Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday Morning Hike at the Rose Bowl

Saturday mornings are for hiking.  About 4 months ago, we started going hiking again for the first time in ages.  We had done some of it when GG and LW were little but then life happened, like it does, and it fell to the wayside.  Then we had Bunny and Bug who were too young to hike and pushing a stroller down trails was challenging.  We did get one of those backpack carriers, but with two kids, and my bad back, that didn't exactly work out either.  But, it seems The Tweedles are now both old enough to hike between 4-8 miles without too much drama and whining so we try to go at least once a weekend.

We do this for a couple of reasons.  The first and foremost being, I really love to hike.  I like the quiet time with the family, getting to see places you don't normally get a chance to visit.  There's always a surprise on every hike whether it's seeing deer or an amazing view.  There's also giving the kids an opportunity to experience nature.  Camping is harder to schedule, but a hike is done in a few hours and gives the same flavor.

We also want to create exercise habits for The Tweedles.  If we can keep it up through their childhood, maybe by the time they're teens it will be so ingrained they'll just keep doing it.  And hiking, unlike team sports, martial arts, swimming etc. is relatively inexpensive.  All it takes is the gas money to get there, a water bottle and a good pair of sneakers.  Oh sure, you can run to REI and spend thousands on specialty shoes, hiking poles, backpacks, camelpaks and trail food.  But you don't need to.  The great thing about hiking as a sport is that you work on your endurance and build leg and stomach muscles.  All thing you need in case of an apocalypse... or if you're just still trying to lose the baby weight, 4 years later.

Yesterday, we hit the Tad Williams Trail near the Rose Bowl.

Not somewhere you would typically think of for hiking, but there are all sorts of fun trails in the woods surrounding the stadium.  We ended up hiking about 4 miles round trip and saw a fair amount of bird wildlife.  We came across this pretty big duck flock kickin' it in the stream along the trail.

And found this mama and her ducklings in the aqueduct itself.

We saw tons of hummingbirds and even managed to find this little guy sitting still for 1/2 a second...

.. before flying off.

I even found a pretty cool looking Bug playing king of the mountain.

Or maybe he was just taking a break.  Hard to say.

I do have to say, I am partial to the Daddy/Daughter animals that were roaming the trails.

But I think the Bug is ultimately my favorite.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

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