Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Quest for In Yan Teopa Rock

Yesterday started out as a typical geocaching adventure to Frontenac State Park. However, the cache was super easy to find, so we decided to continue our adventure and hike some trails.

The trail that we were on, forked and we decided to continue on Trail A to quest for the river valley and In Yan Teopa rock. The river bottom was very cool with lots of interesting textures, tree roots, and even bones. We saw fish bones and the bones of a medium-sized mammal. I took lots of pictures of the interesting swirls in the trees. This is one of my favorites with the texture of the rock next to a worn tree root:
The trail to the river valley bottom/shoreline was a one way path and would have required significant backtracking, so we made the call to hike the 0.3 miles up the shoreline to the next path from the river bottom back up to our trail. We thought it was a safe decision since the mood of the boys seemed exuberant and full of adventure like this picture of Ethan captures:

However, that it might not have been the wisest decision. The walking was not easy and the boys started to get very grumpy. The path back up to Trail A was not the easiest and compounded the grumpiness as evidenced in this photo:
Note: Alexander did find a cool rope along the shoreline!

Remember, our goal was to make it to In Yan Teopa rock which was another .7 miles away. We were all hot and sweaty and the boys were super grumpy (as demonstrated above). The distance doesn't sound like much, but the terrain was difficult and the ups and downs on the bluff made it really tough. Before we could see the rock, we had to climb out of the river valley and up the bluff. It had at least 5 switchbacks which means it was steep, long, and tiring!!!! By the time we were nearing the top, all of us were saying, "This rock better be worth it." At one point during a quick rest, I looked at a big rock near us and said, "That better not be the damn rock" and Alexander replied with "Where's the damn rock?" Ooops!! LOL!!! Well, the rock was worth it. I was leading the line, turned on a switch back and gasped. This is what we saw:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

1st Day of School!

The first day of 2nd and 5th grade were a success for Alexander and Ethan, respectively. Alexander really enjoyed Amigo, the multi-age learning classroom that Ethan just graduated from. He professed that it is MUCH better than Kindergarten or 1st grade! As a 5th grader, Ethan has to do a service project all year. He was selected to be a crossing guard.

Here are the boys!

Here is a VERY serious crossing guard who wouldn't even acknowledge his mother as she crossed his crossing area!

Monday, September 01, 2008

New Obsession

Yes, hard to believe, but we have a new obsession: geocaching! Check out; our username is make_mn. It all started last weekend at Sibley State Park when Kirsti's husband, Mike, taught us how to geocache! The state park program caches include coupons for 40% off of handheld gps. We got our last week and have now visited 23 caches in 3 days. Our legs are exhausted and we all have scratches to prove that there is some work behind it.

Only one cache today, but it was a great find because it had our first Travel Bug in it! We were at Fort Snelling State Park for an end of summer picnic, a swim, and a multi-cache search. The TB has been logged as found and now we need to drop it off at another cache at a state park that it hasn't visited yet! Where should we go????

Here are the boys with the travel bug from the Fort Snelling cache:

I have taken several more pictures of finds and will post them when I get a chance. Of course, I still need to upload pics from the State Fair, but it is time to get ready for the first day of school tomorrow!