Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rock Bridge State Park

This weekend, we ventured out to Rock Bridge State Park for an afternoon of hiking. Jeremy and I went here several years ago, before kids, when we first moved to Missouri, but we have never been there with the kids. The advantage of hiking at this park: It is well maintained and has several points of interest. Disadvantage: It is a total tourist spot and there were tons of people. Not exactly our kind of rugged, middle of no-where trails, but still, the kids had a lot of fun. And what else would you expect on a sunny afternoon when its in the low 80's in the middle of July? Of course everyone is going to come out to play.

This is the "Rock Bridge" for which the park is named. While there are no trails leading right to it, there is a sign welcoming people to explore it. So of course we did.

 Eli insisted on climbing over the fence all by himself. He got to this point and couldn't move. Finally he declared, "I'm stuck!"

Finally, free of the fence, we set out exploring. Somehow we forgot our flashlight, which was very disappointing to Lex, who wanted to go into all the dark parts of the cave. He kept saying, "Let's use the cell phone flash light!" Unfortunately, even that light only goes a short distance. We had to promise a return trip with a flashlight. 

Inside the rock bridge.

Exploring the depths with the cell phone flash light.

The nice thing about this park is that the most traveled trails are covered with board walks. It made for an easy walk, but tons and tons of steps where on an un-built-up trail, you would just be walking up hill. I think I prefer walking on an incline to stairs, but it was okay.

Taking a rest on the stairs. Eli got tired of the stairs after a while and had to be carried sometimes.

Here's the rock bridge from a higher perspective.

The boys reading up on Cave Life. This summer has been the unofficial summer of bugs with our boys, so they were truly intrigued by all of the pictures. Eli acted like he was really reading it and telling us all about the bugs.

The Devil's Icebox is another point of interest in the park. It's an "icebox," because you have to hike down a bunch of stairs to get there, so no matter how hot it is on the surface, it's cold in the cave. It feels soooo good in the middle of summer. When Jeremy and I were here years ago, we couldn't go in the cave because there were endangered bats that couldn't be disturbed. It was fun to go inside this time. Again, a flashlight would have been awesome so we could explore past the mouth of the cave, but next time we will have it.

 It was hard to get a picture because it was so packed with people, but we finally got one.

Here are the boys reading up on bats. Fascinating.

 More stairs...

Finally, after seeing the landmarks, we headed off the board walk path onto the Springbrook Trail, which is much less traveled, and much more our type of trail. We only passed one other group of people on this one.

Looking at bugs and finding "fruit" on the ground.

Heading up the hill.

For the first time ever, we put the camera in the hands of Lex, almost 5, and asked him to get a picture of us. It took a couple of practice shots. He said, "Say cheese," and about 2 minutes later, he actually pushed the button. The half smile on my face shows the worry that he isn't doing it right. Still, I think with some more practice, he can be our new photographer.

One last climb up the rocks.

We wanted to stop on the trail somewhere for a picnic snack, but ended up waiting until the end. We brought sandwiches, grapes and pretzels and were so exhausted that we downed it in no time.

 So that's our most recent hiking adventure. We learned about caves, moss, bats, bugs, and had a great time. If you're interested in reading about our other hikes this year, Here are the links:

Tecumseh Trail and Yellow Springs
Three Creeks
Grassland Trail

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love reading what you have to say. Thanks for leaving a comment!