When you put down roots in a place and yet you have a yen for travel, but you have a job and commitments and no bottomless bank account — well, you have to find a way to make that work or you might go bananas. In our house my husband and I both traveled quite a bit before the house & kids, so to offset those itchy feet we have places that we revisit that are relatively close that are unique. It’s like the illusion of traveling farther afield, but for the cost of just a tank of gas and a picnic lunch on a day off. As I’m sure any longtime readers know, each of these spots tend to pop up here on the blog once or twice a year. Parfrey’s Glen is one such place and it was our family adventure yesterday.

The trail starts flat in a wooded area with a stream running alongside with some pristine habitat for bird life.

20140519-072033-26433879.jpgOur highlights were a Blue-winged warbler (I’ve heard them many times, but I think this was my first time actually seeing one) and a Louisiana waterthrush. There were also ample spots for the kids to test their balance.

20140519-072100-26460914.jpg(It wasn’t necessary probably, but I made Mr Knitting Sarah follow on this one as the drop was kind of steep. He kindly humored me.)

The trail then begins to get more challenging…

20140519-070817-25697268.jpgMost of these stairs and easy stream crossings are gone as floods destroyed an extensive boardwalk system in 2010. While it does take patience to wait for slower hikers to make some of the crossings, by the time you get to the more difficult terrain most of the crowds have diminished and the trail isn’t too congested. Sometimes though, sometimes someone gets to one side of the stream and can’t figure out how to get back.

20140519-070822-25702132.jpgAnd sometimes Dad rescues that someone. Dads are so great.

20140519-070824-25704733.jpgUndercutting exposes some pretty incredibly old sandstone and the ideathat a shallow sea once existed in this spot kind of blows our minds.

20140519-070819-25699600.jpgAnd even on May 18th, there is still some snow & ice in the cool recesses of this glen — could it be the start of a new glacier? While highly unlikely (read: impossible) that would be awesome and is kind of fun to consider.

The cherry on the sundae of this hike, however, is the little waterfall at the end.

20140519-070826-25706347.jpgThe perfect spot to enjoy a break and just take in the surroundings.

20140519-070820-25700972.jpgMost importantly about this hike, though, is that inside the towering walls of this landscape it is an opportunity for the kids to test their mettle and pick their own path through the stream and fallen rock. They get to feel big and small all at the same time. As grown-ups we feel it, too, and it is refreshing to revisit a place so difference than our everyday landscape.

We wrapped up our day with a picnic at the neighboring Devil’s Lake State Park where we ate while getting to watch a loon find lunch, too. What a day to adventure, to see the green of spring, and to get out of our little corner of the world & see see something ‘new’.


12 thoughts on “Revisiting”

  1. Looks like a wonderful spot, one to put on my Trip List. Love that photo of Mr rescuing the pile of hair in the sunlight. 🙂 We hardly ever leave our state anymore to travel now that we have three kids and I am enjoying it immensely.

    1. It is a great spot & literally just a stone’s throw from Devil’s Lake, so a great area all around. I totally agree, I have about a half dozen photos of Mr rescuing the pile of curls — LOL! She is not exactly as thoughtful about her path choices as her big brother — LOL!

      I won’t lie, I really miss traveling farther afield, but trips like this certainly help ease that impulse!

    1. Um, technically you *could* run into a black bear, but it would be extremely weird. I’ve lived in this area for about 15years and have never seen one.

  2. We used to go to Turkey Run State Park in Indiana with similar landscape ——- such a refreshing thing to do. Not seeing what is in our backyard is much worse than not being able to backpack through Europe!

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