During our trip to New Mexico, we spent some time hiking in one of the canyons above Bonito Lake. Just a few miles from where I grew up, this is something I enjoyed doing growing up and still enjoy now. The mountains are so peaceful (in spite of all the RVs leaving the forest on the day we were there). Listening to the wind blow through the pines. The cold water flowing through the creek. The grass whispering as it waves. Such a relaxing, joyful time.
There is so much to be gained from experiences like this for our city-girls. The experience of just being able to run and play and explore without thinking of traffic or neighbors is so relaxing. Trying out new things like gold panning is fun. Seeing the variety of flowers that bloom in the mountains, some of which are the same ones we see and others which are different. Finding an elk hoof and talking about why it is there on the side of the mountain. Seeing the damage of the forest fires and the regrowth that happens with time. Fungi, new trees, weeds, seeds – so much variety of plants to look at. Learning the basics of traversing a mountain, even. Wonderful growth experiences you just can’t have in a city.
It was pleasant to just sit and watch the girls romp in the river and to explore as far as they felt bold enough to go. Panning for gold was a fun experience for them, though not productive this time around. I enjoyed the time and the hike up the canyon. We ended our day perfectly with a campfire and smores.