Saturday, April 16, 2011
Rock Climbing at the Quarry
On Thursday we went to the Old Quarry for a homeschooling class on rock-climbing. It was a lot of fun, even though it meant I had to do two hikes. Marina works on Thursday, but I wanted her to have a chance to try climbing before I took her, so after she climbed, we hiked--and ran--the mile back to the car. I got her to work with 3 minutes to spare. Then I went back to the nature preserve, but I didn't really want to wait for the group at the nature center, so I hiked back up to the quarry. The park ranger said it was a mile, but since it is up a steep incline it feels more like a mile and a half. I also didn't return the same way I came. So I will say I hiked and ran between 4 to 6 miles on Thursday. I should wear a pedometer and check the distance.
The climbing was fun. While one group climbed, another looked for snakes. At least 3 black racers were spotted. I saw one of them. Those snakes can move! It sped across the leaf litter faster than I could gather the kids to see it. The park ranger also found a red slider turtle. Two turkey vultures circled ominously overhead while the kids climbed. During my hike back to the quarry, I had a red-tailed hawk fly in front of me as squirrels chittered nearby. It was an excellent day!
Here are the kids climbing:
Looks steep, doesn't it? It's not as bad as it looks. There are lots of wide ledges. Marina and Chase reached the top very quickly. Sierra spent a lot of time free-climbing all over the rocks after her turn in the safety harness. That scared me a little, but she was safe.
Sierra didn't make it to the top when she was climbing with the harness. The shorter the child, the harder it was to find foot and handholds. Sierra later told me that when she was standing on the ledge pointing out footholds for another child, she learned how to do it. She could better see what she had to do when she stepped back and looked at it. She may have some teaching blood in her.