Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas at Community Caves

This morning we woke with the sun and headed downstairs to stoke the fire and get some breakfast going. Since we are so far from our families this year we decided to keep some traditions. We started with crepes.

I don't remember a single holiday without them so naturally they were the best way we could start our day. We topped them off with Maine-made maple syrup, apple and strawberry jams from the Laliberte's farm. After we had our fill of coffee, cocoa and crepes we were ready for an adventure.
Icicles! 12.25.11

Since this was our first Christmas on our own Josh and I thought that it was important to start some traditions of our own.  This would be the first year of our Christmas hikes. After some discussion we headed west to Spearfish Canyon to explore Community Caves. We've been there before but in the winter it was rumored to be even more spectacular.

Josh & Wu 12.25.11
The hike up takes about a half hour and since it goes strait up a ravine it can be a little taxing. We made stops every now and again to survey if it was safe for me to keep going. In a few places it was so slippery that we blazed through the fresh snow and made our own path. Wu was treating the hike like an agility course making his own path and checking out every nook. It was the perfect amount of exercise and enjoyment.

Towards the top the stream that flows over the caves was still running. It was exposing the gravel underneath so the going got much easier and once we stop to catch our breath we realized that the hike up had been well worth it. We had never expected the caves to look so beautiful with icicles frozen over the opening.

Relaxing in the Caves 12.25.11
At the top we sat for awhile and enjoyed the day. It was each moment it warming up and being under the rock shelter protected us from any wind.  It was nice to just to be the only two on the trail and to be spending our day together in the open air.  The whole world seemed calm as we sat there taking it all in. The waterfall was dripping from the overhang splashing into perfect frozen rings. It was turning out to be a perfect day. We took a few photos of the icy caves and ourselves to commemorate the day and then headed back down.

Christmas Kisses! 12.25.11
We were back in the car and winding south through the canyon when we spotted a Bald Eagle resting along the creek. He was beautiful. We turned around three times in an effort to snap a good picture but he seemed to realize what we were after and wouldn't hold still. Defeated we continued our cruise.

A few miles later we ended up seeing three whitetail does bedded down under some pines. After turning around a few times we were able to take a few pictures. Then headed home before disturbing them. The amount of wildlife in these hills never stops amazing us.

Our First Christmas Meal 12.25.11
Once we were home it was time to start cooking. A smoked ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and cheesy broccoli were all on the menu. We set to work and in no time we had every thing in the oven and the waiting begun.

Two hours later we were feasting on our first Davis Family Christmas meal. All the food came out delicious. Especially the sweet potatoes, which was a Davis Family tradtion. It was the best meal we'd ever cooked together and we probably ate too much. No, I'm sure we ate too much! I love Christmas!

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