Gnat Creek Trail and Fish Hatchery

This morning I decided a random adventure was necessary, so we went to visit the Gnat Creek Fish Hatchery. The only thing I knew about it was that it opened at 7:30 am and would have fish.

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The fish were a little hard to see with the glare of the morning sun on the water, but it was fun to walk up to the pools and see them start splashing around like crazy making the water seem to almost boil. We dug some quarters out of the car and bought fish food from the little machine. The kids loved feeding the rainbow trout.

As we were about to leave, a nice older man (who I’m guessing was one of the park hosts) brought out a visual tool that had the different stages of the fish preserved in glass tubes. He took the time to explain to the kids how the fish develop in the different stages and he was so great with them!

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After visiting the fish, I noticed this sign and thought it would be fun to take a short hike. The sign said there would be a waterfall in 1100 feet and that seemed like a great spur of the moment trip. When I told Jenna my plan, she very wisely informed me that we were “not at all prepared to go hiking”.

I should have listened to her.

The picture above is from the start of the hike. I asked the kids to stand by the sign to take a picture, and as you can see, Connor was more than willing to follow my every direction (note the heavy sarcasm).

Failure #1 – Hiking with a tired and crabby 2 year-old.

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There were several huckleberry bushes at the beginning of the trail and I introduced my little berry-eating-monsters to another delightful treat.

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These kids love almost every kind of berry and it’s always fun to teach them about what plants are safe to eat and which to avoid.

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This is a third of the way down the trail. This is when Jenna informed me she wanted to stop hiking because she needed to poop. Now, most of the time this is genuine, but sometimes it’s an excuse. So, being the ever gentle, loving, caring mother that I am, I gave a huge exasperated sigh and exclaimed “Are you kidding me!? We just started hiking!!!” and then convinced her that we were almost there so she should keep hiking.

Failure #2 – Forgetting to make the kids use the bathroom before hiking
Possible Failure #2.5 – Not bringing any pull-ups in case Connor decided he also needed to poop.

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We walked through some beautiful forested trails and were almost to the waterfall when Jenna started doing the cross your legs potty dance. We trekked off the beaten path and I dug a hole for her in the ground. Then I gathered natural toilet paper (leaves) and tried to get her to go about her business. After all the work I did, she discovered she just had to pee. Kids!

Failure #3 – Not bringing toilet paper

Failure #4 – Not teaching my child how to pee in the woods at a younger age

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Thankfully, all of the potty nonsense was now behind us and we were all able to fully enjoy the hike. We made it down to the waterfall and had fun exploring a little (but trying to stay clean and dry as we had more activities planned for the day).

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This was my best attempt at a group picture. Connor wanted to poke the camera and make silly faces and Jenna kept telling me that she was sure we got a great picture of us.

Failure #5 – Trying to take a selfie with two wiggly kids.

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This was most definitely my least prepared hike ever. Even with all of my “failures” we still had a great time hiking. I’m just keeping it real for everyone!

It is a very pretty area and I’d love to come back and hike around more of the trails when we are better prepared. As it was, today we hiked a whopping 0.59 miles at a an average moving speed of 1.35 mph. It took us 42 minutes to complete what with all of our side “adventures”.

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