Wow! What a magical day! Not only were the kids amazing hikers and explorers, we were gifted with the experience of seeing thousands of sandhill cranes migrating above us. And I mean thousands!!
Once we heard them, we could no longer ignore the din of the bird calls above us. Group after group flew over us on their way to the Bosque del Apache, south of Albuquerque. We had so many questions, and then one large group proceeded to fly in a swarm above us, like they were doing a dance, or as one camper said “They are making a giant sandhill crane!” while another remarked “They are making a word!” It was mesmerizing.
Tsankawi (a part of Bandalier), is also a mesmerizing place. The deeply grooved trails and the caves are a magical place for the imagination to expand and dream of a life here, long ago. So much simpler and so much more difficult than our own. The pottery shards are too a reminder of their creative work and the necessities they created for their own survival.
The kids were fantastic hikers and we had the gift of my own mom and daughter joining us for the day. Lovely fun!
After a chilly start, we had a beautiful warm day exploring Deer Creek.
Before setting out on the trail, we assigned buddies and reviewed trail etiquette. We got going, and our first stop was the creek, of course! We practiced crossing it various ways, with the extra challenge to keep feet dry. Some collected dried horsetail while others went to “water a plant.”
As we walked and explored, kids pointed out scat, asking Carmen to collect it in her scat tins for later identification in our scat museum. (Coming to Winter Camp, soon!!) It is wonderful how little eyes, hands and feet notice everything in their environment. Plants, scat, insects, animals… kids notice everything on the trail.
After crossing the river, and walking for a bit, our next stop was an impressive rock, which could be accessed from the top, and made for a fun place to perch and an impressive photo. Milana and Max loved to challenge their physical skills by climbing rocks and jumping off those that were not too high! With adult guidance, these kids know how to challenge themselves just enough to build confidence and not get hurt. I do love seeing girls in princess outfits transform into strong and able climbers and hikers.
We found a nice sunny perch up on some great rocks with a view for lunch. After lunch the kids worked together to “making paint” by scraping rock on rock. There was merry art and paint making, accompanied by more rock climbing and jumping, before we set off for a little more adventure on our way back to the van. On our journey we explored several environments with rocks and grass and returned to the river where we learned hand games from two campers, playing until we were out of time to play anymore.
It was a beautiful, fun-filled day at Deer Creek! Click through photos to see campers in action below!