Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Grand Bluffs

Not to leave you hanging about the remainder of our fabulous week of Spring Break, I thought I would share one final outing idea with you who are St. Louis near or bound.
The Grand Bluff was another locale I researched on a recent trek to my favorite bookstore, Barnes & Noble.  (Who doesn't like train tables, frozen cappucinos and racks of virgin cupcake and self-help books??)  I learned that it was the tallest bluff overlooking the Missouri River.  It was not far from St. Louis (although admittedly farther than I thought or had planned).  And it was an adventure.

I was in.

Now.  There was the question of the children.  Remember how their hearts desired all things ChuckECheese and having friends over whereas I was more interested in biking across old bridges and ... apparently... hiking up tall mountains?  Yeah?  Well, we got there.

It was amazing, actually.  The Katy Trail goes right along the river/bluff in Montgomery County.  For our 10th Anniversary, Hubs and I rode by bike the same stretch of road the kids and I were on that day of Spring Break.

I told them stories of the old "On Walden Pond-esque" woman we'd come across while resting near her freakishly foreboding property.  And the honor system snack bar in the middle of absolutely no where where you can grab a bottle of water or a granola bar (unlike my ever least-favorite Mean Park gas station in the city...). 

And we drove by this gorgeous, towering cliff-like structure, at which point I chirped, "If you wonder what a 'bluff' is, get a look at THAT!"  Around one more river-road corner we went and nearly ran right into the microscopic road sign that read "Grand River Bluff --->."  We pulled onto a gravel road.   And eventually climbed that same ginormous rock wall...only via a leafy, wooded path replete with animal tracks and butterflies flitting about.  And one antler.

Rabid dogs barked.  Jedd came out of his planked shack again (I kid.  Total Chain of Rocks reference.  And my inherent ability to be a chicken who takes her kids on apparently dangerous, death-defying adventures on Spring Break all in the name of fun and togetherness! ... OK, I actually only partially kid...)

Anywho, once I convince you to visit this amazing monument...

We climbed (I carried Sashi). 

And climbed (And carried Sashi). 

And climbed (And carried the 40 pound 3 year-old). 

I believe at one point T said Diamond Head was easier (I tended to agree...when Daddy carried Sashi).

And once we reached the summit, everyone gushed that the views made it totally worth the blood, sweat, and tears. 

We made it back down in record time, me joking about the time Daddy and I literally ran down the mountain last August in the Redwood Forest in an effort to visit the wineries of the Russian River Valley near SanFransisco before they closed for the evening.

So in true Jackson spirit, we found a suitable reward back in Herman (I was just bummed Time for Pie had closed - and the town's authentic german bakery - closed, too!  But just for the day...).  And we even stopped in at Wings Ablazin' and grabbed Big Daddy a bucket of yummy wings for dinner!

It was a good day.

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