to go check out a place that I'd been wanting to visit since last year when Lily and I took our October adventure on Rib Mountain.
I am drawn to water, and love rocks and water. Give me a stream and rocks and some rapids and I can be happy for hours.

Lily and I only stayed a short time, but what we saw made us determined to return.

And we did so on Saturday afternoon.

Welcome to the Dells of Eau Claire

The scenery was fantastic. The kids were fascinated by things they found along the river.

This was just below the dam and foot bridge. The kids stopped to look at crayfish and frogs, along with snails and other creepie crawly things.

We eventually made our way down the North trail and I kept getting side tracked by the amazing fungi I kept finding.

I found a lot of Coral Fungi growing next to the path. The hardest part about photographing it was finding intact fungi. The folks who were hiking the trail must not have looked at what they were stepping on. 

A few times Sterling would be curious as to what I was doing crouched so low to the ground and he would come running. He is not yet two years old, so I didn't expect him to understand that I didn't want him to step on the fungi either.

It was a challenge to get a shot of the fungi before he stepped on it trying to look into the camera lens.

Elena had just turned 3 and she had an idea that this 'stuff' was pretty special. She'd ask, "What is that Mamma?"
I'd tell her "Fungi!" and she'd wrinkle her nose. Of course she wanted to touch everything.

Elena helped me set up The Doe and Fox near some Coral Fungi. She enjoyed playing with grandma's toys.

Her favorite toy ended up being the green iguana. She carried that on the rest of the hike. I was afraid she'd lose it, but never fear, when Elena has something she wants, ...she doesn't let go of it.
I was surprised that she actually gave it back to me when I asked.

Both of the little ones loved the trail we walked on. It actually was not a difficult trail at all. Sterling kept taking off like a rocket. His new found freedom of running without a parent yelling at him to stop was probably in the back of his mind.

We found spots along the river to explore and even a spot to just stop and enjoy the rushing water.

It was relaxing. My son Jer loved the place. I hope he decides to come back often as it is only about 20 or so minutes from his apartment.

Before we realized it, ... it was 5pm and we had only gone perhaps a half mile along the trail. We headed back towards the parking lot amidst the little ones' protests.

I decided that a potty break would be a good thing before the trip back.
Elena turned 3 just a couple of weeks ago and is potty trained. So I asked if she wanted to go.
We went in to a stall.

Elena took one look at the pit toilet and let out a yowl! "NO NO NO, I don't have to go! I want out, I want out!"

If you've ever been to a pit toilet in the summer, well, you know they stink and the drop from the seat looks terrifying.

Note to self. Elena would rather squat in the woods than use a pit toilet. And I don't blame her one bit.

I found out that these little ones will be like Lily. Good little adventure-ers. [I'm not sure that is a real word, but I'm going to use it anyway.]

Sunday morning came along and I had to head home. I had to work on Monday morning. My time with the kids and my wandering had come to an end.

However, I'm going to keep the Dells of Eau Claire on my list. I'd like to see it again in the winter.
Perhaps I will go if I wander north again to visit the little ones this fall or near Christmas time.

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