Well... Saturday happened to be much colder than the previous two days had teased us with. I am surprised my fingers are in working condition enough to tell you about our 9.8 mile adventure. Thankfully, they've had an entire day to thaw and regain feeling.
We drove up Skyline Drive to RipRap trail.
I have a bad habit of not dressing warm enough for hikes. It always comes to bite me in the butt. I took Maizy out that morning and the sun was shining, promising a nice day ahead. Then, there was a not-so-small factor called WIND. Lots and lots of numbing wind.
The hike is beautiful, and I'd suggest it to anyone on a nice day. "Nice day" meaning no wind and some sunshine. I was advised from a hiking guide, who I happen to work with, that you also shouldn't go in the damp, summer months. Bugs really love the valley then.
Everything is just so darn pretty here!
Eric and Robyn love rock climbing, so we went a bit off the beaten path to get even better views. (Note to self: This is the time when bringing a large camera hiking just isn't smart. Rock climbing with one hand available so the camera doesn't smash into the rock face really isn't the safest way to go.)
Back to the trail. One last chance for a picture before the camera had to go buh-bye.
Eric was gracious enough to give me his gloves, I'm pretty sure I would have kissed my fingers goodbye without them. And you think I am exaggerating...(By the way, Eric is wearing a raccoon hat. He's legit.)
The sun did peak out once in a while, each time giving us a small reprieve from the bitter wind.
I felt like Bear Grylls. Come to think of it, every time I go for a hike, I feel like Bear. However, I don't think Mr. Grylls is concerned with falling in the water while rock hopping...nor would he say "rock hopping."
It just so happens that I brought my small camera too...and didn't check the battery. So we settled for a group pic via the phone that didn't turn out half bad. The hikers we ran into were turning around due to weather and time constraints...
But we forged on!
I can't remember a time that my hands have ever been in so much pain. There may have been some tears involved. Kyle also gave me his coat (Me: 1 sweatshirt and 2 coats + Kyle: 1 T-shirt = loving husband, selfish wife. Fail!).
and a relatively flat 3 miles to enjoy.
5 hours later we arrived back at our car, with all limbs attached and a good story for Kyle to make fun of me for. (Just what I was hoping for ;)
I would give the hike 4 stars for beauty, tranquility, various terrain, rock climbing and waterfalls, just don't go on a windy day!
Either way, it was a perfect way to start off a weekend and begin to welcome Spring!
It also gave a good excuse to eat trail mix, take hot baths, drink a lot of hot chocolate and take naps :)