Jun 15, 2013

Sand Hills State Park

The Sand Hills State Park is a hiking only park close to Hutchinson, KS.  Well, I guess you can ride horses on the trails, too.  I read up on the trails ahead of time online to decide which on to try for based on distance.  I chose the Pond Trail, since it has a pond and it wasn't too long.  I should not have been surprised to find the pond dry. 

Our hike started out beautiful.  We pick a 100 degree day to go, but we started early enough to enjoy some beautiful weather. 

Lots of pretty wildflowers on the trail.

Yes, this is Elliott picking up a dead armadillo.  The boys thought this was awesome.

This is my favorite pic of the boys and me ever!

I tried some Homemade Granola Bars.  They were a hit!

Yes, this is what you think it is.  Yes, it was in my bathroom.  I would say this park (bathrooms and trails) was not the most well-maintained.  There was a certain type of grass on the trail that has been allowed to flourish that sticks to your socks and pokes you.  Gabe sat down to get some out of his socks and we waited and waited for him.  When he got up, he started screaming that his leg hurt.  I think he sat in some anthills.  Poor kid.  I thought our hike was over, but he recovered and we finished.

Jake's new idea:  take a pic by the sign with our thumbs rating the park.  I guess we had mixed reviews.  We were very hot and tired by here.
Then, we drove a few miles down the road to check out Dillon Nature Center.  It was amazing!  We will go back soon.  This was the highlight of our day.  We ate our picnic lunch here and then enjoyed the air conditioning in the indoor displays, walked around the stocked pond, where we could see turtles and fish swimming all over.

Finally, we found this outdoor play area.  It was awesome.  We could have spent two or three hours out there.  There was a huge sandbox with a water pump the boys could use to put water through canals they dug.  There were musical instruments to bang on, blocks to build with made of tree stumps and other natural materials, and a small wading creek.  This place is free to visit.  We were very impressed!

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