Monday, August 13, 2012

Roughing It at Ruffner

We are still on a mission of crossing as many things off of our summer fun list as possible, so today we tackled two!  Since the weather is a bit cooler than normal, I recruited Mary Michael and her kids to join us for a hike up Ruffner Mountain.  It was a cloudy day, so we thought it would be a pretty pleasant experience.

The kids all started off excited and running up the path.  Initially we thought we would keep it close and short, but the kids were all doing well, so we kept on going.  As we finally reached the peak (1.3 miles up), the kids were tired and a couple had cried.  We should have turned around earlier, but we were so close, so we kept going up.  We used the "summit" as an opportunity to rest, rehydrate, snack and take a few photos, and then we turned back around.
Pres with his big bug find
The kids taking a break
After another .25 miles, Mary Michael and I were starting to get a little tired because she was carrying Lynlee (who refused to walk in the dirt), and I was taking turns carrying each of my kids.  Bennett did better about walking herself, but Preston kept tripping on roots and rocks, and insisted on being held.  It was frustrating, but I know I pushed them too far, so I only had myself to blame.

Landon navigating
We did the quarry trail

Fortunately the walk back to the nature center was primarily downhill, so it was much easier for everyone.  In fact, when we got real close, all of the kids really picked up their pace.  When we got to the bottom, we used the restroom, washed our hands and headed on our next adventure....a picnic at The Vulcan!

At the "summit" with the kids (1.3 miles up)
Pres crying after one of his many falls
Though the wind was starting to pick up, and rain was imminent, we dined with the view of downtown Birmingham on one side, and The Vulcan on the other.  After lunch, the kids played on the grassy knoll.  They rolled down the hill, ran back up, then raced back down!  It is amazing how they have so much energy!

We finally came home early afternoon, showered and then the kids took a long nap.  I guess all of the complaints about their legs hurting were valid because they were out hard!  I had to wake each of them up after several hours.
Rolling down the hill

Running down the hill
All and all though, it was a fun morning and the kids loved "going for a hike in the woods."  I definitely see more hiking in our future.

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