Winter Wednesday Along the Pocantico River

Today’s Wacky Wednesday Walk was spent along the Pocantico River Trail in the Rockefeller Preserve–only the very beginning of the Pocantico River Trail, however, because the kids were so busy playing and imagining that we just didn’t make it down the trail at all! At one point I said to some of the other grown-ups present that we were going to have to have a Kids Unplugged adults-only hike sometime so that we could actually make some tracks! I was partly being facetious, firstly because the kids have really become fantastic hikers and secondly because what happened today is what I always envision happening–parents hanging back as the kids’ play just evolves on its own and we may as well not even be there at all (except perhaps to keep someone from splooging into the icy water!). Our youngest member was our farthest hiker today and at 2 1/2 years old he lead his Mom around the trail the entire time in search of the helicopter that flew overhead when we first arrived!
It was cold this afternoon again, 29-degrees when I pulled up to the trail, and everyone arrived suitably bundled. The kids headed straight to the little creek near the trail head, though the bank there is pretty steep and the snow made it a bit dicey. We redirected their attention to the little beach-like spot of shore along the Pocantico (which is a small, but swiftly moving river along the trail) where they could play freely.

Along this section of the trail there is a small meadow between the little shore-area, a huge, old tree with an enormous cave-like opening in its trunk, and a big stone bridge which crosses the river. The kids’ play centered upon this area and they moved around in little packs.┬áSome playing tag with an enthusiastic Mama for a while, some holing up inside or barring the entry to the cave in the tree, others working diligently to build a “dam” in the river along the shore.

After a long while, the dam-builders won out and the rest of the crew was drawn into their activity. Kids were moving around ant-like, gathering and breaking sticks and old reeds to add to the growing structure on the river’s edge.

Amidst moans and groans of “but we’re not finished yet,” and “I don’t want to go!” the grown-ups announced that our non-hiking toes were frozen in our boots and it was time to start heading for home. The kids carefully laid down their final additions to the structure and, grabbing a saltine from a generous Mama, bounded back up the trail.

Same time next week!

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