Monday, January 24, 2011

A Hiking Weekend

This past weekend the three of us decided to visit some of Louisiana's State Parks (we left Lulu at home in case she wasn't allowed) that aren't too incredibly far from our house.

The first park we visited, Palmetto Island State Park, just recently opened at the end of last year and is located about 30 minutes from us near Abbeville. The park is fairly small with not terribly too much to do, but what it does have is first class. The facilities are extremely nice and the trails and views of the swampland are amazing. Of course, the Park's namesake palmetto's steal the show.

We can never fully anticipate how Will is going to respond to a new experience, but what is a constant is that he never disappoints! Our kid took to the trails like he was born a saddle donkey (horrible comparison... I know, but let's just say it's a good thing). Once he saw the gravel path he was off! He ran and ran (checking back often to make sure we were still there) until he couldn't go anymore. It was too cute. When we reached a boardwalk he was in heaven. He stuck his head right up against the rails and pointed out into the swamp calling the water "ba" for bath. Throughout the hike he would find sticks and Sweet gum balls, pick them up, and then toss them into the woods. I think the State could save some money having him on the maintenance crew.

The funniest thing that happened at Palmetto was when we were walking down the trail. Will stopped, turned around and said, "Choo-choo, choo-choo?" For a moment he thought he was at the zoo and was wondering when we were going to ride the train.

On Sunday, because we had so much fun at Palmetto Island, Krissy asked that we go visit Lake Fausse Pointe State Park near the Atchafalaya Basin. Fausse Pointe is a bit further away but well worth the drive. The park is surrounded by a huge lake which is home to the oldest cypress trees in the Atchafalaya Basin. It is also a park with some great hiking trails that our little man could explore.

After driving around the park and playing on the playground we decided to hit the trails. We chose an easy 1.6 mile hike not thinking that we would complete the hike and more thinking that we'd take our time walking for a little while and then turn around. That didn't happen. Will found himself in heaven again! We started off a little slow, but eventually we got into our stride. Will ended up walking a good mile all by himself! Again Will enjoyed removing sticks and leaves from the trail and he also learned that the really big sticks (or roots) are really hard to pick up. The best part about walking around Fausse Pointe for Will was the discovery of the dozens upon dozens of armadillos that live in this portion of the swamp. The "mmm-dillos" were everywhere! I think we counted 30+ armadillos on our hike.

We introduced Will to a new form of outdoor fun, we saw some beautiful parts of our area, and we got some exercise, I'd say we had a great weekend!

Palmetto Island

He was just a little excited.

Showing off the Sweet gum balls before tossing them into the woods.

A view of the palmettos from the trail.

Will got going a little too fast down the trail and bit it. At least he wasn't hurt.

He had a great time, but you couldn't tell from this photo.

Lake Fausse Pointe

Will doing an impression of Dada with his camo hat.

Enjoying the day.

Playing on the natural playground equipment.

Sitting on the boardwalk with Momma pointing out "mmm-dillos."

"Mmm-dillos" were everywhere! Too close at times.

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