One of the beauties of living in Western North Carolina is the many outdoor activities that are available. My wife and I have been hiking the area since we moved here over 6 years ago, but the last few years we have not made it out at much. Our excuse? Kids! Having two young children has made going on the long hikes much more difficult. Yes, we have the backpacks, but that does not mean the kids want to stay in them.
Yesterday we decided to try it again. My son in the backpack and my daughter out for her first real hike. Not bad for age 3 (she will be 4 in the fall). We were not sure how this was going to go and I almost forgot we had our three dogs as well. I am not sure how I could forget the dogs seeing how our puppy (husky that weighs about 50 pounds) threw up all over my daughters car-seat and floor. I did not know dogs that big got carsick!
We started out at the parking lot of Water Rock Knob (after cleaning the jeep of course), son in the back pack, three dogs, and our daughter on foot. At first she was resistant and wanted dad to carry her, but I did not give in. She got into a rhythm and a hiker was born! I have to explain that Water Rock Knob is a short hike (about .5 mile to the top), but it is very steep. After the initial grade on pavement the trail becomes all rock that you have transverse to get to the top. Most of our grown friends could not make it because it is tough!
After we made it to the first overlook we asked our daughter if she needed a break and she said NO and kept on going. The fun part was here! She was a trooper climbing, crawling and jumping over rocks. Our son saw how much fun it was and he wanted down although I was able to convince him he had a pretty good deal in the back pack. Rock afer rock, step after step we all went. Before you know it we made it to the top! A three year old just completed her first climb of Water Rock Knob!
At this point we all took a break including our son who got his share of the snacks and water. The dogs had some water and after a brief rest we were heading back down the mountain. There was one difference; our son did not want back in the backpack. So we were off and now the 1 year old (will be 2 next month) was climbing over logs, rocks, and jumping with dad close by down the boulders. Both kids hiked all the way down the mountain with no breaks! To say mom and dad were amazed was an understatement! When we got to the bottom the kids almost appeared like they would do it again.
We were reminded yesterday how lucky we are to live in this beautiful area and how lucky our kids are to grow up and experience the mountains of Western North Carolina on a daily basis. Check back for our next adventure. I have a feeling there will be plenty more!