Monday, September 12, 2005

Red Rocks

We decided to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and go to Red Rock today for some hiking. Also, I needed to check if a certain spot was open yet for the Life Learners event next week (it wasn't, so plan B will be in effect). We went to the visitors center and when we were walking towards the door there was a woman with what appeared to be a very large desert tortoise next to her on the ground. As we got closer she was saying to other people around her that the tortoise was dead and freeze dried and that she used it for a presentation earlier. I asked if the girls could touch it, since A was hanging on me asking me to ask. She said sure and both girls went up and touched the shell. A said it felt scaly. Then we headed in to revisit the visitor center. In the little museum they have, E was looking at a tank that held two types of lizards. One of them was active and digging around in the sand. E was right up next to the tank and had her hand on the spot where the lizard was. It looked like it was trying to dig out of the tank to either be with E or to attack her! She said it loved her.

We went outside to see if the non-dead tortoises where out of their burrows and one was. He entertained the girls for a few minutes and then we headed back to drive on to our hiking spot. A picked the spot this time. She wanted to climb on the rocks and play in the sand in our "secret" canyon. We had a great time climbing all over the rocks and picnicking on the soft cool sand in the shade of the canyon. Then we headed further up the trail than we have been before to do some more exploring. Lots more rock climbing was done and some cool spots were found. At one point we heard a strange noise and discovered a bunch of quail hanging out in some bushes below us as we peered over the edge of a huge rock. We also saw several little lizards.

Both girls were really into the climbing and hiking and did not complain once about being tired. I was actually the one to get tired first! While we drove home, A said she really liked hiking and that we needed to go hiking more. I guess they are finally getting old enough to enjoy the whole process. A and I made plans to come back on our own some weekend morning and go for a longer hike. She is growing up so fast!

Once we got home, we all crashed a bit in front of tv and computer. We were worn out. After we all recovered a bit, the whole family pitched in to clean up the house, which had managed to get very cluttered in three days. It was a good day.

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