We wrapped up September with a fantastic hike around the Wind Caves on the Travel Through Time trail on Mount Diablo today. It seems like yesterday that my girls were scrambling up these rocks and into these really neat little caves as little toddlers and babies. Now it was Quint’s turn to visit the caves and eat dirt there for the first time. Well, actually, he was there when he was in my belly about a month from his birthday but that doesn’t quite count. See, here he is in my belly (December 2013).
Don’t judge my hugely pregnant while camping in the middle of winter fashion, okay?
But I digress. Back to this afternoon. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day. The weather was warm with a cool breeze. We had great company – a friend with two matching aged kids came along, and every single person in our group had a good time, decompressing and relaxing, exploring and appreciating nature. No one got hurt and no one covered me in poison oak. (That’s a real fear of mine!) I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.
Getting to the Wind Caves is really easy. They’re about 200 feet from the parking lot (Rock City, parking lot marked for the Sentinel) up a slight incline, rocky, dirt trail. It’s not stroller friendly, at all, if you’re interested in doing it yourself with a little baby. Just wear your baby and you’re good to go. The real hike is getting to the Sentinel from the Wind Caves. It takes about 15 minutes with small children and I’d be sure to take walking children that know how to use their bodes to scoot, crawl, and climb. Otherwise, they need to be strapped to you in a carrier and you need to be confident in your skills as to not fall on them. A few parts are super easy, with carved steps like this section.
Here are my girls enjoying some of the caves on the walk to Sentinel Peak.
My eldest will be 5 in less than 2 months and my middle child is a freshly minted 3-year-old. My little Quint is 7 months old, standing in the photo below on the left and playing in the dirt and drooling on food scraps on the right. He’s turning 8 months old in just two days!
We stopped a couple times for water and food breaks, of course. What would an excursion be without a breastfeeding photo, right? Here I am, breastfeeding my son in the Ergo while at the top of Sentinel Peak, a look out point we climbed up.
[With my three kids on Sentinel Peak, Mt. Diablo. Thanks for the photo, Liz!]
I find it interesting when people judge mothers for when and where their children breastfeed, as if there are inappropriate places to meet their needs because they expect children to always eat at home or in a bathroom. In my family, my children have always nursed for nourishment and comfort when and where they need to.
But anyway, back to our day. The panoramic view from Sentinel Peak is beautiful. Getting up there may look daunting but there are steps carved into the sandstone and iron railings for safety while climbing to the top and back down.
On the way back, we slowed down and took a few more breaks. Here is my eldest perched on the top of a rock she climbed. Seeing her climbing, feeling confident in her body and her skills, reminds me of my childhood and how wonderful it felt to just explore and push limits. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could spend every day climbing around and enjoying nature like this?
What’s your favorite place to relax and unwind outside?
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