For the second year in a row, I took all of the kids away for a day trip so that Debbie could spend some time alone, planning out Home Schooling and otherwise getting organized.
I took the kids out on a geocache run. Our goal: to find the Official Historic Geocache at three different state parks.
– (Marriage Advice) I recommend helping out your wife in this way.
– (Results) We made our goal.
– (State Park Advice) I have been meaning to write a post about the best State Parks in Minnesota but here is a tip: Think Eastern Border. There are 17 State Parks on the Easter edge of Minnesota and 16 of them are either on Lake Superior, The Mississippi River, or The St. Croix River. These are all great.
– (main story) When we were looking at the last of the three geocaches, the GPS was pointing us across a large prairie. We found a trail that was pointing in the right way and headed down it. It was bringing us right there – only 1000 feet away.
But soon we were discovering that it wasn’t a prairie so much as a wetland. We found that we had to choose our steps carefully to not get our feet muddy. And then we had to choose our steps carefully to not get our feet wet. And a few times I had to carry our kids.
Now, if I had to do it over again, I would have gone a different way (the long way). But when things began to get a little impossible, we had been hiking for twenty minutes and were only about 250 feet away from the cache. This turned out to be the hardest 250 feet I’ve ever hiked.
The last 100 feet, I was effectively wading, because I was heavy enough to step through the weeds with every step. Everyone’s feet were soaked. We were swimming through tall weeds (bulrushes, they called them). At one point I sunk down up to my knee and had to put down my daughter and grab at branches to get myself out.
But what pleased me was the fact that the kids seemed to be having fun, or at least they were enjoying the challenge. Our youngest cried a bit towards the end (there were some sharp weeds that cut him) but otherwise there were no tears. And they all talked excitedly the whole way back to the car (we took the long way) about what they had just been through and how they wanted to tell their mom.
It was almost worth the fact that we’ll probably have to buy a few pairs of shoes and socks and maybe jeans and jackets to replace the ones we wrecked.
As we put them to bed, our oldest said “I feel like church was yesterday”. It has indeed been a long day.