stone mountain hike.
with a cousin.

so the story goes like this. my nephew is pretty active in trail life (a scout-like group at his church) and this summer they had big plans to meet up with another group from new mexico for 10-ish day (i think?) backpacking, camping, and fishing trip in colorado. he was trying to train for the strenuous and long hikes that he would be going on, but his mom isn’t much of an avid hiker and his dad has a knee injury. so when his mom asked me to take him out to help him get ready, i was glad to get outside.

after a bit of research, we settled on stone mountain, which is about an hour from where we live and i’ve never been. anna wanted to go too, and then, at the last minute, isaac decided he wanted to go. then, hazel had a meltdown that i didn’t take her. so basically, what i’m saying is, now that we are off the road, everyone wants to do the things that they didn’t want to do on the road and lead to the frustration that caused us to settle. but. i’m not bitter. really.

anyhow. i’m here to tell you about the hike. so here goes.

caison (the cousin) had to wear a weighted pack. after all. he was training.

annababy got to work, documenting the pretty views.

i made them stop often for scenic photoshoots.

we hiked the trail “backwards” so we would go to the peak first, then follow a loop around and end at a waterfall. it was a brutally hot and humid day, we thought we were geniuses for this plan.

this was my favorite view. coming through the trees at this spot, not quite at the “peak”, but we could see it across the way. i think.

the actual hike was ok on the way up. some pretty views. some switchbacks. no grumbly kids. and occasional fun finds.

autumn leaf.

finally i think we were at what constitutes the peak. i made them take a zillion pics.

and i made anna take a picture of me. i’m very cool, as always.

then, we took a little break for snacks, with a view. i think we are looking at a vista of the blue ridge mountains, but i don’t know my nc geography all that well.

from the top, we obviously had nowhere to go but down. and for the part of the down that was on a rock face, there were convenient cables to help us along and not die.

once were all the way down (down further then where we started), the landscape changed to fun streams and bridges and lots of greenery and pretty flowers. but bridges. always a kid fave.

eventually, we arrived at an old homestead, with pretty fantastic views of the appropriately named “stone” mountain we just descended from.

then it was time to finish up. everyone was pretty tired, but we had waterfalls on the brain. and since we knew were would be getting wet, we figured it was ok to traipse through the streams.

finally. we found the waterfall! it was just the cool, refreshing break we needed.

after we were cooled off and soaking wet, it was time to finish things up and get out of there. the thing is. we were a LOT of feet below our starting elevation. and the last bit of our hike was up like 300 or so steps. and we were already tired. and now wet and tired. it was tough.

but. everyone survived. and since no one whined the entire time, we stopped for ice cream at a little country store just outside the park. just look at these happy, successful hikers.

and that’s the end. the kids had a great time and we will definitely be back. and next time we will bring hazel. 🙂

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