If you are fortunate enough to thru hike the Foothills Trail, your name will be forever emblazoned on their website as having completed the adventure. Since our kids are all about tooting their own horns at the end of this journey, you’d better believe we’ll be letting the conference know they rocked it and applying for the prestigious “Peregrine Award!” In order to be recognized, you must submit a written account of your thru hike, so if it interests you, sit back and enjoy the journey vicariously through us!
After our soggy weekend of “fun,” we decided to complete the next section as a day hike, mainly because the guide book said camping sites were limited along this stretch. When I woke up the morning of our planned hike and looked out my window, I was crestfallen to see it pouring rain. The marvels of modern technology soon assuaged my anxiety as I looked at the radar on my phone and discovered a clear sky where we were headed.
I started packing our lunch when I received a text from Diana, “It’s raining AGAIN!” I responded with my findings on the radar and that while there was a chance for scattered showers, it was nothing like our first trip. My dear friend, who trusted me to take her and three of the people she loves the most in the world into “flood watch” conditions the previous weekend, wasn’t buying it. I mean, really, can you blame her?
We bantered back and forth a long time, trying to find an alternate date to go, which was proving even more impossible than me convincing her that I thought the day’s forecast was very optimistic! Finally, Larry, who has a knack for problem solving in times like this, chimed in and told me to tell her our Navy Seal Mom status was at risk. My next text from her, “Ok. Let’s meet at 9.” And we were off!
Since the newest member of our family, Josie, loves food more than any dog I’ve ever known, I decided to bring her along in an effort to salvage my reputation as a veterinarian with an overweight dog. We arrived at the trailhead and Josie decided to put on the brakes at the edge of the road where the trail starts. Maybe someone’s read Hansel and Gretel to her somewhere along the way, I don’t know, but what I do know is she wasn’t budging! As I tugged on her leash, she wormed her way out of her collar and was off and running down the forest service road as fast as she could! From previous experiences with her, I knew getting her to stop was impossible, so I took off running behind her. I may have stood a slim chance of catching up with her if it weren’t for the fact that I was wearing a brand new, fully loaded backpack I was testing for comfort and fit before I took it on an overnight trip!
Diana jumped in her car and chased after us. Luckily, Josie jumped right in and we backed down the road to the waiting kids, who at this point were surely questioning why they trusted me to take them into the wild again!
Thankfully, the rest of the day makes for a pretty boring story. I picked Josie up to carry her across the “threshold” and she was absolutely fine once she was set down on the trail (until the last 100 yards or so of the hike when she heard a car backfire, broke her leash as she bolted, and was barely caught by Paige!). We hiked up and over Medlin Mountain, across a ridge, and then descended to Sloan Bridge passing the East fork of the Chatooga River. And you know what? Not a drop of rain! Our little hikers did great through the tough sections with the exception of one of my own. I won’t name any names, but I did note in my previous post that she has a tendency to whine on any hike over five feet. She did not want to let go of her reputation completely, I suppose. 🙂
Enjoy the photos from a wonderful day spent in the woods!
|Can you guess who’s happy near the end and who’s not?|
|Josephine, the incredible hiking dog?|
|We came across this sign on the trail and were moved deeply. It reads, “My name is Kellen,6, I just finished chemo for leukemia. When you are tired and weak remember I believe in you! You are my ultimate hero!”
What a brave young man YOU are, Kellen.