Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hikes & Bikes

July has been a month of hiking a biking. We started off in the beginning of the month with a trip to Mattheissen State Park.  We were headed for Starved Rock, a nearby State Park, but Steve wanted to stop at Mattheissen first. He'd remembered going there with his family as a teen and wanted to see if they still had the same stepping stones across the creek.

We wound of staying there the rest of the afternoon. I'm glad because I think it was more beautiful than Starved Rock. Maybe it was just the section we were in, but I loved the cliffs, the narrow gorges and creeks.

Both kids still ride with training wheels ( I think that's partly our fault for not taking them off and letting them practice more), but they can sure make their bikes fly! It's the first year that it's actually been fun to go bike riding. We can go for longer trips, and both kids do great keeping up.

We took a three mile bike loop ride around the Brookfield Zoo, stopping every once in a while to swing on branches and throw sticks in the water. We also took another longer bike ride in the woods near the Grau Mill in the Fullersburg Woods. Halfway through we stopped at the nature center for some play before riding to the creek and throwing branches in the water.

After the long, hot, sticky afternoon, we came back home to roast some hot, sticky Smores over the fire pit!

Another weekend in July we drove to my sister's house. My mom and I took Alexa and my sister's son for a bike ride around the block and then down to her pond. I'm so glad that even though it's almost the middle of August as I write this, the kids arn't about to go school in a few weeks. We don't have to think of this as the end of summer, but can look forward to at least two more months of great weather to go out and explore more wonderful nature areas near our home. I love our unschooled life!

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