Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Alphabet Adventures: H is for Hike

Last week became pretty busy as we tried to enjoy the end of our summer days with several social outings and events. We did manage to fit in one of our Alphabet Adventures over the weekend. H is for Hike! Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate as much as we would have hoped. But we didn't let it "dampen" our spirits and luckily, we all have a great sense of humor.

Big Brother opening the clue bag (he already had a sense of what we were doing) and using the binoculars from the clue. 
The Adventure
We had known from the beginning we wanted to do a hike for the letter H. We live an area where there  are lots of different hikes to choose from, so we had been debating where we would go for a few weeks. I have to admit, in the end our deciding factor was a yard sale which had been advertised south of us that sounded too good to pass up. So we settled on a hike that meant we could do both.

We packed a picnic, filled some water bottles, and loaded our backpacks. Little Brother rode for the first time in the frame pack. This was a more comfortable fit for this adventure than the front pack we tend to use. We were excited to try this as we really haven't hiked on this type of trail as a family yet.

Although the weather looked beautiful as we headed out, and the forecast had been promising, the sky became darker and there were a few sprinkles as we climbed further up the mountain. From the beginning, this wasn't our smoothest adventure. We had forgotten sweatshirts and rain jackets, and it was pretty cool with the sprinkles. (Luckily I had a few of mine in the car, including one that could fit Big Brother and one in the diaper bag for Little Brother.) Little Brother needed to nurse shortly after getting onto the trail and everyone was ready for lunch much earlier than expected. But we stayed positive, stopped when we needed to, and tried to keep moving upwards. Big Brother stuck with the bumpy trail, loved exploring some of the trees and rocks on the side, and scaling the rockier part near the top. The trail proved to be a great one for little feet to do primarily on their own.

Unfortunately, as we reached the summit and we were admiring the view we could see a true rainstorm rolling in. Pretty quickly it started dropping giant, fat raindrops on our heads.

We found a small cluster of trees which provided good coverage from the rain and started our picnic. 

And then we heard the loud thunder claps . . . a definite no-go for our hike. We packed everything back up, and headed as quickly and safely as we could down the mountain. 

We made great time as we moved down the mountain, and even had time to find some more "H" words: help, home, hand, hop, and hurry. Once off the summit we were sheltered from the rain by the trees and the thunder started to move away from us. Of course, shortly before reaching the bottom the rain stopped completely. We were able to slow down and enjoy the end of the hike. 

Once home we extended our hike by reading Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D.B. Johnson. We liked how Henry had time to enjoy his hike by connecting to nature and relaxing. 

The Project
It took a few days this time but we did follow up with an "H" project as well: H is for heart. For this project I cut out a heart for Big Brother from orange card stock. I collected three heart shaped paper punches, a glue stick, and scraps of colored card stock.  

He used the punches to cut out smaller hearts and the glue stick to add them to the larger heart. Although the punches took some effort from him, punches are a great way for building hand and forearm strength. These muscles are important for a variety of skills including (but not limited to) writing with a pencil, dressing with buttons and zippers, and doing projects with small parts. 

With some guidance and tips he was able to punch quite a few hearts. He added them to the big heart which will go into our family book.  

So although it was a slightly more bumpy Alphabet Adventure, it was definitely a memorable one filled with humor, helping hands, and of course, heart. 

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  1. Weather in New England always adds to every hiking adventure��, it always makes it more memorable when it doesn't always run smoothly and sometimes it adds to the excitement. It looks like BB enjoyed himself even with the rain.

    1. I agree, you never know what you're going to get for weather. Usually I over pack for that very reason, but not for this hike unfortunately. BB did love it, he can't wait to go again. And the grownups really liked it too!