Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I can officially call them kids!

We're taking advantage of the great weather we're having here and heading for the mountains at every opportunity!

This was the view from our latest hike.
Can you see that little dark car parked in the shade under the trees?
That's ours!  
Yes, we really climbed to the very top of the mountain-well almost!

This is the Steenberg Plateau Hike. 
We don't use a hiking book as our guide-we follow our noses and choose hikes which we've passed by when driving on the roads in our area. 
When we started the hike my first thought was: "Perhaps we should be consulting a hiker's guide! This route looks a little too challenging for our little hikers!"

But they proved me wrong!

 We applied old lessons we've learnt about hiking with children and learnt a lot of new tricks too.....

#1. Share your love for God's creativity:

There were new Proteas to admire.

#2.  Enjoy the spectacular views.

#3. Make up names for rock features: God's Dice

#4. Problem solve survival skills:
It's hot mommy!
What can we do, there's not much shade?
Snuggle up to low lying bushes.

#5. Renew relationships with old friends seen on previous hikes: Ericas.

#6. And when the going gets tough and the top just never seems to come-
the beach (way down there) becomes the goal, the reward for perseverance.

#7. Dad also tried distraction: Just look at that Kangaroo rock!

#8. And encouragement: Wow, we're so high now you can see Table Mountain peaking over the top of this mountain!

#9. And Mom (who was taking strain too), tried to distract dad from walking up so fast by getting him to take photos of all (read any!) beautiful flowers.

And eventually he was convinced to stop when his, "It's just over the next hill" was greeted with......
another hill?
 No, mountain!!!!

So we sat in the shade of the only rock we could find and refreshed ourselves.
It had taken an hour and a half to reach this point with two little hikers who had clambered over every rock they could find-even though mom kept saying:
 conserve your energy, (#10) find the easiest route!

Yes, there had been a little complaining about the heat.....
but never the difficulty of the climb.
So they can officially be called mountain goats (kids).

And when we turned around to head back home.....

I hobbled down the mountain side on wobbly legs,
while they merrily hopped from rock to rock!
Oh, to be young again!
(from bottom to top 1hour 30 min......from top to bottom 30 min!)

On shaky legs-I'm not kidding you, they're still sore today!-I propped myself against the sign at the start/end of the trail and asked Ray to take a picture from the bottom up so that I could get a perspective on just how high we'd hiked.
But this doesn't really give you a clear picture of where we got to.......

so when he was coming home from work on Monday he stopped and took this photo on the highway:

Do you see the ridge in the middle?
We hiked from the start of that to where the two points meet!
Pretty impressive hey?!

And I learnt my final hiking lesson for the day:

#11. Always consulting a guide limits spontaneity and the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons along the way.

And that folks, is your home schooling lesson for today!