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While most mothers were treated to a delectable breakfast in bed and pampered to the fullest, our mothers day was nothing near the sort, rather just another day galloping across some of our favorite places here in Litchfield County. The idea for this mothers day was a bit last minute as the original plan was an escape to nearby Newport, RI to take in the sights of the old world mansions along the cliff walk. Given the expected temperatures closer to the coast, however, we decided it was indeed best if we stayed local and enjoyed a glorious spring day taking in the sights right here in our own backyard, and one of those landscapes we headed for was Steep Rock Preserve in Washington, which is a personal favorite for the both of us. It is a land of enchantment. A land of mystery. A land of exploration. If there is one thing that is certain, it is that you can never get bored at Steep Rock. With it’s vast network of trails, as well as it’s incredible amount of acerage, adventure and exploration is welcome.

Today’s visit started off like normal but ended in a way that the two of us never thought of. We started off at the trailhead to the Hidden Valley Preserve which is located just northeast of Washington Depot. As we hiked along the Shepaug river, we took in the sights as our minds we’re beginning to take control of us. Oh boy! Yes, the thoughts of bears coming out and onto the trail crossed our minds at least a hand full of times as we continued to make our way deeper and deeper into the preserve. As the thoughts continued to cross our minds, my mothers was already becoming overreactive as a woman who was jogging the trail who came up behind her scared the living daylights out of her as she thought for certain it was a bear. My poor mother. She was clearly becoming traumatized by this trip, but did we stop there? Not at all. We kept pursuing our love for the great outdoors as we climbed the small mountains that surrounded the Shepaug.

Now, it’s getting interesting. We discovered an old quartz mine, complete with a small cave and quart rocks. This was the layer of the cake, the icing is yet to come. Oddly enough, this didn’t scare my mother as much as the woman who ran up behind her. I don’t know about you, but if I were exploring this alone, I can assure you I would have bolted out of here screaming like a school girl. Mike and caves, especially during the spring, do not mix. My mother on the other hand was the first one to take in the sights of this fascinating discovery and I followed suit, closely, though once I felt safe, it was time to take pictures and enjoy the surroundings as the area also felt like a natural air conditioner as well. Even freakier, right?

Once we were ready to start back on the trail, we picked ourselves up and headed towards the summit of the preserve. This was the icing on the cake. Just when I thought my mother wasn’t panicking enough through this heavily forested landscape without any sort of civilization and the possibility of bears leaping out of nowhere as if we were midnight snacks, now it was time for a strenuous climb to the top, one of which my mother is not a fan of. Though my mother loves to hike with me, climbing to high altitudes is by far one of her least favorite activities to participate in. At this point, she was ready to kill me as her normally white face was suddenly becoming three shades of red as if she wanted to blow out steam and have me committed. What a mothers day. This just proves how much I love my mother. I tried explaining to her that this very activity was the key to a healthy life and longevity. She didn’t want to hear it. She wanted to hear the words “car” and “parking lot” come out of my mouth. She knows me too well, however. I can hike for hours on end. You would think she would remember this every time we go somewhere.

Since my mother was in such agony, I decided to be nice on mothers day and only head back down from the summit, and as we did we enjoyed the fresh air that came along with it, along with the sudden overhead black clouds. Oh boy! Now I was really in for it if it started to pour! I prayed over and over in my head for this absolutely not to happen, and it worked. Not a drop came from the clouds as we made our way back to the car, but not before taking in the sights along the river as well, which was rather relaxing compared to hiking summits!

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