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The Kingfisher Trail of Tears

September 23, 2009

So the Hellions wanted to go hiking. Ok, I can deal with that. The Doench family has a fine history of hiking related activities. We’re not talking Man vs Wild here or anything, but we’re certainly capable of navigating a well marked trail. We’re also lucky enough to live in Hamilton County, home of the damn fine Hamilton County Park District.  If you’re wondering how long a family car has been in Cincinnati, just count how many distinctive MVP’s (Motor Vehicle Passes) they have affixed to their windshield (insert image here later).

Now I knew exactly where I wanted to go.  Winton Woods is right up the road from Abby’s school. So the plan was simple. Stash some before and after snacks in the diaper bag. Grab the sling and the big and little cameras, and head out to Kingfisher Trail. Kingfisher Trail is the a nifty 1.1 mile trail that goes up a hill,  around a meadow and through a wetland. We’ve hiked it before when both of the girls were little.  Should be no problem right?

So off we went! Into the wild…

Ok… into the well maintained trail system. This really has been a remarkable season weather-wise. It was maybe 78 degrees in the sun and very comfortable in the shade. The trail is pretty flat for the first 20 yards, then it splits and we are presented with our first and only choice.

a) Turn left and do the wetland first?

b) Turn right and do the hill climb first?

c) Turn around and go home to watch TV?

Did you pick ‘c’? I certainly wish I had. Instead we picked ‘b’,  reasoning that the wetland section would be easier after we had worn ourselves out on the hill climb.  This was very smart of us. I’m pretty sure that we’d still be there if we’d picked ‘a’.

At first the going was pretty easy.  Abby was having a blast with the little camera, a Canon G3 I nabbed on Ebay for about 75 bucks.  We have one of those toy digital camera’s you see at the toy stores, but its mostly a Carolina toy at this point. Abby outgrew it almost immediately. Don’t waste your money on one, just hit Ebay or Craigs list and look for an inexpensive P&S digital.

Lil Shutterbug

Lil Shutterbug

I recommend the Canon G series, they’re tough, they hold their value well, and they are easy to use but complex enough to make good tools.

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs

Lenore Skenazy had a recent post at Free Range Kids in reference to a recent British study that found children were so cooped up at home that they couldn’t identify basic outdoor critters like squirrels or Daddy Long Legs. Like this guy on the left.  My girls love bugs of course, and worms and roly-polys and other such wildlife. It was bit of a struggle to convince Carolina that she couldn’t take him home.

T o make a long story short. The trail was a bit too long.  By the time we reached the wetland part of the trail, all off the “adventure had been smushed out of my Hellions to be replaced with trudging along.

Is it much farther Papa Smurf?

Is it much farther Papa Smurf?

Eventually, the trail ended. Well, actually we got to that crossroads again and Abby wanted to go back up.  She was out voted 3 to 1 and we hightailed it back to the car before anyone broke down.

Would I do it again? Sure… with another adult along, or three kids who can do their own full time walking.  My Dad loved to take us on hikes and it certainly made me feel closer to him to do it.  We’re really blessed here in the Tri-State area to have a lot of easily accessible Nature.  It’s not Extreme nature like they have out West or on the coasts.  It’s a leisurely Midwestern form of nature that only asks that we tread lightly and look carefully. So get out and enjoy it before someone builds a Wal-Mart on top of it!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2009 3:44 am

    not far now!

    Seriously, I know those kids can walk – we were lost in French Park for at least an hour… and if we hadn’t taken their advice, we’d probably still be there! I remember, “hiking” was just something we did. All the time. We liked it. And we didn’t have to go far to do it either. I’m glad your kids like it too. I can’t imagine a kid who doesn’t know what bugs look like.

    Totally agree about the cheap P&S. Your kids are so lucky to be growing up in a time when they can have a Real Camera of their own. The digital cameras I bought J&S when they were little burned through a set of batteries in about an hour, and held maybe 24 pictures.

    Blog is looking good!

  2. Jon permalink
    September 24, 2009 2:17 pm

    I want to hear Abby’s hiking song again!

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