It’s not often that we get to venture out for a hike in the dead of winter. But a few weeks ago, when my niece and nephew were in town from Texas, the weather was unseasonably warm for this time of year. So we (as in, the whole family — me, Mikey, Teddy, my mom, my dad, my brother and his four kids), bundled up in warm hiking gear and drove about an hour away from St. Louis to Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Illinois to walk some of the trails.
For The Bear, this means an endless sniff festival of leaves and sticks and dirt.
For Mikey, it means pausing every five seconds so that The Bear can mark said leaves, sticks and dirt.
For my mom, it means getting to stretch her legs on a nice long walk. (Walking is a hobby of hers. She’s even on the walking committee at her work.)
For my brother, it means getting to do something fun with all of his kiddos.
For the kiddos, it means seeing new things, exploring and actually, doing something they’ve never done before. This hike marked their very first hike.
And for me and my dad, it means a perfect opportunity to break out the camera and document another family excursion.
Overall, the hike was a great success. The kids definitely enjoyed themselves (The Bear included). So when they come back to visit in the summer, we’ll have to check out another hiking destination together. In the meantime, I hope Old Man Winter will grace us with more 50-degree weather this season — preferably on a weekend when we aren’t chained to our desks and can enjoy it.