Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Back to Nature

We hit the trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park one day during our trip. It was Ford's first hike as a Big Boy in the backpack and he loved it! It was also my first hike toting a little one on my back and unfortunately I can't say I did as well as he did. It took a while to get the pack adjusted right (like half the day) so I was sore from carrying the weight wrong for most of the trip. Rhett assured me this was a family friendly, easy, shortish hike. Our ideas about the perfect hike vary greatly. We've come a long way in compromising since the 14 mile hike into a volcano on our honeymoon but we still have little way to go. I've come to realize that I like "Nature Walking" much more than what is considered "Hiking". Key things to a great nature walk 1. a nice flat trail (as in no incline or rock/boulders to climb over) 2. reasonable distance (I'm willing to go 5 miles if key thing #1 is met) 3. beautiful scenery 4. a great lunch. Well, this hike fell short of all of these except for #3. Luckily the kids were much better sports about the whole thing than I was.
Ford just chilled the whole time and konked out at one point. Even the rain (yes, rain) while we were hiking back UP the mountain on our return trip didn't dampen the kids spirits. I had visions of flash floods so the love of my children got me motivated to kick it up a notch to get out of there.

Rhett and Claire going to explore . . . a girl after her Daddy's own heart. I stayed with Ford in the shade and almost lost a finger in a very peculiar run in with a container of bug repellant wipes.
This would have been a great time to break out the picnic basket and eat a yummy lunch but poor planning on our part prevented that from happening. We settled for a generic brand pop tart and warm water then headed for the house. A McDonald's cheeseburger (or ham-a-burger cheese and Claire calls them) was in order on our way back considering all we (I) had been through. Did I forget to mention that Rhett carried Ford in his arms the last 1/4 mile up a really steep hill? I know pretty wussy on my part but what could have taken 45 minutes took 15 instead. My hero! All things considered, I really do like being outside and enjoying nature from this angle. I'm glad my kids do too. Claire loves going hiking and even took her new "Snow White Garbie" on the hike with us.
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Shanan said...

I can't tell you had a frustrating experience by those smiles! Ford is getting too big too fast - please sprinkle him with some kind of potion that makes him stay little forever! I am disappointed that there is not a potty picture on this hike! Surely that potty is hiding in someone's backpack!

Rhett, Megan, Claire and Ford said...

Yes, there was a pretty potty picture taken on the trail but I thought I'd give everyone a break from potty pictures for a while. I had it strapped to the outside of my pack. Good thing I stopped trying to be cool about 3 years ago! We are going to have to master copping a squat here pretty soon. Ford is growing like a weed but he is so much fun that it makes it OK that he's not a little baby anymore!

Chris and Shelley said...

Let me just say kudos to you! I just went on a 1.5 mile stroll with Chris and my 12 pound 7 week old in the Bjorn front carrier... let me tell you, that's all I could have done! (course, I did just have a baby 7 weeks ago... if that counts for anything!)

Looks like lots of fun! We miss y'all!