On Wednesday, I spent the day with Miles and two other boys combing the local state park for markers as part of their orienteering study for 8th grade Science. No trail hiking here, this was the real deal, deep in the woods with spider webs and their makers and who knows what around the hill or behind a clump of trees. I was very brave and only squealed once. (Well that’s not really true, but I did try really hard.)
Miles was a really good orienteer. He pretty much lead our group for 3 hours to all of our markers to retrieve the initials written on each one. For the first two, we missed the marker initially, but we did eventually find them. Near the end of our time, we even rescued a group of girls who were hopelessly lost. They slowed us down and we were a tad late for lunch. (One boy in our group was about to drive me crazy reminding me over and over what time it was.) It was no big deal really, other than it meant we didn’t get to sit for more than 10 minutes before we had to move on and hike up to a natural bridge and then into a cave.
I’ll tell you this though, as good as shape I thought I was, trekking through the woods, over steep hills and streams, through tall grass and lots of brush is a serious workout. I was so beat and really was just dumbfounded at how tired I was when I got home.
But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Now that he is in 8th grade, there are hardly any opportunities like these and I really did totally enjoy the experience. Here are a few of my favorite photos of the day. I only brought my small point and shoot because I knew the terrain might be a little treacherous and Miles wanted to make sure I wouldn’t embarrass him by being his paparazzi. I tried my best not to be too intrusive or troublesome. 🙂
I think the most exciting part of the day was going into the cave. We have hiked, as a family, all around this area many times and have only ever peeked into the cave. I would have never gone in there, in knee high water, without a guide. We could only go half way into the cave because the water got too deep from all the rain we had the previous weekend. Truly, an unbelievable experience!!
After the cave trip, they did a stream study. This is where I probably most embarrassed Miles, but I just couldn’t help myself. While a teacher was lecturing about the invertebrates they would most likely find in the stream, I walked over to a tree nearby to lean against. After just a minute, I saw this humungous spider with what turned out to be a giant bright blue egg sack on it’s back. I made some type of audible sound, (I can’t remember if I squealed or said, “OMG”.) Either way, the teacher came over to look at the spider, declared it was a wolf spider and all the kids came over to have a look. I was really embarrassed for causing a scene. Later, Miles just kind of shook his head at me. He said, “Leave it to you to find the biggest spider in the woods.” They must know how much I love them. NOT!!
And finally, I managed to find little pieces of time this week to get another Project 12 layout done. Still using my basic sketch, which I’m so happy I created, but went a little more graphic this month and left off the flowers. I also changed the “what we did” journaling spot into a circle. Really happy with it. 🙂