Well the other day, I was wanting to get out of the house and get some fresh air. I was considering a relaxing 4-6 mile run around Marie Hickey, but I threw out an open invitation to the entire family for a relaxing 2 mile hike instead. Everybody declined, as they were sitting around watching TV or surfing the web... except Daizi. She was watching TV, but actually got excited to go on a hike. She was genuinely excited about it too. No matter how many times Jennifer, Lizzie, and Jazzy said "Daizi, are you sure you want to go!?". She asserted that she was sure! This made my day!! What was supposed to be a quick breath of fresh air outdoors, turned out to be an unforgettable hike with my favorite 4 year old!
We got to Marie Hickey around 3:30 pm, and Daizi suggested that we check the map so that we knew where to go. :) I let her pick which direction to start, and she decided that she wanted to go UPHILL into the woods instead of doing the easy, flat part first. I love this kid! :) We headed up into the woods with great conversation. Of course she started complaining about her legs hurting about 200 yards into the hike... I assured her that they'll feel better soon, and she didn't mention them for the remainder of the hike.
We kept our eyes peeled for animals the whole time. She wanted to see a "trock-a-dile" really bad. I told her that there were no "trock-a-diles" in Ohio, but she didn't get it and kept claiming that she wanted to see one. :) We did see some hawks, small birds, a crane, a family of deer, and a few "stwirls". I was really wanting to see the local owl, but we never did see it.
Daizi prolonged our hike with her never ending search for cool "egg-torns" (ie. acorns). We had to stop every 100 (or so) feet to pick up acorns. I never once told her to hurry up or "let's go". I truly cherished the time that she gave me on the trail. I was here with her, she wasn't here with me this time. I would stop and look with her. At one point we had about 10-15 different acorns and she wanted to put them under her pillow (?). I told her that she should pick about 3-5 of the best ones and leave the other ones for the squirrels. She thought that was a good idea, so she dropped a bunch of them and put exactly 3 in her coat pocket. :)
About 1.5 miles into the hike, she said she was getting tired. I believed her and picked her up and put her on my shoulders. She stayed on my shoulders the rest of the hike. This kid is tough to walk 1 1/2 miles on her little legs through these hills. She'll be running ultra's with me in a few years. :)
As we were approaching the back side of Oak Knob trail, we heard the water fall off to the side. After a nice rain, Marie Hickey comes alive and there is a beautiful waterfall that sits off the trail a bit. We headed over to the water fall and spent a few minutes admiring it.
After the water fall, we got back on the trail and giggled back to the car through the mud and over the little bridges. The entire hike took us a little over an hour, but it seemed much longer. We had a great time together and Daizi was wore out after we got home.
I hope to talk her into another hike next week... and then the next week... and then the next...