Marissa's 4th grade class went on their field trip today. It was to some "Ecology Center". I signed up to chaperone, since I like to be with them when I can.
Little did I know that we would be hiking.
I think the teachers purposly "forgot" to mention this part, in fear that parents wouldn't volunteer.
I don't hike, but yet I find myself to have hiked twice in one month.
How is that??
When we get there our tour guide tells us we'll be hiking to a stream. (Marissa's in the green jacket)
We passed this pretty little spot. Shortly after we rounded a bend & there was a oddly dressed lady sitting on the ground meditating or something. Strange.
Still not to the stream......and we're headed UPHILL.
We finally get to the stream & the guide tells the kids to pair up & scoop the stream for micro-organisims. Soon we hear the kids yelling about their "discoveries". I stayed at a safe distance....especially once the boys started collecting worms. bleh!
When they were done, the guide told the kids about their finds. Then a different tour guide took on on the "real" hike.
Great. Can't wait.....to go home.
We set off on a pretty decent pace, but soon enough me & the other moms were far behind. They stopped for a short water break & we met back up with them, but once we started again we ate their dust. In our defense, we were making sure we didn't step on any snakes. (that's my story anyway)
At one point it was pretty steep & we were all huffing & puffing. The sun had come out & though it was shady it was starting to get warm. We were sweating like nobody's business! I was praying my deoderant wouldn't let me down (though I think it was too late for that) & trying to remember to close my mouth as I huffed & puffed my way up...so I wouldn't catch any bugs.
That kind of extra protein is just not necessary.
We finally hear the kids & see the top.....but we're still a climb away. Some time before this I had kicked it into high gear....so I could catch up to the damn tour guide & toss her off the cliff!!
We finally make it to the top. When we can breathe again, we drink water & take pics.
The view was beautiful. But, not for nothing, I could have googled the view & admired it safely from my computer...at home. I admit to having mean thoughts about the guides & even the teacher around this time.
Then we have to quiet down so we can listen to the wildlife around us. The guide telling us to listen to the birds & nature. After a long while she asked if we heard more birds at the beginning or at the end...blah,blah, blah. Eventually she got to the best part: Going down! (Mean thoughts, I know. Sorta sorry.)
She explained we how we would gain momentum as we hiked down so we should side-step or zig zag our way down. I was paying attention to this part, since I was happy to get down to civilization (though I did get great cell service up there).
Sure enough, the kids blew past us (though we hung back to make sure no kids were left behind). Shortly after taking off there was a slippery boulder on the trail that I was maneuvering down, when I slipped & fell. Landing ever so gracefully on my ass & right hand. My hand taking the brunt of the fall, but the pain, oh! the! pain!, was in my shoulder. Of course, the parents were all there & the teacher, along with a few kids to witness my fall. Marissa was worried, but I made light of it to not scare her.
I was stunned & had the wind knocked out of me, so I sat for a minute & yes, I'll admit, blink back a few tears of humiliation. The grown-ups gave me a hand up & Marissa's teacher took my bag the rest of the way down, though once I got up & stretched I knew I was ok, just sore. I was able to lift & stretch my arm though it was painful, & stiff to do it. I was determined to get down without further drama, so I made light of it & carefully made my way down.
At one point, the 4 of us parents were far behind, taking it slow, when the guide came back for us. I guess she thought we were lost, but she wanted to make sure I was ok & gave me an ice pack, which felt so good! She guided us down the rest of the way since the kids were already down & boy did I stick to her like GLUE! I tried putting my feet in her footsteps to be safe. I was not taking any more chances!
Eventually we make it back & after cleaning up we have lunch. A lot of the kids kept coming up & asking me how I was feeling---apparently news travels FAST!
I found out that we would have hiked that even in the rain, (which had come down hard early in the morning), so I was thankful that it had stayed away. Shortly after we ate, thunder started rolling & then all of a sudden the skies opened up for a quick shower. It was over as fast as it started, but it was enough so that the next part of our trip was re-arranged to be inside a building. Yay!!
Apparently it was the reptile house, or something, & a guide talked to us about turtles & snakes from the area. They brought out a box turtle, then a small snaker, then a large snake that looked like it was trying to escape it's cage. eewww!!!!
Disclaimer: I won't post close-up pics of the snakes, in case you're like my sister that can't even look at pics of them, so don't worry. BUT there is a smaller pic with a snake coming up.
The kids passed around it's snake skin that it had recently shed then as we left, if the kids wanted to touch the snake they could. Marissa was a brave soul. Me? I made sure she used a baby wipe afterward.
We left right after that. I found my seat on the bus & wearily looked forward to taking a shower back home. Marissa sat with me & every now & then would put her head on my good shoulder.
It's moments like that that make the whole trip worth it.
But I wouldn't say no to a foot rub either. ;)