We squeezed in our last and final hike of 2015 on Boxing Day at Tifft Nature Preserve! It felt good to get outside into the fresh air, move our feet, and just decompress, breathe and be together after all the holiday craziness and oh-no-we-forgot and can-you-believe-she, etc. I actually felt that hiking on Boxing Day was the most Christmassy part of our Christmas. We cut through the insanity and the sugar and just focused on each other. It was so nice.
As you can see, Peanut was promoted to full big-kid hiker on this outing! No backpack – she’s all grown up. We’ll probably still use it for longer or more technically challenging hikes, but it was good to know that we were able to let her hike on her own and still get a good walk in. Following directions isn’t her strong suit right now (hey, she’s three) but she did surprisingly well. I was proud of her.
Nugget was bundled up in his snowsuit and hanging out in his customary spot – the Ergo.
Knowing that we had a small hiker on foot, we decided to cut to the chase, hit our favorite spots and then get going. Better to keep it short and sweet than to drag out a hike past Peanut’s tolerance and end up negotiating a tantrum on the trail.
Obviously, the boardwalk is the most essential spot to visit! I love wetlands and this spot reminds me of some boardwalk hiking that we used to do in a few favorite spots in Virginia.
Such a serene spot! I love Tifft.
We got a special treat on our walk back toward the car – sightings of a few friends! Some deer:
And a whole flock of black-capped chickadees!
(I wish I’d gotten a better picture. I will really miss having Nugget in the Ergo when the time comes to transition him to the backpack, but one consolation will be that I’ll be able to use my big camera and my zoom lens again on our walks! Expect lots of bird pictures when that day comes.)
We had such a fun time walking in Tifft on Boxing Day. We’ve spent so much time there and it’s grown to be one of my favorite Buffalo spots. (Funny coincidence – a few weeks ago we attended a birthday party at Tifft and Nugget wore the same little foxy pajamas he’s got on in these pictures! I guess that’s his Tifft uniform.)
Full circle! Part of me can’t believe that we actually found a way to hit the trails at least once in every month, in a different spot, all year long. It was definitely a commitment. But having made that goal really helped when we occasionally got to the last weekend in a month – we knew we had to get out there, and we were never sorry that we did. As for whether I’m going to repeat the goal this year and try to hike in twelve different spots, the answer is – nope. Sadly, I think we’ve pretty much exhausted most of the reasonable family-friendly hikes in our area. There might be a few places we haven’t been yet, but not enough to support another year of trying to hike in a different place every month. Of course that doesn’t mean we’re quitting hiking – on the contrary! It’s our favorite way to relax and be active together as a family, so you can expect lots more hiking talk and pictures of our outdoor adventures to come, just not in quite such a structured way. And as for our project to hike in one park in all four seasons, I think we are going to try to do that again, and we’re thinking of Sprague Brook Park. So stay tuned!
Here’s to adventure! Happy trails, my friends.