Damp Day Delight: Stone tools and why I hate to cancel trips

I hate to cancel hikes just because it’s raining.

So, on Saturday, November 12, we left for our hike to Blue Mound State Park despite a wet forecast.

As predicted, it poured on our way there. But by the time we got there, the rain stopped. Perfect.

Temps were in the 50s and it was foggy.

The trees looked like  ghosts and mist  hung in the air.  Little Donny thought it looked spooky.

“Maybe there are ghosts here,” he said.

Maybe indeed.

We walked to the west tower and climbed to the top. Even though we couldn’t see anything, it was still beautiful and surreal. I told the kids that we were in a cloud. I don’t think that got it, but they thought about it.  After that, we hiked the Indian Marker Tree trail.

The trail was wet, so we hiked slowly, but that was okay. There was plenty to see.
Blue Mound is capped with chert, commonly called flint rock. Huge chert boulders lined  this trail. The wet, glistening rocks were covered with blue lichen,  green most and acorn shells left by hungry squirrels. The kids asked a lot of questions.

What’s that blue stuff?

What kind of rock is that?

I could see their minds turning when they learned that Native People used chert to make spear points and tools.  The kids held the rock and noticed how it split into sharp pieces.

“This was a tool?”  John said.

It’s exciting to see kids connect with the past in a real way.  Text book photos of stone tools will now be real for them because they held the real thing.   It got real quiet  for a few  second while they pondered these rocks.

We walked a bit more, but it didn’t take long for the kids to start asking about when the hike  would be done. They were hungry and starting to get cold.  It wasn’t  raining, but it was damp.

After eating, the rain started up again, so we packed up and left.

I’m glad I didn’t cancel this trip.  My policy remains, I don’t cancel trips unless there’s a safety concern. Usually, trips turn out for the best and kids learn that foggy, wet days are fun.

Tell me about a trip that was less than ideal that turned out great…or not so great.  I’d love to hear from you.

Diane Schwartz take kids on hikes at the Goodman Community Center in Madison, WI. Get you free Bubble Activity Guide now by registering for this blog. Thank you!

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