Brother and Young Son on the covered bridge flashing peace signs

We have been having some very nice weather. Most days have started out with fog, clearing to warm sun almost every afternoon. A few days we have even woken up to clear skies and sunshine in the morning. I know it will be raining soon, so we have to take advantage of this weather while it lasts. We must have fieldtrips while the sun shines.

Tuesday, we grabbed the opportunity to learn about the great outdoors, outdoors. We drove to the Headwaters Forest Reserve trailhead and set out equipped with water and lunch as well as drawing pads, pencils, and notebooks.

Young Son and Brother picking blackberriesWe hiked and talked about the forest, plants, and animals around us. Our appreciation of nature was high as we picked juicy mouthfuls of blackberries along the way.

Brother and Young Son sitting in the grass with their sketchbooksWe took a break to draw nature pictures and practiced writing and spelling skills by labeling the drawings. With just the three of us and no particular goal in mind, we were able to take our time, stopping to explore or exclaim over anything that caught our attention.

Brother and Young Son smiling with the cache boxA map lead us on a Quest, with clues written in poem pointing out landmarks along the way. The culmination was a cache box which contained a guestbook and pen, where we each signed our names (another handwriting opportunity, woohoo) as well as plastic junior ranger badges (shwag).

All told, we hiked about two miles, for a total of over four hours (and not a single complaint)! We learned that steelhead, coho, and chinook salmon all populate the South Fork Elk river and how to pronounce marbled murrelet, a bit of a tongue twister, and much more. I was super pleased with how well the whole day went.