Climbing Mount Wachusett

We dragged the boys on a hike yesterday.  And I do mean dragged!  From the moment my husband and I started talking about a day trip yesterday morning we knew we wanted to get outside and do something active.  We finally settled on climbing a small mountain. 

I have NEVER climbed to the top of any mountain and I really wanted to set that as our goal for the day.  The boys heard us and immediately started grumbling, whining, and complaining.  We then spent the next hour scrambling around trying to pack lunches, sunscreen, sunglasses, sweatshirts, etc., to get ready.
The hike started off pretty well, but within 10 minutes they all wanted to stop for snack and water.  We agreed, but put our foot down when they wanted to stop 10 minutes after that.  We explained that we couldn't keep stopping every 10 minutes or we'd never make it to the top.  The first 30-40 minutes were full of complaints, grumbling, and even a few tears. 

I was getting super frustrated by all their attitudes and was re-thinking all of our family vacation plans. 

Yet, looking back at our hike they really did enjoy themselves for the most part. 

  • We saw lots of neat plants, some caterpillars and silkworms, toads, caves, and neat rock formations.  
  • Several times throughout the hike we had to cross the ski trails and saw some amazing views, the chair lifts, and even the snow making equipment. 
  • We talked about the water and mud on the trails, where it comes from and the path it seemed to always take. 
  • We talked about the markings of the trails and all the boys had a turn to read the map and even help pick our trails for the way back down to the car.  
  • We used a stick and practiced non- standard measurement to see which trails would be shorter. 
  • We talked about poison berries and speculated how animals know which ones to stay away from.  
  • We talked about animals and which babies stay with their mothers after birth and which ones are left on their own. 

Alec splashes water on his face at every creek we find!

getting higher

We lunched at the summit and looked all around us at the lakes, town and cities.  We saw the Boston Skyline in the distance and checked out other mountains.  We showed the boys which ones were above the tree line and explained how you could tell. 

We looked at all the giant windmills surrounding us, collecting wind energy.  

We talked about our accomplishment and I tried to instill in the boys a real sense of pride.  I also reminded them to think of how great it felt to reach the top and to try and focus on that on our next hike.  It took us about an hour and half each way and it was a constant challenge. 

We reached the top!

The boys were fascinated with the compass

Do you see Boston in the distance? 
We were surprised to find that the way down was actually harder than climbing up. 

Trying to navigate our way down the rocky ledges was a bit harder and we often had to slide a bit on our butts to do so safely.  Evan needed to be lifted down a few parts since he was just to short and small to reach on his own. 

I was a bit nervous that one of the boys would fall and get hurt so I was tense as well.  I needn't have worried.  Alec was like a mountain goat sprinting down the mountain and I can't tell you how many times I had to tell him to slow down!

Alec declares himself a "tree hugger"

Evan and Ian hold up the rock


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