Saturday, August 16, 2014

Kissing a slug!

 This is a place we often go.  It's gorgeous...but it does take some time to get to.  First, we have to drive over an hour...then we turn off and go about 10-12 miles on a little, mostly dirt, road.  After a visit here, your car will have an urgent need to be washed.
As you can see, there is a steam that runs through the park.  Over the years, these little bridges have been added so you don't get your feet soaked as you walk through.
 Someone fell asleep as we drove up here...
 We've brought Thalia here quite a few times..and this time, as usual, we were on a mission... to find a banana slug.  Actually, not just FIND a slug, but KISS a banana slug...it's a tradition!

 We started walking through...

 What a great spot for a family picture!  Well, we have quite a few missing, but I still love it!
 After our picture, William decided to wake up!
 Benjamin asked me to take a picture of him!  Wow!  Emerson did the same thing earlier today.  It's my lucky day!

 There are downed trees everywhere.  I love all the twisted trunks and limbs.  Sometimes you have to climb over or under them to keep going.  This is a canyon, so these trees fall from high up.

 My girl accomplished our goal!  She found a banana slug....she told me she 'had a feeling' she'd find one. 
 Oh...and she gave it a good smooch!  Way to go, Thalia!!!

 Now we explained this tradition to the boys...
Emerson gave it a good shot....'closer, Emerson'...
 and he did!  YeeHaw!
 Benjamin...well, he wasn't quite as excited about this kissing deal...
 He was definitely fascinated with the slug itself,
 William wanted to be part of the whole tradition...
 His daddy held it while he gave it a little kiss!
 You've heard of 'body language'?  Well, Benjamin's body language is telling me he's not very excited to kiss this thing...he wanted to in his head...but his body was saying, I don't think so!


 Thalia demonstrated once again, "how to kiss a slug".
 Come on, Benjamin...a little bit closer...

 little more...and he did! 
I don't think Erica or Joshua kissed the slug...but I took a picture of them anyway.
 Cousins...

What a beautiful place...this was where we originally started...you can see the ferns on the canyon walls...the downed trees...I love this place!

Climbing rocks...

After the beach, we went to a different area of the same state park.  Here, we followed a trail that led to an outcropping of rocks where weddings are often held.

Erica, Lindsey, and Donnie stayed back...because Joshua and Thalia decided to go down a different path and climb some other rocks..."Go down a different path" sounds like a bad choice....but no, it was just a different trail...maybe that would have been a better choice of words! 

Oops...here comes the little man!  He decided to hang back with his dad!
After awhile, all except for Joshua, Thalia, and Erica...made it up Wedding Rock.  Donnie decided to climb....and his boys wanted to do the same thing!
Emerson let me take some pictures of him.  I didn't want him climbing those rocks on my watch!


Lindsey let me take a few of her, too!  We've been here before...taken lots of photos here before...but never been to a wedding here!  I have seen a wedding going on, but I didn't interrupt...just watched from a distance...

OK, Donnie...please be careful!!! his mother-in-law was thinking!  (that would be me!)
William wanted to climb up too!  OK, it's time for a Mimi to not watch...Emerson decided he wanted to go back down anyway...good timing, Eme!
On our way down, we could see the two other climbers - Thalia and Joshua - making their way back up. 
Emerson ASKED me to take his picture!  I did :)

By the time Emerson and I came back up (with a bit of persuasion by me), Lindsey was intently watching her boys - all 3 of them - perilously climbing rocks...steep rocks...She's calmer than her mother.  I probably would have been yelling at Ron to come down...to bring our boys down....and he probably would have ignored me and kept climbing.  Maybe that's why Lindsey was appearing calm???
Up they went...
Emerson and I went back down to see where his UJ and Thalia were...
Joshua was heading up...
as was Thalia! 

Back up to the top and this is what greeted this un-adventurous Mimi...
Donnie!  Watch those boys, I wanted to shout.
I'm sure he didn't need me to tell him that...but...I didn't say anything.  I just took pictures.
and while I was taking pictures...I didn't notice that Joshua also scaled the perilous rocks!  Oh dear!
Now Thalia is NOT up where the boys had gone.  She's just on a ledge overlooking a huge drop down to the ocean!  That's really not true...she was safe!  But she was demonstrating how strong she is!
I heard my name...and there was William, waving down to me!  Uh, where's Benjamin?
Oh my gosh!  There was all 4 of them!  When did Lindsey scale the mountain of rocks?  I'm glad I didn't see that one!  I had to admit, it made for a great picture!
So I took a few...
and then I saw Joshua and Erica taking a 'usie'... (plural of selfie)...ahhhhh!
 Well, Thalia took off on these rocks..and I couldn't see that they went anywhere!  I assumed there was a drop-off to the waters below...so I DID speak a little forcefully, 'Thalia, NO!'  something like that.  Then I sprinted over to look and saw, that indeed, there was more rock past her...she was OK, but my Erica said, a little more forcibly than me, 'Thalia, NO!"  Thalia thought about resisting, but she had the eyes of her mom and her grandmother on her. She stopped. 
 But then I noticed...what a GREAT spot for a picture!!!  So I had her sit down...and oh, I love these!
 Joshua and Erica jumped up and joined their sweet daughter...

 Erica!  Look at her arms!  Wow! 
 Back at the original spot, the Stewarts were heading down...
 'Donnie...be careful!!'  He was...but he was climbing down with a 2+ year old on his back!



 Whew!  Everyone was safely down!  It was time to head a little further north...to another state park!