And thank goodness the baby didn't have to sit this one out! Daddy was kind enough to help him summit like a good little Sherpa (see his precious little head poking out from behind the RED CLAY?):
When I reached him, Jake turned around and asked me with his eyes: "Mommy, mommy, are you SURE it's OK for me to be up here? I mean, I'm LOVING it, but REALLY?"
Luckily his trusty Sherpa was able to wrangle the rock out of his mouth, and I decided this would be an EXCELLENT time to move on.
These boulders are pretty big, although it's hard to give you a sense of the scale here. You can see Nathaniel to the left of this one, if that helps.
There are lots of nooks and crannies in the boulders, and we try to keep the boys out of the dark ones. If I can't see through to the other side, I don't want them wandering in there. WILDLIFE LIVES HERE, Y'ALL, as I will prove to you shortly.
Here's an example of a hole I don't mind them playing in. From the lower side of the boulder, it looks like this:
And from the upper, higher side, you can climb right in and see straight through. If you look closely, you can see Nick's red Croc over there on another boulder he was climbing on at the time.
We found a Very Long Snakeskin. Luckily we didn't find the snake from whence it came, but the big boys were pleased, nonetheless. Jake, not so much:
... as well as climb to the top and play there.
Jumping into the water, even if the water is only slightly above freezing at this time of the year, is a favorite pastime.
Sometimes we even stick our landings.
Oh, how we love to jump!
"I need to do an in-depth assessment. Let me sit here on my haunches, one knee bent, and inspect it in minute detail, channeling Sam Neill when he discovered current-day dinosaur poop in Jurassic Park, the first one."
"Aw, heck. I need more where that came from in order to make any sort of conclusion about the object. I'M GOIN' IN, PEOPLE!"
[Sift, sift, sift. Splash, splash, splash.]
"I AM HAVING THE FREAKING TIME OF MY LIFE HERE. WHY HAVE YOU KEPT ME FROM THIS PLACE FOR SO LONG?" Because you're 30 pounds of dead weight with very little trunk control.
Eventually he gave up all pretense of sitting quietly while his brothers jumped and frolicked, and he just dove in and stayed in. It was pretty nearly the cutest thing ever. BABY LOVES HIM SOME WATER.
Finally THE COLD got to him. Poor thing lasted as long as he could, and then he decided it was time to get out and warm up. (We'd brought a diaper and change of clothes in anticipation that he'd get totally drenched.)
But he had a great story to tell his teachers on Monday ... I tell you, I just don't know that there's any better souvenir to go home with than seaweed in your pants.