HI HO, HI HO It's off to hike we go.

We dragged the boys to Mt. Wachusett again yesterday for a hike.  They did not want to go hiking but once we got them all dressed and in the car & they were resigned that this was something we were going to do they did cooperate.

We listened to Evan's MP3 player in the car on the way there and all the boys sung along to the songs.  I had no idea how many lyrics they knew!

We arrived mid- morning and started our trek up the mountain.

They hardly complained, though they did ask why we couldn't just drive up it a few times.  We saw a few toads, lots of interesting mushrooms, and took notice of all the different types of trees.  We heard squirrels and some sort of bird of prey.

 Alec chose to listen to his MP3 player as he climbed and he was usually a good foot or so in front of us.   I noticed how much better he was getting about dogs too.  Though, not a fan by any means, he no longer runs from them or cowers in fear when he sees them and best of all he's stopped screaming/ yelling at the sight of them too!

The boys politely talked to all the hikers we ran into and Evan ended up petting a lot of the dogs.  I think we were most happy to find a small Eastern newt!

We've been searching for these for years now ever since learning about vernal pools and watching videos on salamanders and newts.  Alec found the little guy right on a rock that he was about to climb up onto.  Remembering that newts breathe through their skin and our lotions, hand sanitizers and soaps are bad for them, Alec made sure to get his hands nice and dirty and muddy before picking him up and moving over to side of the trail in some mossy growth.

The boys had fun climbing on the rocks and playing with the different formations; some were perfect seats, some were made into surfboard and some were perfect for squeezing into.  They all cheered when we reached the top. 

Alec's seat and Evan's surfboard

They love the balancing rock

Perfect sided crack for a lemon squeeze

The Newt

Alec picks him up to move him off the trail

Once at the top we stopped for lunch and a much needed break.  It was windy and cool at the summit so the boys pulled on their sweatshirts.  We checked out the Boston skyline, found a small pond with some goldfish and the boys had fun feeding crackers to the fish.

 Alec walked around and around the pond several times and made friends with many of the adults he bumped into.

He's always happy to share his knowledge of nature with anyone who's willing to listen.  I heard one lady remark "wow, you sure know a lot about this!"  He was beaming! 

Evan was so excited to find an orange feather

feeding the fish

Can you see the buildings of the Boston skyline?

 On our way down the mountain the boys just about ran, nimbly jumping from rock to rock.  We stopped to look at the radio station, the chair lift and some of the ski runs.

We found lots of mud and a few puddles.  The whole mountain was quite damp and looked like it had rained the night before.

My husband found a garter snake on the way down and we noticed that the snake was hardly moving.  We weren't sure if he was injured or just cold so Alec moved him off to the side of the trail and covered him up with some leaves.

We saw, what we think was, a broad winged hawk flying around yesterday (though it wasn't close enough for us to truly identify).

It's so great to see the boys' faces light up in wonder at all these glimpses of nature. 

We stopped for ice cream sundaes on the way home and tried to plan the rest of our day.  I'll admit I was wiped out and only wanted a nice hot shower, dinner and bed.   It was such a fun Saturday!


  1. We love hiking as a family and have done a lot of it! You have made so many great memories with those precious ones. :)

    1. Thank you, I sure have tried to make lots and lots of memories for us all.

  2. What a great hike! Yet another thing to make us kindred spirits! (and so cool about the newt!)

    1. We were so excited! We just found the only other species of salamander in our yard a few weeks ago.

  3. They found so many great things along the way! What a fun, family adventure :)

  4. That looks like a fun hike. My little dude is scared of dogs too. Even small and well behaved dogs make him run and hide behind us. That does make it hard to walk most of the more popular trails, but hopefully he'll outgrown it soon!

    1. I hope as he gets bigger than the dogs the fear will lesson. I understand how he feels since I too was afraid of dogs when I was younger.


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