We hike occasionally, but I find that it’s tough to motivate the kids without a specific goal in mind (which is why I like letterboxing). Climbing to the top of a mountain was perfect. Part of the way up, the trail split into two: to the right was the official, marked trail, which we later learned was rockier and steeper than the unofficial-but-easy-to-follow path that veered left. Climbing up the rocks was fun, but a little scary at times. The top photo in the link above (oh, I’ll put it here, too) shows exactly the spot where I had a little panic attack. Imagine me at the bottom of this picture, then imagine the two five-year-old girls in our party frolicking happily on the steeper rock portion above, completely oblivious to the sheer drop that’s at right. I was scrambling up while pant-hissing to J’s friend, “Lean forward right now, please! Get on your hands and knees right now please!” They were so excited that they were almost at the summit that they were dancing a little bit.
And the summit itself was oh-so-satisfying. We took a shoe picture around the medallion that marked the top (this is kind of a thing that my in-laws do, actually), and J located blueberries, so there was picking and snacking.
Meanwhile, the views were gorgeous.
We took the less-steep trail down. The kids were re-energized after reaching the top and having a snack, and with that, plus gravity, they kept breaking into a run. W reminded them that if they went too fast they might ram into a tree and get a black eye or lose a tooth. We’d forgotten that J was actually hoping to lose a loose tooth. She decided to try to knock her tooth out by smacking herself against a fallen log.
Later in the day, M yanked it out for her. Personally, I was quite impressed that the Tooth Fairy was able to get her hands on a golden dollar (her traditional gift) on such short notice. She’s a marvel, I tell you!
The climb took longer than we’d expected, so rather than going home & assembling sandwiches, we treated ourselves to lunch at Tail o’ the Pup Bar-B-Q, which was on the way. It was better than we’d expected, with live music, a little playground, and mid-day margaritas. Frozen with salt? Yes, please!