We had a great hike today in Mohican State Park in Loudenville, Ohio. The crew hiked to Big Lyons Falls, Little Lyons Falls and back to the Covered Bridge. The weather was amazing for a late January day. The temperature was 30 degrees, wind was light and there was a beautiful snow falling as we hiked.
The interesting thing about today’s hike was NO ONE was in the mood. I felt like I was pulling teeth to get the kids ready. People forgot gloves, hats and other necessary items for a winter hike. (No fear though, Family Dollar came in to the rescue and $10.00 later we had all we needed.) The grumbling from the kids was almost enough to make me say forget it but since I am not one to let kids beat me down, I drug them to the trail head.
We had to get ready in the van since there were no facilities at the trail head by the covered bridge parking lot. (FAMILIES, please make note of this and try to hit a bathroom before you get there) We had to layer today due to the weather. I knew we would be adding and removing layers as we went along.
The first 5 min. of the hike were rough. The kids were not super excited to be there. As we entered the trail head to Big Lyons Falls the snow began to fall and cover the walkway. It was soft and gently falling. It was magical moment, it was as if we entered Narnia, and we were filled with wonder of the beauty. Each one of the children turned back to me at different times and said, “I am so glad you made me come.” This is beautiful.” “I can’t believe I did not want to hike this.”
We hit the “learning moment” of our hike very quickly. The younger kids were hiking fast and not being as quiet as they should have been. I have told them many times in the past to be quiet and watch for birds and wildlife. They were not heeding this advice and the kids that were ahead of me came upon a couple hiking. The couple was shushing them and trying to share something, but the younger ones were so “hiking” focused they were about to miss something beautiful.
The couple shared with me that as the kids loudly came up the trail they had scared off a beautiful bald eagle that had been perched in the tree by the river. Imagine my angst that I would not be able to see this majestic bird. The couple shared some bird watching tips with us and told us to listen for the eagle clicking her beak together. This would be our indicator she was perched in a tree nearby.
As we left the couple behind I gave the kids another lecture about quietness and watching and listening for things in the great outdoors. The kids assured me they would try harder and we continued hiking. We all were disappointed that we had missed the eagle.#lessonlearned.
The streams beside the trail were flowing with water due to the rains we have had here in Ohio. It was such a wonderful sound hearing the gulping and splashing of the water over the rocks and logs. The serenity in the woods today was amazing.
We made great time to Big Lyons Falls. As we rounded the bend to the falls we were all speechless. The water was flowing over the rock ledge down to the stream and it was lovely. I had read about the falls and was not expecting much water but because of the previous days rainy weather the water was coming over more than normal.
It was exciting to my heart to hear the kids gushing over the beauty they were beholding. It was in this moment, when the falls captured their eyes and ears, that they were all in for the rest of the hike. It was here, that they lost any left over negativity and embraced the outdoors.
As we left the falls area we began ascending up the hill and what goes up must come down. We came to the place where the trail began to descended and it got fun. We were slipping and sliding down the trail. I was having a great time until Sam lost his footing and took a little tumble. I did not see it happen and he made no sound as he went, but when he caught up to me he promptly told me how much I did not care about him. He could have died and I would have never known is what he told me.
It was at the bottom of that hill that Abbie told me she felt she was having a low blood sugar. We stopped and checked her BG and she was indeed low. I got the airheads out and she snarfed them down. She was not recovering well so I reduced her basal rate on her insulin pump. We could not stand for long because some of us had started sweating a little bit and we were quickly cooling down. We had to get moving soon. I hoisted Abbie onto my back and she sat on my Osprey Skimmer 30 day pack. That pack is sturdy!
We were moving along a bit slower now because I was carrying Abbie on my back. I was able to look around a bit more since I was moving at a more leisurely pace. I glanced to my left and that’s when I saw her. It was the majestic eagle, she was resting on a branch in the tree! The kids were ahead of me so I quietly got their attention and we shared the moment gazing at her. What a treasure!
As we finished the hike, we ambled over to the car. I asked the kids if we should leave a note for the couple who had shared their wisdom with us and of course they said yes. We told them we had seen her and thanked them for being so thoughtful. **edited to add, they sent us an email with some pictures of the eagle and cheers that we got to see her!**
As we headed toward home we all quietly reflected on the hike. I asked the kids to each rate the hike from 0-10. Rachel=8, Nate=8, Sam=6, Abbie=8 and I gave it a strong 7. We all were so glad that we had come out into nature and drank in the beauty.
Two links to the DNR websites
Link to some detailed info I found helpful
Rachel Abbie and our low blood sugar correction
Big Lyons Falls