After last weeks fiasco with Aubrey having a major melt down due to cold weather, I wanted to change things up and stick a slightly easier location to bail out as needed. We love Gilson Pond, but sometimes getting the kiddos to the playground almost a half mile up hill is a chore and by the time they get there they are too tired to play.
So I decided to hit up MacDowell Dam which offers a variety or trail options and a playground closer to the parking area so if the group is not having a good day, its easy to either head straight to the playground or avoid it and head to the cars.
There was a fair amount of snow left along the main trail that follows the lake. Enter in Aubrey’s new fear. Sea Urchins. She was lagging behind and I noticed her getting more frustrated with walking on the dying spring snow, yet the middle of the trail was clear of snow. So as I turn around to check on her, and to tell her to walk in the dirt she starts to cry out. I get to her and she is frozen in fear staring at the ground pointing “Mommy Sea Urchins, I’m scared I don’t want to step on them!” I look down at the trail and there in perfect little spiky clusters was grass that actually resembled the wana I stepped on years ago in Hawaii. I don’t blame ya kid, you definitely DO NOT want to step on one, however we are lucky wana do not live in the Northeast and definitely not on a snow and mud covered trail. After she is comfortable the fact that its grass not a sea urchin we happily moves on.
We find a bench to take a break, but couldn’t sit on it because the water level had actually rose so high that the lake has surrounded the bench, the kids had fun wading in the water and playing in the snow. We even found a big snail shell. I couldn’t tell if Aubrey was happy or sad that the snail had moved out, as she kept asking if it was home or not. Maybe she didn’t even know how she felt about the absence of this critter.
We headed back and decided that we could skip the playground since they already had enough unstructured play. We took a new to us trail that is a short side trail that leads from the main lake side trail to the parking lot. I loved this little trail! It offered interpretive signs that served as identification signs of all the trees you would find in the woods. Very neat! I can’t wait to explore it once the snow melts, and the leave come out.