Each year, the month of August marks our most hectic month of the year as we squeeze in lots of last minute activities before school starts, we celebrate our anniversary, Aby’s birthday, the start of Cross Country season, the fall festivals begin and we attempt to remain somewhat sane even though the chaos moves at full throttle.
One of my favorite places locally is Matthiessen State Park in Utica, Illinois. A friend and I just made a short day trip there with our kids on Friday. I must say it took some guts resolve to go on an adventure like this with 6 kids but they did great! The first photo starting on the left is: Kate, Nora, Tommy, Quinn, Michael & Aby.
The last time Aby and I were at Matthiessen was right before I became pregnant with Michael in November of 2008. It’s been a long time, and Aby looks so young in the photos, plus there was water then and in each previous trip but none this time around.
This trip was quite different than those in the past for many reasons, first we went with another family, second, we didn’t take Libby the Weimaraner and third, the Midwest is experiencing a drought. The normally cool running waters were non-existent. So while I stupidly hyped the kids for waterfalls and amazing water play, we instead were hiking dry creek beds and able to stand in places were the water is normally deep and flowing fast. Here is our crew, standing at the top of a dry waterfall which normally would be slippery and non-traversable.
Here is how it might look on a normal different day.
I do think it was much safer easier for us with less water because it was hard to keep the kids close. They kept running off without much regard to Amy and I yelling at asking them to stay with us. So we saw a lot of them from behind but at least we didn’t have to worry about them slipping and drowning falling.
Overall, it was an amazing trip and I’m so glad that we went. I like just getting out to let the kids run somewhat free and connect with nature. I also think that when we return, we will have a greater appreciation for the beauty of the free flowing water which we greatly missed this time around.
This was my favorite photo of the trip. I love the intricacy of the natural stone work combined with the start of the bridge.
Huge shout out to Amy C. for being brave enough to make the trip to us!
Where is your favorite place to hike?
** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** firstname.lastname@example.org