Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gourley Nature Trail

Our weekends are never, ever boring.  :)

A few weeks ago we starting taking advantage of the semi-coolness of the early morning to check out some of the hike and bike trails in our area.

We started off with a trip to the Gourley Nature Trail.  It's a relatively short loop trail that connects Collins Park to Meyer Park and included mention of a small pond.

We have been to Meyer park dozens of times over the years.  We have walked or jogged all their paved paths on both sides of the road.  We have also spent time exploring the nature paths and various trails on the south side of the park.  We have ventured around the duck pond and up and down the paths along Cypress Creek.  But in all of our forays we have apparently never ever ventured past the soccer fields on the left hand side.  Because if we had we would have seen the 2nd pond.  Ironically enough now there is a paved path connecting the 2nd pond the main walking trails so had we even walked those recently we would have seen it as well.

But we found it nevertheless by way of the Gourley Nature trail.  Our original plan was to walk to the pond and find a place to sit and enjoy some snacks before finishing the loop and heading back to our car.  Our recently potty trained child on the other hand had other ideas.  And while I am okay with the boys peeing the woods - a novelty they are absolutely thrilled with - poop is another story. 

So as luck would have it he decided he need to poop about the time we got to the pond.  Knowing Meyer park proper would have bathrooms we continued on to where the nature trail now connects to the main Meyer Park trails and made our way past the soccer fields and ducks pond to the bathrooms. 

Afterwards the boys wanted to play on the play equipment so we let them play awhile, and then enjoyed our packed snacks at one the shaded tables near the playground before making another bathroom pit stop and then heading back to the duck pond.

The pond was lower than I have ever seen it.  It was also chalk full of turtles.  I don't think I have ever seen so many turtles in one place.  We had a great time watching them out on the water as 2 or 3 would make their way up onto the logs and enjoy some sun before another turtle would come along adding his weight which would tip the scale and send the log spinning, dumping all of them back into the water.  They must have done it half a dozen times while we were sitting there.  Once after they all got dumped off as the first turtle tried to get back on he couldn't quite make it and had the log spinning as fast as a hamsters wheel getting no where fast.

A nice little girl shared some bread with the boys for them to feed the ducks.  Unfortunately the ducks were already stuffed and not too interested in eating any more so we headed back to the trail to finish our loop.

After a really sunny stretch we stopped in the shade to rest and enjoy some more water.

After our stop at the park we had tossed one of the boy's water bottles so Connor finished off Kevin's giant water bottle instead. 

Luckily as the temperatures were beginning to reach the boiling point and the boys had decided they had had as much as this fun as they could stand the signs for the restaurants came into sight so we headed that way deciding on Gringo's for the simple reason that it was closest to the path.  Though the promise of their soft serve ice cream on the way out didn't hurt either. 

I am not sure ice cold water and air conditioning have ever felt so good as they did when we walked into the restaurant.  Luckily after a nice lunch we were refreshed and ready to hit the trail again and continue on to the car.

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