Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Eternal Flame.....and I don't mean the song...

Today we decided since we all had the day off that we would do a fun family activity.  We had already been to the apple farm on Saturday and spent the last two days together just hanging out. 
We decided to do a “quick hike.” 
Now, I promise, we are outdoor people.  We hike, camp and love the outdoors in general. 

But today?  You would have thought it was the first time we had ever taken 6 kids hiking with us.

Oh wait- it was the first time we’ve ever taken 6 kids hiking.

It was more like a natural disaster, which, usually we do pretty well with, and today was no different.  Have you ever tried to herd six cats?  That's about the most concrete description I can give it.  But it sure was funny, in a crazy, dirty, what the heck were we thinking, kinda way.

We waited til it cleared up and once again, proved just how BEAUTIFUL New York is!  My amazing husband did some research after we decided to go to Chestnut Ridge State park and he found a short trail, that he thought was short, but clearly, was much longer than he realized.  The hike leads you on a what would normally be a very nice, clear, wide, trail, all the way to the a site that has a waterfall with a flame inside it.  It's called "Eternal Flame" which cracks me up because if any of you are my age or older, you'll recall the song,  'Eternal Flame' by the Bangles and I kept humming it all the way down the trail.  Needless to say, I was getting on someone's nerves pretty badly at one point....(but it made me laugh outloud!!)  The trail and flame are pretty cool.  But it’s been raining.  A lot.  And even though we waited til it cleared up, the trail was still a TAD muddy. 

We also seemed to have forgotten what it’s like to hike with an infant because neither one of us even THOUGHT about bringing the backpack or the little front carry pack.  Seriously?  How can you hike carrying a baby?  The first thing my husband said was, “Do you want to try to bring the stroller?” 

I must of looked at him with this “Who the heck are you?” kind of look, because he quickly said, “Well, I thought I read it was a nice wide clear path.”
Looking back now, we both can laugh our tooshies off- because that trail was ANYTHING but clear and wide and smooth….

On the contrary, there was lots of roots, steep drops, steps, dead trees blocking the trail, and water every which way we turned.  Which the kids absolutely loved.
We really didn’t have too much trouble until we headed back from the oohing and ahhing over the “eternal flame.”  Suddenly, everyone had to pee and we needed to find a spot off the beaten path to allow the younger ones to pee. 

Standing in front of the "eternal flame"
Now, I’m 40 years old and have hiked and “pottied” in the woods for a pretty long time.  Sorry if this is TMI, but I’m keeping it real for you. I don't want for one second that you think we are ALWAYS the perfect family...  I thought when my husband took the younger girls to the back of the trail, he’d be able to help them, but what happened next, is only typical for our family.  My 10 year old runs back yelling that the 5 year old has proceeded to pee all over herself.  Sure enough, as she emerged with my husband and the 8 year old, her pants were SOAKED!  Good grief.  The first thought was, of course, I have no extra clothes for the 5 year old.  Time for some good ole fashioned creativity.  I’ll be sure to post her picture of her makeshift outfit, that she wore with quite a bit of dignity and never once complained, well, except once when it was falling down and her bootie was hanging out in the back. 
the "make shift" outfit...

My 13 & 12 year olds...

But we survived that ordeal and once back to the van, we laughed again about the stroller idea and headed back into the park to find a picnic table for dinner.  We were all famished.  

We had a great time and really enjoyed seeing the beauty of yet another spot we have “discovered” here.  Can’t wait to go back, with extra clothing of course…

You can see Canada from here!!!

Perfect sunset in a beautiful place!

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