Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm Not Catholic - but I've been to Purgatory

The weekend forecast looked great for Saturday so Kristi and I planned a trip to an interesting looking park. We mapped out some geocaches and planned a picnic lunch. We had soccer in the morning setting us up for a late start (1 hour to the area). As we hurried back from the fields of friendly strife we tried to sell the wonderful trip we had planned to the kids. They were not excited. Another silly hiking trip with mom and dad. (if only they had known the irony of the name of place we were going).

To help keep spirits high or at least neutral - I popped in a movie in the van for the initial drive. The cartoon had something to do with a birthday so Lu started "singing" happy birthday and included the silly - cha-cha-chas in between verses in her broken 2 year old language (quite funny). Another funny story on the way in was K spying a shopping center (imagine that). Not only did she see the center obscured by hills and trees, but her keen female brand spotting eyes
see a Red Robin sign. She squeals with excitement and says "will we still be here at dinner time?" I pause and answer "well we will be now!" (I'm no dummy - I learned something in 15 years).

Finally to the park. We had a good map (always key when you travel with teddy), and we were trying to decide where to park. I spot a cool looking playground. We stop here and unload. The kids play, we eat some lunch, and then gear up for the big hike.

The park is called Purgatory Chasm State Reservation. The main attraction is a 1/4 mile chasm between walls of granite. It's way cool if you like to scramble over large rocks. It has small caves and pockets to fall into and steep rock faces to fall down. Perfect place to take a curious 2 year old - right. Of course we end up carrying Lucy on this part of trek. Who am I kidding we carried her most of the day. We survived the chasm, and then walked some trails to find some geocaches.

We found 2 of the three caches we were hunting. We also found an archived cache that was supposedly 10 feet from the one we did not find (last one of the day). As I was sitting with Lucy I watched some other clown walk up with a gaggle of people (and a dog and a snake) and find the container in a rock crevice and says, "hey what is this?" He fumbles around in the container and yells out, "Hey there some smokes in here." I try to explain it to him, but he is not really interesting in listening to me. He closes it up and heads up the hill (still with the baby snake in one hand).

On the way back from the caches we added a new find to our list. A letterbox. It's similar to geocaching but was started before there were GPS signals. You get some clues from a webpage similar to a treasure map and then you can find a container with a cool stamp. You take along your book and get the stamp. Kristi and Riley get credit for that one. While I waited along the main trail with some tired kids.

After the hike we purchased some ice cream from the Ice Cream Truck cleverly stationed in the parking lot. We played some more in the playground then headed for home (via the shopping center).
Kristi loved her dinner at Red Robin. She had some blue cheese pesto chicken sandwich and a Dr P (of course). The kids were less excited, and mostly just worn out from the day's adventure.

We had an awesome time in Purgatory. I think Kristi and I loved just joking about Purgatory and that it really is here in Massachusetts. There was irony on so many levels...especially lugging 4 moody kids in and out of the rocks.

In all seriousness...seeing some of God's handiwork was simply amazing. Here's what author Peter Whitney said about it a zillion years ago (in 1793). "This is the most stupendous place, and fills the mind of the beholder with the most exalted ideas of the infinite power of the great Creator of all things."

No comments: