A couple weeks ago I was scheduled to work a Friday afternoon, Saturday and Monday morning. And since I was going to be busy all that time and the weather was gorgeous, we planned a quick hiking adventure the morning before I had to be gone. We'd heard from a couple friends that a good place to go hiking was the Rock Mazes up Nemo Road, not far at all from our house. And actually, we were looking for a Christmas tree up there last year but despairing after what seemed like too long a drive, we pulled over and found a different place. If we had only kept going a quarter of a mile up the road, we would have found the place. It worked out since our tree last year was the best ever, but this day we finally figured out where we went wrong.
At any rate, that Friday we had been instructed the Rock Maze was somewhere near Steamboat Rock Picnic Area. So we parked and went wandering in search of boulders. There were none to be found in the picnic area but the creek was pretty. We will have to come here during the summer and throw our kids in there.
We again opted to keep Ezra in the stroller instead of carrying him. He's a heavy tank.
I wrongly insisted on walked up this old road to find the boulders. Terry went the other direction and found the correct place just down (east) the road. Oops. In any case, I like to explore.
Here's Terry coming back to tell us he found the place. Evie jump!
Here is a map of the precise location of the Rock Mazes. If only I had thought to do a google search we would have had a much easier time tree hunting and hiking.
So here we are just getting started up the hill towards the boulders.
That's what it looks like from the road.
The kids set to climbing as soon as we reached the outliers.
He's king of the world.
We had no idea where to start. It really is like a maze. We just sort of followed the path back and the kids just kept going. I kept losing them around the corners...
And that was fine and everything except, there was this old pillow in the sheltered area at the beginning of the maze that kind of freaked me out. As if someone was sleeping up there, lying in wait for us around the corners. Upon reflection, perhaps someone left it as a cushion for bouldering climbing... I don't know, but we didn't see anyone else up there that day.
Ezzie was happy to get out of the stroller and do some climbing of his own. But see behind him that weird blue pillow?
We eventually came to the end of the maze area, sort of, and climbed out.
I had them pause for a picture before they ran off south.
The whole place is laid out to the south like this. It's like the edge of a cliff just kept falling off in chunks. Except it's not a cliff. On top of these rocks we were only about 6-10 feet on the ground in the beginning. Towards the end of the rock outcropping it did get to be more of a drop though.
The kids were quite adventurous that day. Even Noah did some stuff that usually he is too timid about like jumping across this gap.
Lots of jumping!
See how the little valleys between rocks aren't very deep? It was pretty safe for everyone except Ezra, who Terry kept off to the left.
Evie is our most adventurous child. She was all over the place. Samuel is always trying to keep up with her and do what she does. I had to help him at this point.
He's always doing something weird with his hands.
Poser and climber.
It was a beautiful day in mid-March. It got up to nearly 80 that day.
Evie found a small outlet in the rocks she was too big to fit through.
So we tried to get Samuel to go through. I think he could've fit but he was too scared and came right back out.
Then Evie climbed out of there.
She looks like such a professional. :)
Noah of course didn't want to be outdone by a girl, and a younger one at that! So he climbed back down there and did it himself.
Ezra has a thing for climbing and jumping off of stuff. He's all over the furniture and tables at home. He wouldn't jumped off everything he could here but Terry kept a good eye on him and only let him tackle the small stuff.
They found another small opening between the rocks back there...
And they went right through it.
This was about as far as we went. The mazes sort of stopped and the drop became greater. It was time for us to head home so I could go to work.
I had not slept well the night before and was grumpy when we started out. It did me good to get out under the sun and into the air.
This is what it's like to hike with a toddler... Plus, Samuel got a splinter and was freaking out in true Samuel form.
We used the camera timer to take a family picture and then ate our sack lunch on the way home.