On Saturday afternoon, Ross and I decided to go for a hike in Dishman Hills, a nature preserve in Spokane Valley. Chris didn't come because he has a nasty bruise on his big toe (under the nail and quite purple), and thought he'd better stay off of it. The weather was in the 50s, with a little sun peeking out here and there, and calm winds -- a good day to take in some scenery.
(Man, gotta love that double chin.)
(Terrain photo by Ross.)
Dishman Hills is rugged and rocky. There are a bunch of car dealerships nearby, but once you get into the woods, you can hardly hear the traffic. It's hard to believe that there is a city all around you. In August, Ross and I did this hike with his Cub Scout den. It was quite hot, and a lot of the boys seemed to think it was a race to the top of Eagle Peak. Ross does not hike like that -- thank goodness! We enjoy the walking, the woods, the quiet. And Ross likes to get off the path and explore, especially if there are rocks to climb.
There are some fairly imposing rock formations right at the start of the main trail, and Ross couldn't wait to scramble up them.
I followed along, eventually leaving our packs at the base of some rocks, so that I could climb more easily. It was too challenging for me, I'll admit, but by sheer stubbornness, I reached the top. Eventually I had to tell him that we had to get on the trail if we were going to get to Eagle Peak before dusk, and we made our way back.
There weren't many people in the woods. I guess most folks were raking leaves, which I probably should have been doing, too. But I needed my nature fix, and so did my boy. Leaves could wait.
The trail gets fairly steep toward the end, and we were both puffing and sweating by the end. (The elevation change is approximately +245 feet.) Ross celebrated the end of the trail.
I caught my breath, then looked around for something to sketch.
I brought my "Junior Science Book of Trees" journal and my colored pencils with me, and I was determined to use them.
The scenery was a challenge because there were so many houses and trees below, as well as the distant mountains. What to draw? What to leave out? And the light was fading, and we still had to hike out.... I need to remember to leave myself more time for drawing! It wasn't a great sketch, but I'm glad I took the time to do it.
On Sunday, I asked Ross, "What was your favorite part of the weekend?" He answered, "The hike." I asked why, and he told me that he loves to get out into the woods. I think it's a good place for him to be. I know I feel so much better when I connect with nature. I think we need to plan more frequent outings for ourselves.