Friday, 28 July 2017

Redefining Adventure: A year of Mini Adventures

I was wondering how to do a summary of the year. Stats? Lessons learned? Montage of favorite pictures?

I’ve been procrastinating for a while now but had some inspiration after a friend commented on the fact that we have finished the Mini Adventure Project, blogging and all. I’m pretty astounded that we stuck with it. At times it felt like we would never get through 52 adventures yet at other times it if felt like it flew by. I’m really proud of our family making it our weekend norm to get out and about.

I always wondered if I could re-calibrate my opinion of adventure from those requiring months of planning, extreme challenges and a mountain of money to something more simple and easy to fit into family life. The answer is yes. I have loved my mini adventures, especially with my family. Sometimes we had silliness and giggles, sometimes tantrums and cuddles. But always we had snacks.

So what’s next? We’re going to try going further afield, going out longer and maybe even some camping next spring. I have also been matched with a buddy from ‘Irun4 siblings - the unsung Heroes’ who I will be sharing my running with. And if you care to join us, we’ll be doing some adventuring over at Perth Outdoor Families. 

Thanks for following along with the Mini Adventure Project 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Adventure 52 - The one with an impromptu visit from Adventure Jane

Where: Lesmurdie Falls
When: July 2017
Adventure Companions: Mini Monkey and Adventure Jane

Shall I change my flights?

Adventure Jane (Mr MAP’s sister) was flying through Perth on her way back home over East from a BIG Adventure in the Top End. Yes, yes you should. I took the afternoon off work, scooped Mini Monkey up from day care and we headed out to the Perth Hills for a hike.

Mini Monkey has not been on top of the weather recently so I gave him the option of walking or going in the Tula. Usually we wander along the brook to the bottom of the falls, scramble on some rocks (unless it’s slippery from rain) and wander back again. The boys love it and Velcro Dog does too. However, occasionally I get a hankering for a view and today I wanted to show it to Adventure Jane. Despite Adventure Jane having spent quite a bit of time over in Perth with us she has never done much family hiking with us.

Mini Monkey has started to ask rather astute questions lately, like ‘Grandpa, why do you not have any hair on your head?’, to which my mother replied ‘because he has so many brains it pushed all his hair out’. Today, whilst eating his snacks in the Tula, he asked ‘mummy, why are you making that noise?’. ‘ Do you mean the huffing and puffing noise? Well, that’s because it’s hard work hauling both of us up the hill.’ ‘Mummy, can we go faster?’

Despite the huffing and puffing (from me, not Adventure Jane), the view was well worth it when we arrived at the top. I’d like to say we had the place to our selves, but we didn’t as it was school holiday. However, sometimes I choose to look at busy times in the positive as at least people are getting outside and exploring, even if it means having to share.

Opening hours: Never Closed

Cost: Free. 

Adventure 51 - The one with the big family

Where: Whistlepipe Gully
When: July 2017
Adventure Companions: The whole MAP family and a very extended Hike it Baby Family.

Do you like the view?

I just love coming up to the top of Whistelpipe Gully as it opens out and you are left standing at the top of a hill with an amazing view over the to the city of Perth. We were with three generations and multiple offshoots of one of our favourite Hike it Baby families. There was a granny and grandpa, uncles and aunties, cousings and our friends, the mumma and toddler.
Sometimes I feel a little overly responsible when I go on Hike it Baby hikes. I want people to have such a good time that they’ll come back again and as a result, I tend to go to some of the easier locations. Whistlepipe Gully a rocky trail and single track in some places with some drop offs into the creek. I was slightly apprehensive about going but, other than keeping a tight grip on the more toddly of the toddlers (ahem, Giant Baby), everyone had a lovely time.

Mini Monkey was has been coming down with something for a while now and spent more than usual being carried by one or other of us. We he was walking, he wanted to hang out at the back of the group with Mr MAP, away from all the unfamiliar adults. Clearly it was just the outing he needed as he slept like the proverbial baby.

Opening hours: Never Closed

Cost: Free 

Adventure 50 - The one with the Achillies

Where: John Forest National Park           
When: June 2017
Adventure Companions: The usual crazy trail runner sorts

Has Bob come through yet?

My ride share, Runner Bob, was on the 21km course, 11km longer than the course I had just finished*. The tail end Charlies were straggling in and celebrating their achievements but Bob was no where to be seen. A marshall came in and said that he had left a runner nursing an Achilles niggle. After asking for a description we confirmed it was Bob. He’s been on and off running since I met him at the beginning of the year due to this injury and it seemed that now, on his first half marathon, it had reared it’s ugly head.

I started helping the race crew break down the finish area and there was still no Bob. I bumped into a friend from University (yes, the one in the UK) who was out with her family and still no Bob. He finally appeared, nearly 3 hours after starting, pleased as punch with himself that he had hobbled his way around most of the course and swearing blind that it couldn’t be an Achillies injury because he could still move his foot**. After all that, the Brave Bob was still able to drive home, thanks to an automatic car and his injury being on the ‘right’ side.

*I had an amazing race and was very pleased to have completed the 10km trail in under an hour.

**three days later he found out that he had torn his Achilles completely (with a ‘pop’) when he fell and now will be off running for a whole year for surgery and rehabilitation. Poor Bob.

Opening hours: never closed

Cost: $12 per car

Adventure 49 - The one with the flying ball

Where: Scitech
When: June 2017           
Adventure Companions: Mr MAP, Mini Monkey and the Giant Babay

Can you watch me, Daddy?

Scitech is an amazing display of interactive magic (physics) smashed with colour. What more could be attractive to a small child? There was so much for so many different ages. It feels like a place we will be able to go back to for a long time and there will always be something of interest for the boys.

Mini Monkey had great fun on many of the exhibits and zipped from one to another trying everyout. Whilst most of the exhibits were far beyond the Giant Baby’s comprehension, give him a ball and he’s happy as Larry. There was one particular exhibit with a beach ball and a fan which made it ‘fly’ that he was particularly taken with. Well, really, he just liked the beach ball. He was very upset when we decided to move on.

Opening hours: 9:30/10am – 5pm every day of the week except Thursdays (see website)

Cost: $19 adult with under 4s fr free.

Adventure 48 - The one with the Pilgrim

Where: Bell Rapids, Brigadoon
When: June 2017
Adventure Companions: The whole MAP family
Like father, like son

Which trail is that?

Mr MAP had posted some beautiful photos of our trail today on the Hike it Baby Facebook page of the trail we had walked. Previously we had taken the River Trail from the bridge but today we felt like a bit of an explore. Instead of turning left after the bridge, we took a right, wiggled around and found ourselves on a beautiful trail running alongside the river.

On the hike we saw (and heard) lots of different birds and spied some paddlers coming down the river in their bright plastic boats. Mr MAP showed Mini Monkey lots of interesting things, the Giant Baby spent his entire time exercising his will aka demanding to go up when he’s down and down when he’s up. Velcro Dog did her usual zooming around smelling all the smells. Business as usual.

Neither of us had ay idea what the trail was call so I put the question out to the local trail runners community. If anyone had done their research, it was going to be them! Within half an hour I had two replies: it was the Pilgrim Trail. It stretches 185km from Subiaco to New Norcia. That’s a whole lot of new trail to explore!

Opening hours: Never closed

Cost: Free

Adventure 47 - The one with the snakes

Where: WA Reptile Park
When: June 2017
Adventure Companions: Mr MAP, Mini Monkey the Giant Baby

Do you want to hold the Bobtail?

A Bobtail is a funny looking lizard, common in many parts of Australia and was a nice introduction to reptiles. Mr MAP was given the task of holding the lizards whilst the boys got to touch it (under strict supervision). We also got to wear some snakes. I have never been that close to a snake before so it was amazing to feel. Mini Monkey got to wear a very small snake (who's name I can't remember) and Mr MAP got to wear a much bigger one (who's name I also can't remember).

The keeper who was giving the talk was very knowledgeable and very engaging with the kids. It was a lovely introduction to reptiles and we’ll definitely be going back again. 

Opening hours: 10:00-17:00 Friday to Monday

Cost: Adults $15 and Kids 3+ $7