This morning, we decided to get a bit more ambitious with our hiking. The kids had been pretty decent about the walking yesterday, but Sydney and I were keen to try new trails and test the kids’ stamina. So we started down a path to Gray’s Arch, and the route we took brought us back to our car about 7 miles later.
The kids did very well! Nathaniel started to clamour for a piggy-back ride, but later forgot all about it, and at the end of the trip, all four of us tumbled down the path with great energy. We were mostly energized by the variety of the terrain. The first part of the path was muddy, but also had roughly a dozen lovely bridges criss-crossing a stream, followed by a steep climb that the kids tackled with gusto, near-desert conditions high up (dry, sandy, and large rocks), and then a jungle-like mid-range section that had us ducking through what looked like rhododendrons and a canopy of big-leaf magnolias.