Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tyke Hike #24 - Monches

Mother Nature can be tricky. With severe weather in the forecast all day, it was wonderful to see a very clear radar about an hour or so before the hike was set to begin. However, as if she knew we were leaving, the clouds overtook the sky as we trekked to the Monches trailhead. However, with just barely  a sprinkle, I was hopeful the clouds wouldn't scare families away. My hopes were dashed as the crowd was much smaller than expected. Though there were many inquiries and a solid amount of interest from the library-goers, a small but adventurous 9 hikers set foot on the Monches trail. And of course, as soon as I started introducing the hike, the rain began falling.  Luckily, our covered canopy sheltered us for the most part.

A little rain wouldn't stop us from exploring wildlife of Wisconsin. Knowing that the rain would probably impede our chances of seeing and hearing many animals, we instead focused on evidence of animals. I was impressed by all the things the kids found. From scat to acorns, critter holes to moss, and fungi to tree cavities rotting logs, these anxious explorers were thirsty for knowledge and excited to explore along the trail. The teacher side of me also provided some history about not only the Ice Age Trail, but some of our state animals and the reason why we are called the Badger State. We got our hands dirty as we lifted logs in search of insects and sifted through leaves to see what we could find. And as Mother Nature would have it, just as we decided to head back to the start, a few low rumbles of thunder confirmed we had made the right decision.

While the quaint group of 9 was less than I was expecting, I had a great time providing more attention to the young explorers and was happy to chat with them about their own adventures. Quality always rules over quantity, and although we got a little wet and had to cut our hike a bit short, I hope everyone had a quality experience. I definitely did.

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