Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hiker68 and Son Hiking Team - 23rd February 2014

Mill Park Lakes - 23rd February 2014

Well, another weekend, another hike!

This time, it's a Father and Son hike, a short one, but a fun one!
Little Hiker is 7 years old, and likes the bush just like his dad. We packed some snacks, water and a camera and headed off. This time we ended up in Mill Park Lakes, barely a 10 minute drive from home, parked the car, and headed for the hills.
I didn't want to take Jr. too far, as he is only 7, and I wanted to make the walk fun, to keep him interested, as once he becomes bored, it's no fun for anyone involved. Jr was assigned the job of Official Photographer, a position he relished, but this also meant that the hike took twice as long as planned, due to the numerous stops to take pics of trees, sticks, rocks, ants, rooftops (he figured out how to use the zoom function...) and lots more. As long as he was happy and enjoying the walk, that was the main aim...
We started off near the new Coles supermarket in Mill Park Lakes, parking in a side street and heading up a trail that took us winding up the face of a hill overlooking the valley. This is a great spot for views, as you can see the city of Melbourne in the distance, and pretty much everything in between. Jr spotted a "Hiking Stick" early on, grabbing it and using it with great gusto to assist him to walk the steep trails (and also to poke at unsuspecting ant hills).
We had a chat about snakes on the way, talking about what we would do if we spotted one (stay well back and watch it until it made its own way back into the bush without approaching it, snakes are more afraid of us than we are of them, very poisonous, etc, etc), but none were to be seen on this trek.
The trail is well defined, fenced with wire and posts in most spots, and packed with a crushed rock base, so not a chance of getting lost here. We wandered up to a nice shady spot with great views, and stopped for a quick meal of a tuna snack pack (with Jr stealing all of the biscuits and leaving Dad with the tuna!) and a nut bar, washed down with a drink of water from Dad's hydration pack (very cool item according to Jr). We sat on a rock in the shade, eating our snacks, then Jr carried out the obligatory photography chores, snapping some great shots of rooftops (using the zoom, naturally), the city (more zoom), trees and rocks, and even one or two of Dad before we headed off the the summit.
We followed a loop in the trail, guiding us back down the same route we followed up, with a few more stops for pics, a drink or two, and a couple of slips and skids on the loose gravel track ("How come my shoes aren't grippy like yours?").
After reaching the car, it was decided that we had done our bodies way to much good with our 2Km hike, so had to quickly head up the shops for a look around and grab some McDonalds for lunch to top up the fat content in our bloodstream and re-harden those healthy arteries! (It's ok for a treat, as long as you do some exercise to burn it up ;-)
All up, a great adventure with the little bloke, and I was quite chuffed to hear "That was great, can we do it again? I like hiking!"

Jr. Hiker ready to go (with the all-important Hiking Stick!... and Dad's hat)

Checking out the view from a good vantage point...

Looking out over the valley...

That zoom is great, Dad! I took a picture of TWO roofs!

Self-portrait, shadow-style...

Sneaky shot of Dad there!

Another scenery pic...

A very artsy "Moon Through The Tree" subject

Ants! ANTS!!

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