In the library bookstore, I found a great book on local hikes. There is a section on hikes that are perfect for kids, so we picked one off the list for the following weekend. Most of the kid-friendly hikes are either really short, really flat, or really wet, all things that make the young’uns happy. Our kids are old enough now that we can pretty much drag them on any trail we come upon, but sometimes it is nice to find one that has a “kid attraction.”
The hike we chose went to a cave, and who wouldn’t like to explore a cave? So Rob plugged the trail coordinates into the GPS, we loaded our packs, and set out to find the cave. The trail started off at a pretty steep incline, but I thought it would level out soon. So we climbed. And we climbed. And we climbed some more. At this point I was wondering which part of this trail was considered “kid-friendly,” because I was no longer convinced it was even “adult-friendly!”
The thing about us, though, is that we are stubborn, and once we start out, we have a hard time turning back until we have found what we are looking for. So we kept climbing. And climbing. The Quemazon Trail was only supposed to be a 2-mile loop, and this one was definitely longer, with no signs of a cave in sight.
Eventually, though, we came upon a sign pointing to the Quemazon Nature Trail, only 1.7 miles away. Wait, the Quemazon Nature Trail? Was that the one we meant to take? So I dug the hiking book out of Rob’s pack to look up the trails. Sure enough, there were two: The Quemazon Nature Trail and the Quemazon Trail. We were on the latter. It was 3-miles one way (sounds about right), difficult skill level (um, yup), with an elevation change of 1,400 feet (so that’s what my thighs were trying to tell me). And no cave.
We decided we were Quemazon-ed out for the day, and rather than head to the Nature Trail, opted to head back down the mountain to the car. Here is the cool thing, though: This particular trail was once the wagon road leading over the Sierra de los Valles into the Valle Grande. There are wagon ruts remaining today. We did not even notice them on the way up, but once I read about them, we kept our eyes open on the way down, and sure enough, they were everywhere! It was absolutely amazing!
The trip down was soooo much easier! Once we made it down, we decided to go check out the trailhead for the Quemazon Nature Trail. Yea, we were way off, and nobody was overly eager to get back out of the car, so we put it on the calendar for the following weekend. Perhaps if we started out on the right trail, we may even get lucky enough to find that cave…