Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Real Hike

The next day we packed up our campsite and tackled a real hike. We started at a historical site called the Iron Furnace. This stone structure was one part of an iron mill and is hollow in the center. I cannot even imagine how hot it must have been when it was in perfect working order. It almost looks like some kind of temple structure. 
On our way to this point of interest, Bee was most fascinated by the small streams that we crossed; she loved throwing rocks, branches, and sticks into them. We had to bribe her with time at the streams on the way back just to get her to start the hike.

We also had a huge parenting dilemma when twenty minutes into our hike Bee let us know that she need to empty her bowels. Great! Now what. I was still worried about poison ivy and other plants like that. My mother has always warned me about not wiping with itchy plants. We all survived the ordeal and Bee was, as usual, pleased to go outside like a wild animal. We wiped her with large tree leaves and she seemed to be fine. Just as we were pulling her pants back up a group of twenty or so hikers (family with young and old) passed by where we were. Hope they did not see anything.

Here we are taking a break. The climbs were steep.

 We went off on a side hike to visit the "triangulation station" where three states touched. It's not quite four corners, but at least it was located on the correct spot. Benjamin especially geeked out about being able to jump from state to state to state. We practiced reading and she sounded out several of the states. We even each stood on a state and held hands.

This hike was a great workout for all of us. Hike steep trails with thirty wiggly pounds on your backs is a challenge. We had lots of fun talking with Bee on the hike. We practiced letters and played games. She would play games that she had learned off of dinosaur train. She would play "I smell with my be smeller." Then she said that she smelled something 'rooty.' She was referring to a tree. Her dad thought she had made that up herself and was quite impressed. It wasn't until later when he saw the same phrase on the Dinosaur Train that he realized she was mimicking a tv show.

We started working on her numbers and decided to teach her to count by tens. We made up a song to the tune of "row, row, row your boat." She learned it in about a day and has not stopped singing it since, we're going on a month now. She sang it to everyone we visited in Utah and even sang it enough that her cousins in Utah learned it. Here is an unenthusiastic version of her singing it that I took today.

 Then we hiked back down that hill and continued on the hike. We followed some of the original Cumberland Gap trail.

 We hiked and hike and hiked and hiked and hiked and hike. Bee was, as I mentioned earlier, a good hiker and did not complain much until about the third hour.

We finally made it to the top to a lookout of the gap, the valley, the tunnel, etc. We rested her for a while. Then she wanted to play pteranodons and she and I 'flew' around on the grass. Apparently the three hour hike did not wear her out enough. We pretended the shelter area was the train station and we had many adventures on the dinosaur train.

Then we started back down. 
This stump was perfect for a picture. I got her to smile by telling her not to smile.

 Two hours later we made it back to the streams and she happily threw rocks for a long time.

We had fun on our five hour hike and we were so proud of Bee for walking so much and for enjoying herself. Our car was a sauna by this time. We rolled down the windows and continued to let her play while we cooled off. Then we headed home. What a successful trip!

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