Most of you probably won't know this about me, but I have Indian blood. My great great great grandfather, Joseph Brandt, was a Mohawk chief and is featured on WikiPedia as such. Kinda cool right? Now that you finally know this vital piece of informationg about me, you'll understand last Sunday afternoons shenanigans a lot better. I felt a need, you see. I heard the call of the wild, nature beckoned me to come and introduce my offspring to it.
Church was over and all I could think of was getting home to find the best place to take the girls for a hike. I asked a few people if they had any tips, and one of them mentioned something called the Indian Trail. My interest was piqued. I looked up the details as soon as we got home: 4.2 miles one way, medium difficulty, through mountains and canyon. It sounded like heaven, and let me tell you: It was.
We put on our good shoes, shorts, tshirts, sunscreen (not in that order), and packed backpacks with the essentials. Water, apples, granola bars, camera, phone, and treats to be enjoyed upon completion of the hike. We felt ready and pretty cool. We are women! We can do this!
It took us only 30 minutes to realise what on earth we had gotten ourselves into. People ahead of us had turned around because 'they were too out of shape'. Well, I've been going to the gym, and the girls have their youth! We'll be fine, I thought. 30 minutes later we were all panting and sweating profusely. We had already taken 3 breaks and the questions had started.
'Are we almost theeeere mommy??'
'I want to sit dooown!'
'Are we going to go up much longer??'
You see, we've gone for long walks before and it's never been a real problem until maybe the last 20 minutes or so, but I didn't think about the fact that those walks had all been in Holland. Holland is flat as a pannekoek. And mountains.... are not.
There were parts where the path went up so steeply that we could barely get our footing. The path also got narrower the further up we went, often presenting us with a staggering drop into the canyon right next to us. The two things that kept me from turning around at that point, were the drive of wanting to show everyone, especially ourselves, that we could do this, and the fact that we met several families headed the other way, also with smaller children.
Well. We made it to the top. It took us 2 hours, but we got there... and what a view. I don't think I had ever seen anything quite like it. There was another group there, resting before they started the second leg of the journey, going the other way. They asked us twice if we came all the way from 22nd street (where the trail begins), because they just couldnt believe us chicks had walked all the way to the top. Yeah, we felt cool.
From there on things got easier. The path was mostly shaded and (glory hallelujah) downhill. It still took us another hour and a half, but we really enjoyed that bit. We saw some cool things along the way too, like a stick teepee, a bridge over no water, and the very beginning of a mountain stream. We also came across lots of pretty flowers, beautiful songbirds, lizards and cool climbing rocks. Mostly though, the views were what kept us entertained.
When we finally heard the familiar rush of traffic we became a little ecstatic. We were near the end and we were still alive and not even in that much discomfort! Sure we were tired, and looking forward to the dinner awaiting us at home, but we were mostly just incredibly proud of ourselves. I was especially proud of my ´little´ girls. They toughed it out, folks... they´re going to grow up to be amazons. Lara never complained once, and told us storied of how and where the Indians live all along the way. Julia continued to find ways to struggle through her obvious discomfort and, at times, fears. She really overcame herself, and her prize at the end was probably the sweetest of all three of us.
Despite all this, my girls have informed me that this was the first, and the last hike they will ever do with me. I say, give it time.... muahahaha.