People stared and stared at me. First it was the man that I paid the parking admission. He asked how many children. I stated four. He said, "Man, you've been busy! You don't look a minute over 14!" Man, was that embarrassing! Busy? What does he mean? I just laughed and told him I was 30 and quickly drove away.
And then there were the stares all the way up the pathway. Something about a 14 year old looking girl, pushing a stroller with all kinds of bags, cameras, binoculars, etc. hanging off the handles, and trying to manage a puppy who won't walk, thus must be carried, and keep a 4 and 7 year old from falling off into the water and drowning, and did I mention it wasn't a smooth trail and it was uphill? And it was pretty busy. Lots of elderly people seemed to be out and we made lots of friends.
We were grateful that several of our new friends pointed out various things to us along the trail. The snake they thought was venemous, that didn't turn out to be according to the park ranger in the gift shop. Also the Jack in the Pulpits and the oh darn... I can't remember what it was called, Trillium maybe? We were also showed how to use a compass which Micah had hanging around his neck. We were informed that wild violets are edible so we all tried just one petal.
I was told about 5 different times by this one really sweet elderly lady that I needed to make sure that I didn't dehydrate the puppy. She was very concerned and she showed me how to make a little water bowl for Mercy out of a plastic ziploc bag.
Somehow I managed to feed the kids lunch at about 1:30 at the top of the trail but was only able to scarf down about 3 bites of my peanut butter rice cakes. I drank a few precious drops of water and then proceeded to leave my water bottle on the deck of the look out.
By the time we got to the bottom of the trail I decided to brave going in the gift shop for a few minutes. You can find the neatest nature things inside these sorts of places. Only it is really hard to look when you have children, namely the four year old, asking over and over, "I WANT TO BUY SOMETHING MOMMY! CAN I BUY SOMETHING? CAN I BUY SOMETHING? MOMMYYYYYYYY!!!!!" I don't know why I even went in there. Crazy. I think I overheard the park ranger at the register telling someone in the store that "No, he doesn't usually allow dogs in the store." Oops, I did sneak in holding Mercy.
On the way there we stopped at a cute little rock shop, which are the first pictures, and on the way back we stopped at a different rock shop and came home with a 3 lb chunk of rose quartz...so pretty! As well as a geode that Andrew picked out and a beautiful amethyst and nice specimen of quartz crystals. I didn't take pictures of those. Maybe later!
Okay, enough already I know! Here are the pictures to prove this crazy adventure really happened today!
(I'd like to mention after my whole long preachy post about modesty that from a practical stand point, skirts are VERY comfortable! I don't know how I've lived this long without them! I hate the feel of things hugging me tightly, I hate having to pull up my pants over and over again, and I hate zippers and buttons. Ahh, nothing like elastic waste bands. :) I've collected about 8 different skirts now from Goodwill! I'm also going to start working on learning how to sew some different skirts. In all my spare time. Ha.)