Close to Home :: Croton Gorge

Having a toddler (again) has changed my life in infinite ways.

No earth-shattering discovery there.

BQ (before Quinn) Jake was in school (remember, they are over nine years apart) and my days were spent contemplating why I wasn't more productive. Now, productivity is measured in new words, diapers and other daily firsts. I am hugely productive.

I think I've alluded before to the fact that I don't love living where we do. Please don't misunderstand. I love our imperfect house and the community in our little town. I love my neighbors and the school that The Elder Child attends. I love being near my parents and I love the proximity to my home town. But the list of what I don't love is lengthy as well. Still, we remain. (More on that another time.)

Because of The Toddler (wasn't he just The Baby five minutes ago?) I've been compiling a list of places close to home worthy of short outings. The criteria: must be able to drive (or walk) there and back before afternoon nap; must be safe for a toddler to run around; must be free. That's it. I've been adding to the list all winter long and waiting (less than patiently I might add) for the snow to melt and the mud to (mostly) dry before we began visiting them. The list is impressively long and I'll tell you - it's adding to the things I like about living here.

Yesterday we started checking places off the list with a trip to nearby Croton Gorge Park.

A mere fifteen minutes from home. We were able to drive there run around and explore and drive back all before lunch.

We visited the part of the park below the dam. We'll save the upper part for another outing.

The Croton Watershed supplies much of New York City's water and it's epic. The water flows violently here all year long but in the spring especially it's force is impressive.

It's thunderously loud and smells like earth. We stood close to the base and felt the spray on our faces.

As awed as I was by the sights, nothing compared to watching Quinn take it all in.