It was very fun, if somewhat exhausting. (The hike to the campsite at the end of the trail was relentlessly uphill; the walk back was, naturally, downhill, and therefore mercifully less tiring.) We carried Loyette in her Kangaroo Korner slings, Becky using the fleece one and me using the mesh one, as we always do. We passed her back and forth throughout the roughly six-hour hike, and whoever wasn’t wearing the baby would wear the backpack. So that worked out pretty well.
Loyette was amazingly tolerant of the long day. She got cranky exactly three times — twice just before taking a long nap in her sling (i.e., she was tired), and once just before lunch (i.e., she was hungry). She’s a great baby that way. :) Throughout the vast majority of the hike, she was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and seemed very interested in all the new sights, sounds and smells. Of course, that meant not just the natural wonders of the forest, but also the more mundane “wonders” like the feel of cold condensation on the outside of our water bottle, and the way a plastic bag full of peanuts (a handy trail snack) changes shape when you grab the outside of the bag. To a baby, everything new is exciting and wondrous.
Anyway, the trail we hiked is renowned for its beautiful wildflowers in early spring. Since it’s late May, there aren’t as many wildflowers now, but there are some, and they’re pretty. Here are a few that I photographed:
Oh, and the trail also has a somewhat scary bridge, quite reminiscent of the Bridge of Khazad-DÃƒÂ»m (although with a railing, admittedly):
It’s hard to tell from the photos, but there’s really quite a steep drop-off; the water is maybe 15 feet below you in the middle. And given the narrowness of the bridge, it’s legitimately somewhat nerve-wracking to walk across.
I really wanted to find a large stick, hold it up, and proclaim, “You cannot pass! I am the servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor. Dark fire will not avail you, Flame of UdÃƒÂ»n! Go back to the shadow! You shall not pass!!!”
But alas, there was another pair of hikers sitting on a rock nearby, well within earshot, so I had to contain my weirdness. :)
I did, however, do what my dad and I call the Indiana Jones pose — notwithstanding the fact that, to my knowledge, Indiana Jones never did any such pose.
Anyway, I’ll upload some more pictures of the hike to Flickr shortly, and link to them here when they’re online.
P.S. I think this photo is cool:
UPDATE: As promised, here’s the Flickr gallery. It’s two pages long. Enjoy!