Beautiful day. A bit cloudy but we were confident it would burn off as the day wore on.
Out to The Gorge we drove and within an hour we found ourselves at Beacon Rock State Park. Time for a family hike. A couple of hours all together out in God's beautiful creation was just what we needed.
The sun was now shining and the trail sign said only 1.8 miles to the waterfalls.
We headed out, the Oldest in the lead, the Husband with the water and the red vines and the Youngest and myself somewhere at the rear. It wasn't long until the falls. And they were lovely, but we just weren't ready to turn around so soon.
But, what's this?
Another sign reading: "Hamilton Mountain 3.6 miles"
What's another 3.6 miles when the day is still young?
Well, what it is is another 3.6 miles straight up. And up. And up.
And when you are really up, the trail branches off into two ways and two signs-
one way named 'difficult' and the other (pointing to a near vertical path) is named as 'more difficult'.
At this point Mom is a bit tired and kinda needs to pee. Against the wishes of the other three it is the 'difficult' trail that is chosen.
But after another hour and more of up, up, up we come to realize that though not as difficult as the other trail, this one just happens to be much, much longer to the top of Hamilton Mountain. And the males rally together that the very top is where we must go. So much for only another 3.6 miles.
After more than three hours of hiking we finally summit the blasted mountain and find ourselves surrounded by awe-striking views.
We finish the little water left. Scarf down the one granola bar each. Pose for pictures . . . and get the heck off of the mountain.
The husband decides that the faster way to get down is by the 'more difficult' trail we avoided earlier.
Down we go. Straight down and sometimes down quite by accident as the rocks beneath us slide around under our feet.
It's getting late.
I need to pee like no one's business, my legs are literally jello at this point and we have hours to go until we see the lovely silver gleam of our car.
As I glare at the males tromping down the mountain ahead of me I make it clear that I am not making dinner tonight.
They shrug and murmur the 'p' word.
Hours after our summit, we praise God that there is still light and we see our car parked right where we left it.
I nearly cry with joy.
Actually, the cry of joy really came when I spotted the campground restroom. Never thought I'd be so happy to use one of those.
We head back home with thoughts of 9pm pizza dinner floating through our heads.
I take the shoes off my swollen feet.
The Youngest tells us how much he hates hiking.
The Oldest passes out in the backseat.
And Husband notices the gas light is on.