Saturday, May 8, 2010

Adventure Walk in the Gorge

We started an adventure walk the other day with a beautiful sight--a flock of ibis flying overhead. These slightly-funny looking birds looked so graceful flying in a flock, all turning and swooping at the same moment.

They flew over our destination, a gorge just a few miles from our house. There are wonderful little canyons (or ravines, depending on your perspective) and badland-like formations. I had never really explored the gully, and it seemed like it would be a great time to do it while we had our adventurous company visiting.

We started off going down a steep path to get down into the gully. Then we found a way across the creek and started hiking with the steep, sandy walls rising above us.

Maria enjoyed the obstacles in the narrow ravines and got a little help now and then to surpass them.

She did the tunnel all by herself, though, in both directions. Sometimes it's really good to be small.

We enjoyed looking at a layer of sea shells in the ravine walls, indicating wetter times.

We also got a nature experience when we noticed Henry chasing tiny baby rabbits. Although he scared them, he fortunately didn't cause long-lasting damage. They were really cute and found places to hide from him relatively fast. The ravine was full of little burrows and hiding spots. It would be interesting to go at night and see what else was there.

My sister-in-law Sarah looking for more wildlife. I love her pose! She was truly awesome on this hike, squeezing through the tight side canyons, climbing up and over the stream, carrying Maria at times, and all this while she's seven months pregnant!

Maria was having a blast, and she even ventured fairly far from her parents to go see what else was in the canyon.

I missed seeing an owl fly from this hole, but the white droppings extending below it show that it's active.

After a while, my brother decided to climb out of the ravine, and he found a fun bone yard.

Desert Boy and Maria had fun checking out more "dinosaur" bones.

Some of them were heavy. They must have been big dinosaurs.

We found another fun-looking ravine to descend into the main gorge. It was tremendous fun going up and down, and the erosion patterns on the walls were fascinating. There were several small soil-pipe caves, where the water had eroded crawling-size holes through the softer sediments.

Once we got down into the main gorge and headed back to the van, we found that the bushes were too dense. So we found another ravine to head back up. Then we went across and found another place to go down, cross the side ravine, and then another gully to head back up. It was even more exciting than what "the map*" had told us.

*"The map" refers to Dora the Explorer, which has played a big role in many of our adventure hikes. This time we got out "the map" when we reached the dinosaur bones. It told us we had to go through the bushes, down a deep, dark gully, and then up a sandy hill to get to the van. What do you know, the map was right again!

My brother and Maria against a gorgeous background. We had such a good time and were never far from where we parked. This will definitely be a place to go back to for more adventures.

We made it back safely. Hurray, we did it! Lo hicimos! (Sorry, that's more Dora-speak. I've been indoctrinated.) And for a fitting end, we concluded the adventure walk with a snack. After all, we needed some energy for our next adventure, which was just around the corner (literally).


g said...

I love your desert adventures.

Watcher said...

One day, your kids will declare that Dora is for "little kids" and you'll suddenly feel old! (FWIW, I always identified with her cousin Diego...)

joven said...

hi, you have nice blog.. u can view also mine..

Sliv said...

Delightful adventure, and darling children. Dora's pretty great too. and then there's the Moms. Happy Mothers' Day

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