Sunday morning saw us driving into the parking lot of Walnut Canyon National Monument, then heading through the visitor's center, and to the head of the Island Trail.
As we started our trek and descended the 200 some stairs, it was incredible to realize that we were walking in the footsteps of the Sinagua who lived here more than 700 years ago.
It was also incredible to imagine living in these cliff dwellings.
We marveled that the cliffs were so steep and noted how far the creek bed was from the cliff houses - a very tough hike up with a water bowl on the top of your head.
We imagined sleeping on the hard dirt floors on animal skins (although Brant thought his own pillow and blanket were a better choice).
We learned that the yucca plant was the most useful to the Natives, the fibers being used for ropes, sandals, mats and many other things. Aubrey pointed out every yucca plant she saw along the trail.
And being that we were in a canyon, we had to listen to our echoes for a good five minutes.
I've come to realize that our family hikes are not fast paced. That's okay, though. I love the opportunity to teach our children while out exploring - whether it be to learn some historical fact or to point out some interesting thing or to holler into a canyon.
Fortunately, I didn't have to carry the three year old up every one of the 200 something stairs. I didn't even carry him up 20 of them. Once we started counting, he wanted to step on and count each and every one.
No, I do not regret our little excursion at all.
It was very entertaining and educational, and I'm all about educational.
And usually, I'm all about photography opportunities too.