**My intention was to write this the evening we got back from this adventure. It was that big of a day. But, life overpowered my intention and so “today” was about a week ago. The day was such a good day I kept the title to remind me that “today” can always be a really good day.
I was ready to hike with my boys when I woke up today. My body feels strong, I have the green light from my doctor to resume my life and I haven’t been in the mountains since my surgery.
Going the summer without a camping or a hiking trip due to doctors orders and my bodies limitations was way more difficult than I thought. I am ready and I was hoping my boys were up for the challenge…yes, they were.
When we started walking L was nervous about what we were doing, why we were there. He wasn’t too happy. It didn’t take more than 2 minutes before he found discarded cans that needed collecting for our home recycling bin, he watched grey squirrels and chipmunks scampering around the steep hillside searching for food and he spotted a bluejay fly into a tree.
Both L and C didn’t stop talking during our hike. They were pointing out animals, different pine cones, rocks, trees and when they heard the waterfall we all stopped to listen for a while. Every few steps one of them would shout “It’s getting CLOSER!”
When we were in the direct sun it was intense, we all savored the shady parts of the trail. I love seeing my boys shadows follow us along on the hike. Their silhouettes accentuate their curls and short legs, adorable.
We took our time, took in the sounds and shade, stopped for a couple of water breaks and made it to spur trail for the waterfall in about 30 minutes. I couldn’t believe my boys never said they were too tired to walk, asked me to carry them, we walked slow and they made it all on their own.
The spur trail is easy to recognize. The beginning 100 ft are the most challenging of the entire trail. I made sure my boys understood that I was going to have to help both of them across a tricky section of the trail, I needed them to listen and concentrate. They did great.
The trail takes you between the darker and lighter round bushes in the middle of this photograph. The trail is pretty well eroded. We got up to where there was a flat place to stop and I held L’s had while C waited for me. When L was safely across I went back for C. Both boys were patient going across, didn’t hesitate and waited their turn. It was impressive.
The waterfall wasn’t raging like I have seen it during other times of the year but there was water, it made a beautiful sound and the boys were ready to get up close.
We found a swimming hole, the boys threw their shoes off in a matter of moments and waded into the water.
The water was crystal clear and only as deep as C’s knees, this find was so thrilling to them. Within 5 minutes they were both soaked up to their shoulders, smiling, laughing, making huge splashes with rocks, totally in their element.
Luckily, I packed and extra full set of clothes for each boy in my backpack. I don’t think I will ever go hiking again and not carry the extra set of clothes. The looks on their faces when they knew they could get totally wet and that I packed backup clothes was a proud mama moment for me. It was the best kind of admiration.
We ate lunch in a shady spot, laughed about how wet they both were, drank a lot of water and I helped them change into fresh clothes. It was time to start walking back to the car. They both listened well, never asked me to carry them (this is huge, when we go as a family my husband usually ends up with one on his shoulders and one on his back) and when we got back to the car they asked to hike again.
Seriously, does a day get any better? Not for me.
I must also relay that there were many challenges during this day getting to the hike. L had a dentist appointment at 8am. Somehow (I really wanted to go hiking) I managed to pack snacks, clothes, supplies and water for an extended outing in under 20 minutes before we needed to leave for the dentist. When I got in our car there was almost no gas in the car. So, we went to the dentist, then the gas station, then drove an hour to the trail head, then started our trip.
I am so thankful for my commitment to this adventure. It was just what we all needed that day.