I forgot how busy it is to have the kids home on summer vacation.  Busy if I don't want to stick them in front of the television.  Busy if I want to stay somewhat sane and minimize the whining and the fighting.

Ollie finished his first week of camp so both are home this week.  What I should be doing is packing and preparing for our week long vacation we head out for on Saturday.  The one that takes us car camping, backpacking, and to the beach.  With about 20  hours spent in the car along the way.

We haven't done much hiking this Spring, so I thought we should get a little more practice in before slapping packs on their backs and heading into the White Mountains National Forest.  So we headed over to our local trail system yesterday.  We went a different direction this time, weaving around some trail construction and making our way in whatever the direction the kids were feeling.

Have I mentioned that I am a rule follower?  I am also a map follower.  I had no idea where we were going or if the trail we were following was a loop.  I knew we could turn around if we wanted to and that we couldn't go too far without hitting a major road.  So it was kind of fun feeling a little lost.

"I promise you we are not lost," I told the kids. "We can always turn around and go back the way we came.  But right now I have absolutely no idea where we are."  I think this thrilled them a little bit.  And then, around a turn, we came upon this:

A statue, perched on a precipice, out in the middle of nowhere.  It was a bit spooky, but amazing at the same time.  Evidently, the piece is Toleration, purchased at the Centennial Exhibition and placed up here, in what was to become part of Fairmount Park, in 1883. 

There is so much to be explored, though from now on both kids will wear pants when out in the woods - we did find a tick on Ollie last night.  Ugh. They enjoy it, though, after the first 20 minutes of complaining and the bribe of a popsicle when we get home.  They enjoy it more when they can take the lead, so we will do a little more 'not quite getting lost' this summer and see what else we can find out in those woods...

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