The day after getting back from Yosemite, we all [including A[u]nt Chisnap, still ] went for a hike in the awesome Henry Coe State Park. We took the frog pond trail, which went up through oak grassland to pine forests and down into a small riparian valley. The total hike was about 3 miles with probably 1000 feet of total climbing. The girls did marvelously and the place was gorgeous, huge and--refreshing after Yosemite--completely devoid of people. The lighting was harsh but sometimes epic cuteness just trumps good lighting.
This happened quite a few times on the steeper downhill segments:
Little tripped. Her pride was wounded. So she stayed on the ground for several minutes pouting. Littler thought it was a fun game and joined in the fun:
We found a tiny creek and sat around it and played for a while. There was a drab little pacific tree frog just swimming around minding its own business.
But Chesters can't leave well enough alone, so Little instantly seized the opportunity and the frog:
Little is more than a little proud of herself.
Because this is what we do, Little splashed around for a bit. Littler got wet too but it's hard to take pictures of somebody who's holding your hand.
The previous day, Daddy had expressed his undying devotion to his 28mm f2.8 AIS Nikkor lens. On this day, he was using a different lens and the 28mm was nestled nicely in the camera pack up on a bank high above the river. Littlest, ever the busy-Buddy, reached in, grabbed the precious lens, and chucked it hardball-style right toward the river, six feet below. As it flipped through the air, Mommy exclaimed, A[u]nt Chisnap sat across the creek helpless, and Daddy stood far away unaware. The lens landed at the very edge of the water, bare-front-element first, and inexplicably stopped cold. From Daddy's perspective it looked like it was either [A] half-submerged or [B] impaled right through the glass on a small rock. Littler was closest to the action and instantly grabbed the lens while standing ankle-deep in the water. Mommy, A[u]nt Chisnap and Daddy were all yelling at her from three completely different directions with completely differing instructions. "Give it to me!" "Put it down" "Hold on to it!" In particular, Daddy--who was on the other side of 8 feet of water--yells the loudest and somehow thought it would be best to instruct Littler to give the lens to him. Littler held the lens loosely in her fingertips while waving it around in the air over her head, trying to decide which authority figure to obey. When Daddy bellowed his strange instructions, Littler decided to act and made as though to throw the lens over the water toward Daddy. Somehow the females prevailed upon Littler to hang on to it long enough for Daddy to actually get within reach. When he recovered the lens he discovered that it was inexplicably dry, intact, clean and it didn't even have a fingerprint on the lens. Phew!!
There was a lot of climbing on the way out, and the kids did marvelously, especially when they were motivated by promised cookies and juice. But, after sprinting up hills [then resting] for probably and hour they inevitably needed to be hoisted, so of course Daddy volunteered to let Mommy do it.
Henry Coe State Park is a marvelous place and will be closed in a political gimmick next year. Please take the time to inform your state legislator that you do not support this insanity.