It hasn't warmed up enough for the snakes to start coming out of their winter hibernation. So Darcy made sure he packed a rubber one for our hike up the mountain. Endless fun was had planting it just ahead of us on the path, or in the low hanging branches of a tree to fall on unsuspecting heads.
We had the mountain track all to ourselves on the last pupil free day of winter. The boys each carried their own pack this time, but I still wore Thea on my back for a good part of the way up, and the whole way back. Up and down, up and down she climbed; in and out of her sling. Stopping to eat corn crackers and peanut butter on the granite outcrops, and paddle in the icy puddles left by the winter rain. I lifted her in front of me like a rock wallaby for the last steep incline, hopping up the slippery slopes. It wasn't quite the top, but it was good enough for us.
Coming back down I swore it was the last mountain I would carry her up, as my back groaned in complaint. We refilled our water bottles from a gnamma hole, collected ants for Lewis' ant farm and twisted tiaras from tendrils of sundew. Six hours on the mountain - a full school day of walking, with some history, biology and snakes thrown in.