Seriously, there were more happy moments than this one. At the time, Liam was screaming and pulling my hair, and Wes was tired of the 50-lb pack he had to carry.
We’ve talked about going backpacking with the kids (or kid) for a while, but the opportunity presented itself last weekend and we made a quick decision to try it (decided on Saturday morning….).We loaded up the gear and food and kids/dog in record time and got out the door and on the trail by 2pm. I carried Liam, some food, and a few pieces of gear. Wes carried….everything else.
We headed for a trail that leads to Tinker Cliffs, a wonderful viewing point along the AT. The hike up is a combination of steep, switchbackless trail; poison ivy thickets/farms; nice gradual switchbacks; and gate/creek crossings at the bottom. We had been wanting to place a geocache at the overlook for a while in memory of our friend Heather, who had done this hike some time ago. Unfortunately, we have since learned that geocaching along the AT is forbidden – so the geocache will need to be retrieved sometime soon. But doing the hike gave us some quiet, solemn time to remember Heather and pray for her family.
We had a difficult, but overall satisfying hike up to the top. We set up camp at about 7pm and ate freeze-dried backpacking food (nasty, but tastes good when you’re really hungry). We sat on a rock and watched the sun sink below the mountains in the perfectly clear sky. The air was crisp and perfect for sleeping (someone should have told Liam that….).
In the morning, we packed up and headed back down. Between the hike up and down, we spotted a bear (!), a deer very up close & personal, a snake, a lizard, about 3 thousand 17-year locusts, and lots of black raspberries (yum). Then we headed to the Homeplace for some delicious food. I was so tired and hungry that when I sat down and was offered some sweet tea I seriously almost cried. It was the perfect ending to a fun, rewarding, and difficult hike! Abi did great (she didn’t have to carry anything) with the hike and we really made good time, considering!