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Welcome Spring!!

We decided to celebrate the arrival of the wonderful new season with a hike up a mountain. We are taking part in the “Hike the Smokies for Families” and the goal is to log 50 miles in the park. Rob had the day off today so it was the perfect time to add some mileage to our book. We chose Mt. Sterling since it is relatively close to home and had a decent distance to it without being too unrealistic this early in the season. Hiking in was fun because it was uphill. Every. Single. Step. I kid you not, but I suppose this is how it goes when you are on your way up to a lookout tower!

I am amazed every time we take the kids out just how well they do hiking. They do stop from time to time for a quick rest, and they cannot be quiet to save their lives, which makes seeing any wildlife pretty much impossible, but they are such good sports! No matter how far we try to drag them, they always go willingly, rarely complain about anything and they have never once asked to turn back. They absolutely rock.

As I mentioned, we will never see any wildlife while out on the trail, we just make too much noise. William can’t leave sticks alone, and once he gets one in his hand, he proceeds to whack everything that crosses his path. And they all like to talk. A lot. When we were almost at the top of the mountain today, Catheryn spotted a paw print in the mud. It was a fresh print, made not long before we passed by, but the black bear who left it heard us coming, no doubt, and was long gone.

DSC_0306 spring

As we rounded the corner, we finally caught our first glimpse of the lookout tower.

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Everyone wanted to climb to the top, despite the fact that it was old and rickety. I, too, wanted to make it to the top for a few pictures, but as we got closer, I realized it was much taller than I had originally thought.

DSC_0311 spring

I don’t consider myself to be afraid of heights, but this was a bit much for me. I attempted, but couldn’t make it past the second platform. I handed the camera to Rob so he could take some pictures for me and he and the boys went to the top. Catheryn and I sat on the bottom steps and ate some trail mix, hoping to see a black bear walk by.

DSC_0317 spring

As imagined, the view from the top was pretty amazing, even if I did have to see it in pictures. After a break and small snack, we began making our way back down the mountain. It was cold and getting colder, so we were grateful that the trip down went much faster than the trip up.

We saw only one person in the 4 hours and 15 minutes it took us to complete the hike, and he was headed down while we were still heading up. We may not have seen any animals, but we had a good time anyway. It was peaceful. And beautiful. And I cannot think of a more wonderful way to welcome Spring, the most amazing of all seasons.

This evening I logged 5.4 miles in our book, which takes us to the first milestone: a stamp at 10 miles.

5 thoughts on “Welcome Spring!!

  1. what a wonderful day to spend the day….kids getting good exercise instead of play stations, Tv and all the rest. Good doses of fresh air and good walks..this is the setting for a good healthy life

    • It was a wonderful day to be outside. Our kids must be deprived becasue they have no gaming systems at all. We don’t even have regular tv, so they are limited to movies. I think they will survive!

    • We will be in the area for the entire summer and hope to hike as many of the trails as possible. The park is so beautiful!! I cannot wait for the trees and flowers to bloom. 🙂

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