On Monday, we took a little trip up north to go hiking. We love the area around Payson and the Mogollon Rim. It's only about two hours' drive from home, but the temperature is typically 20-30 degrees lower. There is always a chance of some nice thunderstorms this time of year, and the vegetation is very different.
When we went, it was cloudy with intermittent very light showers and a balmy 81 degrees. It felt perfect! The pine forest was lush and fragrant. So very different from our climate here in the Valley!
Chloe did really well. She slept most of the drive up, and then was happy to be carried in my K'tan baby carrier. I turned her facing out while she was awake, and when she fell asleep about halfway into the hike, I turned her facing in so she could snooze on my chest comfortably. She is in the carrier a little low in these pictures because it had stretched a bit and needed to be washed again to shrink the fabric down some, but she was comfy and safe.
Miriam wrote "LOVE" on the trail for me. Can you see it?
Stephen got an axe from his Dad as a gift some time ago. He just loves that thing, and brings it along anywhere he can. He kept pretending to be felling trees with it.
There were horses roaming in the woods around us. At one point, they were standing right on the trail. They were tame of course and well trained. I am guessing they must have belonged to a nearby ranch. Isaac being the horse lover that he is, and having had lots of experience from his riding lessons, had loaded two of his sisters onto one horse, helped John and Solomon onto their own horses, and then hoisted himself onto a horse before we even knew what they were up to. By the time we came upon them, they had ridden off some distance in the woods, bareback like little Indian children. We stopped to take a picture, and then hollered for them to get off and come back as they started heading over the next hill.
By the end of the hike, Boaz had made a complete mess of himself, as well he should have playing in the woods. He did really well and pretty much walked the 4 miles or so we covered by himself without any help. Anytime one of his big brothers picked him up, he would demand, "Put me down! Put me down!"
Before heading back home, we did our customary stop at "Pizza Factory" in Payson. They never disappoint, but the pizza was especially good that day. We got back home in time for baths and bed for the little kids. It was such a wonderful family day!