Getting Kids Out Into Nature

Gold Creek Snowshoe (Second Visit)

Gold Creek, snowshoeing with children, winter hiking
Arriving at Heli’s Pond

We had a chance to go snowshoeing with our friends last Friday, and we went to Gold Creek again.  Cindy had knee replacement surgery just 8 weeks ago, and this was to be her first outing in the mountains since then.  We had some other novice ladies with us, too, so it was good to have somewhere safe and easy to visit.  (I realized after I got home that I had a big smudge on my camera lens, so my photos aren’t up to par this time.  Such a bummer.)

Gold Creek, winter hikes, snowshoeing with children
Cindy is Happy to be Out

We lucked out and got a gorgeous, sunny day.  Temps were up near 50 in the sunshine – so different from January 1, when it was 24 degrees.  We slathered on the sunscreen and kept our sunglasses on.

snowshoeing with children, gold creek, winter hiking, MSR
Annika’s Ready to Go

It truly felt like spring in the mountains, though there is still plenty of snow left, and nothing is budding.  We did see some patches of dry ground under the large trees, and the streams were rushing and noisy.

snow melting, washington native plants, spring
Glimpses of Green

We decided to walk up to the second pond instead of repeating the main loop around Gold Creek Pond.  You take the road all the way up, about 1.7 miles, and there is a snow-covered pond on the left.

Gold Creek, snowshoeing with children, winter hiking, frozen pond
First Look at Heli’s Pond

It was an easy walk; some folks were trekking without snowshoes, though adults might sink into the snow on the sides of the road without them, and they did provide a level of traction on the sun-softened snow.

kids and dogs, winter hiking, snowshoeing with children and dogs, Gold Creek Pond
Dogs Lead the Way

Gabe got to have Timber tied to him for most of the hike, as Cindy was not able to have both dogs on her.  Timber is such a good boy, and though he pulled Gabe forward a couple of times, he was very well-mannered. (Well, except for when the snacks came out, and then he put on his best sad puppy dog eyes to beg for food!)

kids and dogs, hiking with dogs, snowshoeing with children, kids in winter
Timber the Hopeful
hungry dog, husky malamute, dogs hiking, snowshoeing with dogs
Got Snacks?
gold creek, heli's pond, winter hikes, snowshoeing, snow covered peaks,
Looking Up-Valley

We stopped at the second pond, named Heli’s Pond, and had a good rest, with snacks and cocoa.

heli's pond, gold creek, snowshoeing, winter hike
Resting at the Pond
heli's Pond, gold creek, frozen lake, snowshoeing
Kirsten at Heli’s Pond

 The other gals had gone ahead, since they were faster, and after we had chatted a few minutes, they continued on up the road to see the sights a bit farther along.

snowy mountains, gold creek
Beautiful Peaks
winter hikes, snowshoeing with children
Gold Creek Near Heli’s Pond
kids in snow, gold creek
Messing Around
tree bark, gold creek, winter tree
Interesting Bark
gold creek, winter snowshoe, frozen pond
Heli’s Pond
winter hiking hazards, snowy bridge, winter hikes
We had to walk on top of the snow on that tiny bridge

We rested and enjoyed the snow-covered peaks, the fresh, clean air, and the glowing sun.

kids and dogs, gold creek, snowshoeing with children,
Annika Pets Timber
kids and dogs, snowshoeing with children, gold creek, winter hikes
Snuggles with Dogs

When we first met Timber and Tara, they weren’t used to children, and Tara was especially nervous of Annika.  She shied away all the time, hiding behind Cindy’s legs.  Annika was pretty afraid of dogs, too, and didn’t want to be near the dogs or have them following close behind her.  What a difference a couple of months can make!

kids and dogs, snowshoeing, winter hiking, gold creek
Two Relaxed Friends

Annika is much more confident, and now is able to pet and snuggle with the dogs.  Tara is willing to allow herself to be petted, and even will sit next to Annika and come to her for attention.  I’m so proud of both child and dog – they have worked hard to overcome their fears and shyness to become friends.  Annika even got to hold Timber’s leash for the home stretch back to the trailhead.  That was quite an accomplishment!

kids and dogs, snowshoeing washington, gold creek, hiking with kids
Timber and Annika

On the way back to the car we hiked off the road and onto the trails near Gold Creek Pond.

snowshoeing, winter hikes, gold creek, snoqualmie winter hiking
Hikers on a Bridge Near Gold Creek Pond

We stopped at the rest room at the parking lot there for our final snack break.  Our friends had made it back before we did, and were waiting for us to get back and make sure we were safe.

This was a fun trip!  I was delighted to get my fill of bright sunshine and blue skies, and to get some good exercise.  I figure we went just about 4 miles with our loop around Heli’s Pond and our diversion over to Gold Creek Pond.  It felt about like that – it took us about 5 hours to do this trip, and we were all pretty tired the next day.  Snowshoeing is harder work than plain hiking, and I found I had to feed my kids more often, at least every hour, to keep their spirits and energy up.  We all want to go back here in the spring and summer to see what it looks like without snow.  It’s such easy access, I know we’ll get up there at least once.

dogs in winter, showshoeing with dogs and kids, gold creek
One More Photo of Tara

 

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