mental health hike #1.

In the first few weeks of my short-lived virtual teaching career, I was working both days of the weekends, just trying to keep afloat. That was obviously not a sustainable situation, so I began to carve out one entire day devoted to NOT anything to do with teaching whatsoever. And, if the weather was agreeable, I would use this day to get outside, away from all screens. Well, except for the one used to take all the pictures of being outside.

One such excursion took Anna, Ruby, and I to Hanging Rock State Park, just a bit north of us. We bundled up because we knew it would be chilly, but we were pleasantly surprised to find so much snow on the trail. All Lidboms, fur and human, were quite pleased with this situation.

We wanted to go on a little longer hike than the usual 2-ish miler out to hanging rock, so we opted for Moore’s Knob, which we’ve never done. I think we may have gone in the wrong direction around the loop, but it all worked out fine, just fine. (We, like most folks, prefer a steep climb and a more gentle descent).

As we climbed in elevation, more and more snow surrounded us.

Ruby was a huge fan of all the snow. She flopped and flailed and zoomed around like a total puppy, cracking us up.

eventually we happened upon balanced rock, so we stopped to explore a bit.

we a giant group of loud frolicking teens rolled into the tight quarters, we made our exit. (This is still mid-pandemic times, and we were somewhat respecting social distancing guidelines).

Balanced Rock is only a few hundred feet or so from the top of Moore’s Knob, so off we went. We stopped for some water and snacks. And Anna felt the need to point out that the other people up there were young couples and friends and we were a “middle aged mom and a ten year old kid”. Ugh.

We wandered around and took all of our standard summit photos.

We took note of Pilot Mountain, way off in the distance.

At the top of Moore’s Knob, there’s a Fire Tower. It was a little icy and Ruby was not super thrilled about going up the stairs, but we made it, then forgot to take any photos from our new view point, except for this one on the way back down.

More icy scrambles and views. I’m actually not sure if this was on the trip back down or some photos from the way up to the top. (My photo order got scrambled when I uploaded them and this was soooo long ago.)

The trail down was lots of steep stairs and pretty icy. It was sort of miserable. And this particular spot, while pretty, was quite treacherous. But we survived.

Anyways. It was a fantastic day. So lovely for me (at the time) to get out of the house. And away from it all. And get some sunshine and vitamin D and all the outdoor vibes. We definitely want to go do this hike in the proper direction and in the spring or summer (which it is right now as I type this).

Look at me. So ready to get back to planning and prepping and grading and crying….

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