Summertime Challenge – Junuary

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It is almost the end of June, or this year Junuary. In the great Pacific Northwest, summer might have started according to the calendar, but the sun generally doesn’t start showing its face on a regular basis until late July. Since out family challenge is to explore more of what the great outdoors has to offer, it means we need to be true to our NW roots…we need raincoats!

Today we donned Thomas the Train raincoats, backpacks and the baby wore a hat (something I need to remember for next time) and we set off to Snake Lake trail off of S19th street in Tacoma. The Snake Lake watershed is connected to the Tacoma Nature Center, and both are run by one my favorite governmental entity’s in Pierce County, Metro Parks.

The walk was easy with the 18month old. We didn’t bring a stroller for him, or use a backpack carrier either. Though the backpack might have made it a faster walk. He tends to dawdle, even in the rain. I have to keep reminding myself that this is still relatively new. We met many people who were using the path to run and saw some great sites along the trail. Great thing is that the rain was light while we were walking and some portions of the trail were dry because all the trees kept the rain to a minimum.

After our walk, we ended up at the Tacoma Nature Center. We read books, tried on skunk/beaver/duck costumes and watched turtles swim in their habitat. The center was a big hit because: it was indoors, warm and the activities were numerous! Even during lunch, my older boys, who’ve been there before, kept explaining, ‘look at that!’. It was a natural place to stop and eat the lunch we packed. We made sure to clean up after ourselves. The facility is so nice, it would be a shame to leave it a mess!

Lessons Learned
1) Bring a hat! (I got really wet)
2) Keep a change of clothes in the car, in case of falling in the mud – or other extreme boys sports. (This helped keep us warm and dry on the way home)
3) Pack a lunch. This is a great way to make sure that you’re prepared when the munches hit and a way to rally the troops toward the end…only a little farther till we can stop for lunch! Plus, you can save money vs. eating out.
4) Bring a change of shoes. I forgot to pack the baby’s rain boots and he was mad I kept lifting him over puddles. He wanted to stomp in puddles like his brothers, but I didn’t have a change of shoes. So yes, I became the crazy lady telling her boy, who is surrounded by mud and nature, to be careful about getting dirty…

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