By the time we drove up there, it was already pretty hot. I brought a carrier for Jane and strapped my camera to my back.
I haven't carried Jane in a carrier since maybeeeeee.....she was 4 months old? Actually, I did put her in one time about six months ago because she was being fussy while I was prepping dinner. Our fridge was looking very sad and sparse, but I decided to make french toast for dinner with the very last 2 eggs we had. Norah and Lucy were SO excited about the prospect of having breakfast for dinner. So I made the milk and egg solution and was just about to put in the bread when Jane kicked out from my chest and knocked over the whole bowl. It was all spoiled and everyone cried because that meant no french toast and starting over with planning dinner.
So anyway, I was already sore from carrying her before we even started our hike, and she wasn't so used to being restrained so she didn't like it much at first. Lucy, on the other hand, really wanted me to hold her and would have happily switched places with Jane if she had been allowed.
The hike up wasn't too bad and not very long, but with kids in tow, it felt much longer. I only had to use a little encouragement...and bribing with pretzels that Candra was smart enough to bring. But since my girls are such big mooches, the pretzels ran out quickly and I had to act as cheerleader to get them to finish the hike. We finally made it there and let the kids loose. I snapped away and was so glad it was shady.
Norah immediately ran over to this big pile of dead tree and climbed to the top.
It was so beautiful everywhere. I can see why it is a popular spot for photographers. Luckily, there was only one other small group there when we were there.
Jane was so funny with Candra's little girl and kept trying to give her hugs and follow her around everywhere.
I ripped off the carrier as soon as we got there, and let Jane roam free. She loved munching on the empty water bottle and begging for more from Candra, who again, came prepared.
Jane and little Preslee kept walking back and forth on this trail. I would tell them to go back for a picture, and they would walk over, then walk to me to see the pictures I took. haha
Lucy was obsessed with this giant rock and all the kids liked climbing on it, but she wouldn't get down. When it was time to leave, I tried to coax her down, but she kept yelling, "YOU'RE BOTHERING ME!"
I finally was able to yank her down, and we strapped up to go back to the car. Lucy plopped down in the middle of the hot, dirt road and wouldn't move. Since I was top-heavy with Jane in the carrier, I couldn't do much besides try to cheer her on...and then beg...and then bribe, and then push, and then punish if she didn't. haha
We decided to take a shortcut after Lucy made me carry her for a small part, which was way too hard. But then Candra's oldest son had already gone ahead of us and we got split up. I took the rest of the kids back down to the cars while Candra went to look for Liam. But then he came racing down toward me a few minutes later and I made him go back to find his mom, so she wouldn't be searching in a panic. While I was trying to get him to go back, Norah had run ahead toward the car and left Lucy behind, so she plopped down again and started crying.
Just a small fiasco, but it was sorted out quickly and we all cooled off in the air-conditioned car. The girls' faces were SO dusty and dirty, but we were due for naps, so I just took a wet wipe to them really fast and sent them off for a nice long slumber.
I had plans to go on hikes regularly with the girls, but after Lucy's constant meltdown, I might have to gear up to doing it regularly. :)