Last Sunday (as in a week ago, I'm behind), we surprised Anna June with a trip to Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. The park is so close to our house, we shouldn't even qualify it as a trip.
There are miles of trails through beautifully preserved woods. Because of the area's industrial past, some of the trails lead to old mine entrances, and we even saw an enormous iron ore crusher, which was the highlight of our walk.
The crusher was made by Allis-Chalmers, where Grandma Gallitz used to work, although this machinery certainly predates her tenure there.
The site actually provides an interesting look into the iron ore mining industry, a key part of what made our city grow like magic. Unfortunately, it was mostly on the backs of underpaid workers doing heavy and dangerous work. You can read more about this particular mine here.
Our pictures from the trip are located here.
We saw unusual bugs, flowers, trees, and even a (small and harmless) snake.
We went through the nature center and saw owls, turtles, and other wildlife from the area.
AJ complained that we got lost and had to use our compass. Side Note: Is there anything an iPhone can't do? AJ complained that we walked through mud and got her new-to-her shoes all dirty. She was hot.
But when we asked her how she liked the hike, she claims, "It was so much fun."
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