Wednesday, June 10, 2009
A New Tradition
The boys and I went camping and hiking at Oak Mountain this past weekend. Now we have all 3 been camping before but either at Camp Horne or with the Scouts. This was our first experience out on our own.
Friday night the set up went really well. We all had jobs and stuck to them. No one whined or complained about what was going on. I got the fire going (which totally shocked both of the boys) and we sat by it until it went out. We then climbed in to our tent and played about 10 rounds of Spoons. As we turned out the lights and started to get ready to sleep, both boys talked about how they would love to do this again and all the different places we could go.
Saturday morning went OK. We got up, packed up and cleaned up. We had few complaints about jobs (for example-Why do I have to carry the heavy stuff? I am too tired. He isn't doing anything. Can you do it for me?") I just chalked those up to the fact that life can make you a little crabby especially in the woods with no TV, no AC and no bed.
We headed out to find our "trail" that we wanted to hike. We started off on the White Trail which is a pretty good trail. After a rest in Maggie's Glen and some pictures, we were headed down the yellow trail to see Lake Tranquility UNTIL we happened on a sign that read Cliff View. That was all they needed! The boys begged and pleaded. The sign said it was only 1.1 miles away so I thought how hard can this be. LOL I SOON FOUND OUT.
To quote alabamatrail.org "From here the trail makes a steep climb 500 feet up the mountain, over some rocky ground. The steepest climb in the park, but also pretty because of the large rocks. At the top there is a great resting spot called Cove Cliff Top or something like that. " UGH!!!!
We would hike a little and I would have to stop. My knees and lungs don't do well with steep. The boys would run ahead and I would yell "I can't see you" so they would stop and wait. I heard "Preston, Mama just can't do this" many many times and this made me just go more and more (I now know where Preston gets his stubbornness). I definitely found out how out of shape I am. Once we got to the Cove Cliff Top the view was beautiful, but I just didn't think I could climb any more so we turned around and went back. When we got back to the car, we looked at the description from alabamatrail.org and found out we were not very far from the highest point in the park-WOW!!!!! I didn't do so bad then.
Next,we hiked the Tree Top Trail and to the Wildlife Center. Now if all we had done was the Tree Top I would have been fine, but with animals less than a mile away Preston just had to keep going. I was starting to feel the climb (not hike) from the White Trail, but I wanted this to be their hike. I kept going with my Protector (Harrison) going "Mama are you alright?" Preston, wait on Mama she can't" (Like I said before can't is just one of those words that if I was dying I would still do everything in my power to do what someone is saying I can't do). We finally made it the .3 miles to the Center (yes, I know that sounds pitiful but remember we had just climbed 2 miles and hiked 2 miles). Preston really enjoyed this and declared that when he grows up he wants to take care of wild animals. He said he wanted to either save them like at the Wildlife Center or run a zoo. :-)
We then rode up to Peavine Falls, but the trails were so rough and jammed packed with people, we didn't stay long. Once again a lot of stopping on my part. This time I had benches to use as points-LOL. I would walk from one set of benches to the next on the way back to the car. Yes, I was feeling the climb for sure by now. Going up to the Falls wasn't a totally bad decision, I did get to show the boys where their dad and I went repelling and shared some memories from it. I think they may have been a little impressed with their old mom.
As we drove home to Tuscaloosa, they both fell sound asleep and then slept some more when we got home, I LOVE CAMPING AND HIKING.
We will be going again. This is our new family time. I think we may set a goal of camping in all of the Alabama State Parks before the boys both finish High School. I think we can do that and give them some wonderful memories of the times they spent with their as they say crazy, goofy, tomboy mom.