Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shshshsh! Don't tell them it's educational!

We were concerned that the kids might be underwhelmed with this trip. They have been here before, it’s unseasonably cold, and we’re getting up early and spending long, busy days at the park. But so far they have been very enthusiastic. They protest if we even suggest skipping a hike or seeing a certain formation. They are old enough to do some of the longer hikes now, and we did make sure everyone had gloves, caps and warm jackets.

Typically, Dudeman is the trailblazer, leading the way and hollering at the rest of us to hurry up. Dad follows him. I’m stopping to take pictures, so they don’t even bother to wait for me anymore. And Supersim is stopping to notice the little details: a furry little black and orange spider, a lizard, animal scat, a good patch of cryptobiotic soil.

She also loves to name things. When we came back down from the Spectacles trail, I pointed out a rounded pillar and said, “Doesn’t that one look kind of like a Native American clay pot?” Supersim (who was waiting for me at the bottom of the trail) said, “That’s what I just said! Let’s name that one Potter’s Rock.”

Both kids get very indignant when they see someone break the rules. The graffiti on the petroglyphs and scratched into rock surfaces really makes them mad. “Who would do that?” “Why did someone mess it up?” They were horrified when a man wandered way off the trail just to get a better photo of his girlfriend. “What’s wrong with that man?” “Doesn’t he know he’s damaging the soil?” He probably doesn’t know or care, but I’m proud that my kids are more respectful of nature.

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