So here are the details.
We went to the Pisgah National Forest Big Ivy (Coleman Boundary) area, and found the Lower Douglas Falls trial.
It is a beautiful drive into the forest, over 8 miles of gravel road from this entry into the forest, passing waterfalls, trees, and gorgeous mountain views.
Once we (finally) reached the parking lot where our little trail began, the kids took off, and I quickly fell behind.
Sometimes, I caught up.
And sometimes we all stopped to enjoy the little things,
as well as the big things
An amazing display of tree rings. Then an amazing display of tree roots. (The tree happened to fall, seemingly deliberately placed, right on the side of the trail.)We sometimes had obstacles.
But the effort was well worth it. The reward was beautiful.
The 70 ft. Lower Douglas Falls. The water was refreshingly cool, and we could walk right behind the falls.
That log apparently has been at the base of these falls for a very long time, still getting pounded.
We explored all around the falls, and found interest everywhere.
When we had exhausted the area, and felt exhausted, we started back down the inviting trail.
and appreciated when the trees were cut so we didn't have so many to step over.
I was still last. That is how our hikes always go. And that is okay with me.
We caught a stow away after about 3 miles down the road out of the forest.
Luckily, my daughter kept her cool, calmly asked me to stop the car,
and let him go in his new home...along the side of the road.
I also found a spider on my leg...but I didn't take the time to get a picture of that guy...I quickly put the car in park, and jumped out of the car and wriggled and brushed him off my leg. Okay, I let out a small giggly scream...but otherwise handled it well.
We all had a wonderful afternoon, and are now looking for another trail we can hike. If we can make this a regular thing, I just may achieve my goal of getting thinner and healthier. Not to mention the priceless time with my kids...who are not really kids anymore.