As I stated in my previous post, the kids were still full enough of energy to want to hike the path that runs from one end of Chimney Bluffs State Park to the other. I am uncertain how far this little jaunt is, but it was a nice walk for sure. Well, except for the challenges…
A nice set of wooden stairs, built from pressure treated lumber led to this sign. I gingerly hopped up the stairs with great ease…no problem. Carly and Madeline would meet us over in the other parking lot in Carly’s Jeep, along with Mark in our truck. After the stairs ended, we commenced up the hill. Did I say “hill”? I think the grade on this incline is about eighty-five degrees.
Kyle, Sarah, and Ben seemed to mount the grade with ease and gracefulness. Thankfully, I didn’t feel totally defeated as little Erin confided that she has “bad knees”. Thus, Michelle and Erin followed behind me, never complianing that I was moving too slowly! As we climbed (and climbing on hands and knees would have been a VAST improvemnent), I could hear the sound of my heartbeat gushing in my ears. Every joint in my hips, knees, ankles, and even my toes were burning! Just a few feet from the summit, I was sure my eyeballs were going to pop out from their sockets.
Fortunately, the end of the climb came and I was victorious!
At the highest peak, it was scary looking down!
Ben had to strike a cool pose….
We sauntered along the pathway enjoying all the beautiful sights. However, many times along the pathway the path changed from a hard packed surface to “muck”! Icky, sticky, gooey muck. We would walk through prickers, briars, and bramble to avoid the rich black muck. Oh, did I mention it was also slippery?
Erin was thrilled as she observed several varieties of moss growing in te woodland and on rocks.
The boys sometimes cantered off ahead, and other times meandered behind.
As we walked the pathway, there were times when the path ended. Abruptly! See the tree below?
Now envision that tree right along the path just a few months ago! See the rich black soil where the tree once *was*??
Perhaps Erin will grow up to be a Botanist. As I said, she is enamored when it comes to moss.
Where did Michelle wander off to? Hmmm…..
And on we hiked, the six of us.
Many times we walked across logs to avoid the muck, while other times, it was just, well…fun!
When I decided to go on this hike, I switched out my cameras from the Nikon to the little Panasonic. Drat…Sarah had struck such a lovely pose, looking out over the lake below. By the time the camera fired, she caught me!
I can see how trees tumbling down the bluffs could easily take away three feet along the top! These trees that fell were very large!
Another fail was when I tried to capture Ben up on top of this tree stump. Of course, by the time he was in focus and I was prepared to snap, Ben jumped down. Another drat!
And on and on we wandered. At this point, we had encountered what looked like a huge bog along the path. I led the way as we made a detour. Erin looked bewildered and asked if I knew where I was heading?
See this log?
*If* we chose NOT to balance our way across it, guess where the “real path” was?
Uh huh! Now who would mind walking in water who knows how deep with sneakers on our feet? And, of course, if that muck was beneath that water, how far **down** would we sink?
Well, Erin walked across the log with her walking stick….no problem. Sarah and Michelle gracefully crossed unassisted. Kyle also had a walking stick and was surefooted. Then it was my turn. I began walking out, placing my feet carefully on the log. As I took my third step, I realized that were I to slip off the log, I would land in who knows what? And if I fell and landed on my camera, or the camera landed in the mud…..
“Kyle! Can I use your walking stick?”
Kyle came back with two. His stick as well as Erin’s. He gave me his, the more hefty stick. Ah, now to cross. I couldn’t believe how easily I walked across with that stick giving me a little more balance.
Shortly after crossing the most challenging part of our hike, we could see a clearing ahead! Yes, we were finally out of the woods! Hurrah! This was the view…
We made our way back to the others waiting for us. What an adventure, indeed! We laughed and had so much fun, it really was a good time for everyone…challenges and all!