You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, March 18, 2011

Following the White Blaze

We are super blessed to have the Appalachian Trail practically in our backyard. Between that and the C&O Canal, we have the best of both trail hiking/running worlds - crazy hills on the AT and flat as a pancake on the C&O.

The AT is marked with a 'white blaze' which is how you know you're still on the correct trail...assuming you intend to be on the AT, that is.

Today was completely gorgeous so I dragged the kids to Washington Monument State Park outside of Boonsboro, MD for a little hike. I thought we could do a nice, easy 1.5 miles out and back for a total of 3 miles - which my kids can do and have done many times. We aren't running a 6:00 m/m, but walking along, sipping water and munching snacks.

We started out by hiking up to the top of the tower and looking around
photo credit MD DNR

On this portion of the trail, you hike UP to the tower. To continue on the AT, you hike DOWN into the woods. My IT Band said, Hello there! during this downhill portion. grrrrr

Snack time!

I have never been to this particular park, and the kids were really excited and found all sorts of new things to look at, like this hole in the bottom of a tree

Ella developed a little tummy ache around mile 1.4. It seemed silly to turn around so close to our goal so we sat for a bit, munched a snack and when her tummy felt better, we kept on going.

I took the picture of E and H and then noticed J and S in the background. Turned out pretty cool

Shane, on the other hand... I think my new nickname for him is Napoleon...he's short and bossy with big ideas. He wanted to be first which is nothing new. He always wants to be first and I always tell him, 'you'll just have to run faster if you want to be first.'

Usually he responds to this by going faster to catch up. Today there must have been a westerly wind blowing
 because he just fell apart. Screaming and throwing himself...and his backpack and whistle...on the ground. I already don't have any patience so when he starts with his lose-all-control tantrums, I want to just walk away and leave him to scream it out. Obviously I can't do that in the woods so we stood around while he gained some sense of self control, and then we started walking back. Then he tripped and fell and scratched his hand and refused to move at all.

After Ella's tummy ache Hank held her hand to help her along. So sweet!

So I did what any mom would do; I picked his little hiney up and carried him. My little monkey was pretty wiped out from all his antics and a hug from mommy really helped his attitude. While I was happy the screaming was over, I was now committed to carrying my 40+ pound five year old and a 15+ pound backpack about a mile over a rocky trail that goes UP a mountain.

Yea, my leg is pretty much done for today. I'm rotating my ice bag from my hip flexor, to my IT and then my knee. sigh...

Very thankfully, Ella rallied for the hike to the car, and Hank and Jake didn't give me any trouble so I just had to contend with The Little Corporal.

This little guy seemed to be following us. Spring is coming!!

So what started out as a nice leisurely hike turned into a full scale work out for me. And we all earned a scoop of ice cream for our effort. Good thing we needed to stop by the dairy to get more milk. I don't mind the kids getting ice cream from our dairy because they make it onsite with their milk which has no hormones and comes from grassfed cows.
It's amazing how ice cream soothes the savage beast. Everyone was mellow and happy the rest of the way home. Too bad it's so fattening; I would be tempted to set up an ice cream IV for a couple of my kids. hahaha!


misszippy said...

Hey there--You live in a spectacular location! We just took the kids down to Harpers Ferry last weekend (via a stop in Shepherdstown for Two Rivers Treads) and I just want to get out and play in that neck of the woods, which I am sure is quite similar to yours.

I hate that the ITB is aggravated by hiking...such a debilitating injury. Hope yours feels better asap.

Jen said...

Gorgeous... we need to get the kids together this summer... have you hiked Sugarloaf Mountain? It isn't bad... and lots of rocks so it is fun.

The Green Girl said...

Wow, that's beautiful. I think my cousin's backyard borders the Appalachian Trail.

I'm glad Ella's tummy got better but I'm sorry you had to carry The Little Corporal after struggling with your IT Band earlier in the hike.

Kovas said...

So great to have that nearby - we're starting to take the kids out more with the weather improving.

*~* *~* Tracy said...

Amanda, I totally agree...we're so glad we don't have to go far for great outdoors adventures.

Jen, I haven't been to Sugarloaf since my oldest was a little guy. Wow, the years are flying by. In any case, we would LOVE to go hiking with you all this summer.


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