Monday, October 23, 2006

Climb every mountain; ford every stream....

Well, we're back. We had a lovely, although tiring, vacation. A. totaled our hiking miles during the car ride home: 23.6 miles, he says. Frankly, it feels like more than it sounds. And it doesn't include the 1.4 miles we walked through Luray Caverns and the mile or so we spent going back and forth through the Garden Maze, but maybe that's getting a little picky.

We only had rain one night. Of course, it was the night we were in a tent. Nevertheless, I'd rather have rain while I'm sleeping (or trying to sleep) than when I'm hiking. And the days were not nearly as cold as we feared. We were very comfortable in our sweatshirts and jeans, layered with turtlenecks and long undies. SmartWool socks are awesome. Love 'em. May just start wearing 'em for fun.

I am proud to report that C. only spent about 25% of her hiking time complaining that she was tired. At least 50% she spent happily skipping or singing or just enjoying the scenery. The remaining 25% she was stoic, although probably tired. A. was terrific: very little complaining at all. Our longest hike (Rapidan Camp loop), was 7.4 miles long, with a grueling 3+ mile ascent in the middle. It was quite steep for a while there. A. talked during the entire climb. It was enough for me to keep a good pace going while breathing--carrying on a conversation was pretty much out of the question. Clearly, he is in pretty good shape to be able to talk more or less non-stop for this entire ascent. There's something to be said for that, hm? Plus, I think his talking and C's singing kept any bears away.

C. took two of her Littlest Pet Shop animals on each excursion--whether it be to the lodge for dinner, to Luray Caverns, or to the summit of Hawksbill Peak. She was quite fair, and every animal got to go somewhere interesting at least once.

The Lodge at Big Meadows was wonderful. We really enjoyed hanging out in the Great Room before and after dinner. You can play games there, read, or just relax by the fire while admiring the views. A. usually would work on the huge puzzle they always had going. The rooms have no TVs, which is pretty neat. We brought The End, the last book in A Series of Unfortunate Events, on CD to listen to at bedtime.

So now we are back. I have to vacuum out my pit of a car, do many loads of laundry, get the guinea pig back from C's friend, make A's Halloween costume, and go to teacher conferences and Girl Scout leader training and Book Club this week. C. also has a double-header soccer game on Saturday.


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