Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Family Field Trip: Muir Woods

For Labor Day we decided to take an excursion to Muir Woods. Original as this thought may have been to us, a few other people had the same idea, so the woods were only slightly more crowded than your average shopping mall. The week before Christmas.

I liked this sign on the path. Wonder if it would work if I posted a big ol' sign like this declaring the house a quiet zone. Probably not. The interesting thing was, people whispered in the Cathedral Grove anyway. It's just one of those hushed places where it feels wrong to disturb the peace.

The amazing rings of a fallen tree. I've seen these sorts of trees many times before but I still have trouble wrapping my brain around the whole concept. I'm not sure the kids understood the full impact of what they were seeing either.

We discussed how the twins would be learning about the Declaration of Independence this year in school. Can't stop teaching.

The twins in a hollow tree. They're holding booklets for the "Junior Ranger" program. We do this at every National Park we visit. Muir Woods is a National Monument, which doesn't make sense to me (aren't monuments man-made?) but they offer the program. It usually involves answering questions in a workbook based on what they discover and learn at the park. When it's completed, the kids get a badge or a patch or a certificate.

Jungle Boy has quite a collection of Junior Ranger badges, since he's also done a few with the scouts. It's a great program. Follow the link to find a park near you where you can do this with your family.

Drama Girl was with us, but was not in the mood to have her picture taken. She needed some pre-teen space, if you know what I mean.

We saw a lot of deer. You couldn't swing a cat without bumping into a deer. This wasn't much of a novelty for us, since we have them in our yard every day, but the picture above shows how close the tourists were able to stand. In the bottom of the picture is the hair of the kid in front of me. I moved our family away -- these are wild animals folks, it's not a petting zoo.


The $90 redwood burl rolling pins in the gift shop. So lovely. Not in my budget. Sadly, the gift shop did not have any viewmaster reels, but I had a great conversation about viewmasters with an elderly cashier. I find vintage thingie fans wherever I go.

The verdict for this field trip? Everyone loved it, but we need to go in the off season, during the week.

12 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Cheryl Lage said...

Wow, what a wonderful family experience. (And now I cannot get the visual of swinging cats hitting deer out of my mind...)

If I had 90 large to spare, I'd hook you up with a rolling pin. ;)
(My secondary visual for the day, you talking ViewMasters with the shop proprietor!)

And NEVER, NEVER stop teaching. (Your kids smiles indicate they're A-OK with it. :) )

Bob and Jenn Peacock said...

That looked like a great outing! I can't believe how big those trees are!

Aimz said...

wow gosh the rolling pins would be double that amount here by the time you work out the dollars. But what a place to visit - cool! My children would be looking for bugs in the forest :-)

What A Card said...

Wow, that looked lovely! And I'm not just talking about the rolling pins. Hey, I love nature, but I love to cook, too :)

Beth said...

Wow... Junior Rangers... that brought back memories! I used to do that program every year when my family went camping at Jedediah Smith State Park. Fun! Looks like you all has a great time, even it was a little crowded.


Laura said...

Would you USE that rolling pin or just hang it on the wall?

Anonymous said...

I am so close to this place and have never been! I really have to go now to get one of those rolling pins!

Anonymous said...

Looks like you guys had a great time. It's been years since I've been there, but the one thing that always stands out in my memory is the trees! Oh my goodness. Makes me want to go back, but I think the little imp is too young yet to appreciate it.

Mom/Mum said...

looks fun. thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite places on earth. I have great memories of going there when my guys were much younger. And some of my favorite photos are from there too....thanks for bringing back a great memory!

Anonymous said...

What a fun time!


I love that they marked historic dates on the tree rings. That makes it real.

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