Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mandatory Outdoor Day

Today we made the kids go outside.  It didn't matter what the activity was, but it was going to happen outdoors.  The big kid decided that he did not want to go for a bike ride around Lake Monona and lunch in Madison.  Sounded kind of nice to me, but....

Next idea, and one I figured they couldn't pass up, was to drive to Devils Lake State Park, have a picnic lunch, then hike up the bluffs and maybe catch some geocaches.  Zack had no opinion, and Kevin said "I suppose" so we had a WINNER.

Since everyone has different preferences for sandwiches, lunch was the closest Milio's Sandwiches.  The store in Baraboo was a combination gas station, Milio's, and grocery store.  A FULL grocery store, not an expanded convenience store.  Chad said he wished there were lots of these, as it would be the ultimate stop during a long bike ride.  There was everything you needed, all in one place.  We picked up subs, chips, drinks, and cookies.  Kevin also wanted potato wedges out of the hot case at the grocery store, and he ate those in the car on the short drive to the state park.

Zack eating a Skinny Godfather minus cheese add Doritos?

After the picnic lunch, we packed the backpack and headed to the trails.  Kevin wanted to carry the backpack, with all the drinks, camera, sunscreen, etc, etc, etc.  Chad and I had no trouble letting him, and quickly adjusted the straps for him.  He was like our pack mule, constantly being stopped along the hike so someone could dig the needed item out of the pack on his back.

We hiked the West Bluff Trail (1.4 miles) and the Tumbled Rocks Trail (1.0 miles).  There were a lot of stairs on the climb up the bluff, but the views from the top were amazing as always.  We found a couple geocaches, both pretty easy spots.  Picked up a travel bug that we will move along. 

Zack was cruising in his Vibram Five Fingers. On the way down the bluff he started running out ahead of me.  I jogged to keep him in sight.  This started a whole family run down the hill.  Zack said his legs just felt like running.  I worried that one of the kids would trip on the rocks or roots in the trail and land on their heads, but luckily everyone survived without injury.  At one steep point, Zack yelled repeatedly, "I can't stop, my legs won't stop."  There was nothing I could do, but it was just so funny that Kevin and I couldn't stop laughing as we all sprinted down the hill after him.  I was surprised he did so well in the Five Fingers, but he did take a break once telling me his hips hurt.  What?  How does he even know hips?  About 30 seconds and he was recovered.

Cool Dude
Zack needed to touch the water
Back to the beach at the north shore, then some treats at the camp store and we were headed home.  The park is celebrating 100 years of existence as a state park this year.  There are some special events, and we may head back up soon to try and complete some of them.  One is a 10 mile hike log, that will earn each of us a special wooden nickle.  The other is a geocache event that takes cachers to many historic sites throughout the park with a brochure of historic pictures to reflect with.  Better get up there soon though, before the mosquitoes get too bad.