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This blog chronicles the adventures I share with my husband, daughter and son. It is also a place to share what I am learning as a homemaker, gardener, book lover and homeschooling mother. Welcome.

Monday, January 16, 2017

a soul's need

may my soul her want perceiving

turn her gaze to where Thou art

and in all Thy goodness find Thee

food to satisfy the heart.

Friday, January 13, 2017

the mighty missouri

The highway leading to the small town of Parkville runs parallel to the Missouri river. In downtown Parkville there is English Landing Park just next to the river with a paved walking/biking trail. After our hike last Saturday we took a few minutes to get up close to this amazing river. It looked stunning with the snow piles drifting along. We didn't stay for long as it was quite windy making it more cold than when we were hiking in the woods with the trees sheltering us. We've seen the river many, many times but not with such beautiful adornment.

Memories of last weekend's hike will have to suffice as this weekend an ice storm is predicted. We will obviously brave below freezing temperature, but ice is a different story.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

1 of 40: old kate trail & white tail trail

A few posts previous I shared our August 2016 hike at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary. I mentioned that it would be great to see the same trail in the winter. Today we had planned initially to hike a four-mile trail at a state park about 1.5 hours from home. It was to be a new park for us and we thought a hike in the snow would be beautiful and four miles doable. Upon waking this morning we saw that the temperature was not to reach thirty degrees so instead of heading so far away, we stayed closer to home and hiked two trails that equaled a shorter distance.

We returned to the Parkville Nature Sanctuary and hiked the Old Kate Trail (OKT) again as well as the White Tail Trail. The total distance was 2.4 miles. Hiking in the winter gives such a different perspective because the leaves aren't obstructing the view, and the snow just adds a touch of glamour (I think) to the walk. Today's hike didn't disappoint, which was great since our initial plans were scrapped. 

When we began the temperature was only 13 degrees! We've never hiked in weather that cold, but we were bundled up the most we've ever been and the kids didn't complain once. We asked them repeatedly about their hands and feet and they were always fine.

The OKT looked totally different than the previous summer. The waterfall was, of course, not roaring, but still flowing and ice sculptures could be found at many turns. Birds were abundant on the trail, but hikers were scarce - we saw only two others and they were at the falls for photos. 

At the end of the OKT is the option to return to the trail head, or continue another trail loop called the White Tail Trail (WTT). Since the first trail was only .9 miles we had already planned on hiking the next 1.5 loop. The initial section took us up a steep incline for probably half a mile. Whereas the OKT trail was mostly level, I was surprised how high we were climbing and the trail was rocky besides. Once we reached the top we hiked another half mile, level with many switchbacks. The WTT earned its name today as we saw a group of approximately ten deer. We saw this group two different times and for the hunters in the family this was a special treat. The trail ended with a half mile descent and then we were back to the trail head. 

I didn't take as many pictures of this trail I suppose because the scenery was more consistent than the varied OKT. However, I really enjoyed this trail: the ascent, switchbacks, descent, single-track trail, birds and deer to view. The snow did not impede our hiking, either. The only time it was slippery was when walking on wooden bridges. 

The title of this post has "1 of 40" written before the names of the trails. This is because we have a goal to hike at least 40 times this year since it's the year I turn 40. Our hiking from October to December of last year gave us the idea since we hiked frequently. We think forty hikes is doable with our schedule and with planning long weekend getaways that are devoted to hiking. It's just something fun to track this year since I track our hiking on this blog already.

Friday, January 6, 2017

january snow

The morning dawned on a beautiful world.
A very slight fall of snow had come in the night - 
just enough to look like a film veil of lace
flung over the dark evergreens, and the hard frozen ground.
A new blossom time seemed to have revisited the orchard.
The spruce wood behind the house
appeared to be woven out of enchantment.
There is nothing more beautiful than a thickly growing wood of firs
lightly powdered with new fallen snow.
As the sun remained hidden by gray clouds
this fairy-beauty lasted all day.
The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery

Saturday, December 31, 2016

truman lake mountain bike park & hiking area


As a general rule we hike close to the KC area, or head north or east to rural state parks.

This past Friday we did something different and headed two hours south to Truman Lake. A few weeks ago we had the idea to hike near this lake and after some research came upon the Truman Lake Mountain Bike Park & Hiking Area. These trails are relatively new, building having begun in 2002. The history of the trails is interesting and can be found at this link.

As seen above in the second picture there are three trails in varying distances marked in yellow, blue and green. I appreciated the construction of these trails because even though there are three distinct trails at different points they overlap so although we chose the blue trail, we were able to extend our hike to 4.5 total miles by veering onto the yellow trail occasionally. This map gives you an idea of the layout.

These are true mountain bike trails being single track, which we enjoy as hikers because it really feels like you are enclosed in the woods. The trails are on a peninsula at Truman Lake so we had multiple and varied views of the lake during our hike. At one point we blazed our own trail to go directly to the lake for skipping stones. The blue and yellow trails have many switchbacks, inclines and are quite rocky. It was a rugged hike as evidenced by our time: it took us 3.5 hours to hike 4.5 miles. It took us less time to hike more miles a few weeks ago.

Although I'm still getting my energy back from being sick last week and didn't feel totally myself, the hike was very enjoyable. The weather was in the upper 40's, the sun was shining, and we had a scenic route to hike. Regarding wildlife we mostly saw birds ~ red tailed hawks, snipe, herons and even a bald eagle. This was an impressive place to have our final hike of 2016, and told the kids we'll come back to hike the 12 mile yellow trail!