Collecting sticks3744Last weekend we headed out to West Bragg Creek to go hiking with the boys (Doreen always comes up with the best family ideas, mine on the other hand are boring in comparison and generally revolve around some kind of bike). It was a nice weather day and the fellas ran up and down the trail picking up sticks, pointing at birds and finding mud. Mud of any form; mud puddles, mud holes, muddy creek, mud swamp - mud.

It's was nice to get a break from the bike though everywhere I looked on the trail we were walking on I was looking for good approach lines on my mtb. While wandering around we saw a handful of riders, I was immediately assessing their abilities, gear and movements looking for the weak link - is that wrong? Yeah, it's wrong. ;-)

I guess that's what happens when you throw yourself head first into something. That's what happens to me anyway. Kind of like when I was in the military, no matter where I was even when I was on R&R, I would be identifying ambush sites, good cover sites, lines of fire, lines of departure - it was all very natural and second nature, almost done at a subconscious level. Looking back I think I prefer to keep my eyes open for good approach lines for my mountain bike.

Ok, that was a nice little tangent so back to the main topic of wandering around looking at butterflies, haha.

The hike started off with a creek crossing, wow that water was cold - I'm such a softie.

Creek crossing3727

Once into the trees I wanted to grab an image of this hanging moss that I used to use when I was a kid to help start campfires in winter. We used to call it "old man's beard" I'm not sure what it's real name is.

Moss3725

In this image I was trying to focus on a small spider web that was being lit up by the sun (you might not be able to see it unless you look real hard). My manual focus was a bit off, aargh. Oh well, it still turned out ok.

Spider web3726

Once we broke out on to the main trail the boys were eager to pick up as many walking sticks as possible. It soon turned into who could carry the most sticks. Evan could have sold his bundle on the side of the road. Keegan liked taking his time and generally stopped to look at things quite independently of anyone else, he would have been comfortable out there by himself barely requiring anyone for company.

Keegan walking3736

Here's the gang in full-on walking stick mode.

Smiling on the trail3732

We only saw one picnic bench while we were out there and it was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I can see why it got dropped off in this meadow though, it was a lovely little spot for a break.

Picnic3750

A mandatory stick convention being held in the picnic area.

Stick conversation3745

Like I said, there was mud out there but the boys were pretty good and did their best to stay out of it.

Mud bridge3775

Here's an interesting shot of our navigator pointing out to Evan where we should have turned, where we were at that moment and why we shouldn't be where we were. It seems we missed a left or right along the way. I should have taken a photo of the sheepish grin.

Where are we3772

Here's the last image, as soon as I saw it I thought of how much Keegan looked like he was marching with a pace stick of course the Warrant Officer in me immediately noted that his elbow wasn't locked on his swing, his chin was too low and he was looking at his feet. More time on the parade square required young Sergeant. ;-)

Paystick3721

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