No, this is not "8 Mile" nor is it Detroit, and I'm not Eminem. But Connor hiked 7 miles!!! I find myself underestimating Connor or maybe being too protective, but he walked and climbed and had enough energy to swim after our long adventure. I am so proud of him...
This weekend we dragged Connor on a 7 mile hike! We hiked up Romero Canyon Trail and then down the fire road. We did NOT realize this was such a long hike until we were 2 hours in.. Connor was a champ! Yes, he complained that he was tired and wanted to be carried many times but he also walked and climbed the majority of the hike. We kept him motivated with the promise of gum and a swim in the pool. We started the hike at about 11:15 and didn't get back to the car until 3:10. Can you imagine any other preschooler walking for about 4 hrs. As I type this it sounds crazy and unreal but he did it and most of it was fun! I'm sure part of the reason it took so long is because Connor loves to stop and pick up every rock and stick he sees and throw it.
Hiking with an inquisitive and adventurous preschooler is definitely a challenge but also wonderful. Before Connor, I always enjoyed the the quiet peacefulness I found while hiking. Now I answer nonstop rapid fire questions or listen to the creative and somewhat bizarre ramblings of a 4 year old boy. For example "Mom lets pretend you, me and dad are lions. You are the mommy lion, daddy is the daddy lion and I am the baby lion and we all eat gazelles." a few minutes later "okay now lets pretend we are JETS!!! and we have guns to kill the bad ones" . . . one minute later "which plants are poisonous?" . . . "okay well what's a rash?" . . . "what's reaction mean?" . . . "do you want to be a mountain lion or a rattle snake or a cobra?" . . . and so on and so forth for 7 miles. While a bit exhausting I absolutely love that Connor is always wanting to know more and use his imagination.
The 1st half of the trail is shady and runs along a creek bed. There is a strong scent of bay laurel in the air. There are tons of different kinds of wild flowers scattered around the forest setting as well as along the fire road that runs back down the outside of the canyon. The hike down the fire road is absolutely beautiful with breath taking views of Montecito and the ocean.
This lizard is about one foot long. I think it was the longest lizard we have seen on a hike.