I've been doing a lot of exploring with my kids, which is why I haven't been sitting in front of my computer blogging. Yesterday's adventure involved a mountain.
I took my kids and one of their friends to Yonah Mountain in Georgia. It was supposed to be a lovely two and a half mile hike to the summit. Well, it ended up being a little bit longer for us. After climbing about an hour and a half, we reached the half-way point. We thought it was the top because the view was so pretty. But it wasn't. Other intrepid climbers informed us that the summit was at least a half hour hike further up.
We gathered our things and continued upward, over some pretty rough terrain. This wasn't your average dirt trail. We're talking climbing over very large boulders and fallen trees. About fifteen minutes later, we met some other hikers coming down.
"How much further to the summit?" I asked.
"About twenty minutes," they replied. "There will be a fork in the road. Go left. It's a wider trail and easier. Then you'll come to a clearing. Take the trail on the left, rather than the one on the right."
We found the fork and went left. A little while later, we noticed the trail was heading down, and not up.
"Something is wrong," I said.
"Maybe it'll go down and then back up," my daughter's friend said.
It didn't. It went down, down, down. Until we came to a sign. "Road Closed." We looked at each other.
"Check the GPS and see where we are in relation to the parking lot," I said.
We were eleven miles away on the other side of the mountain. Not good.
"Okay, everybody. We're climbing back up!"
And that's what we did. We climbed that stinking mountain twice. What should have been about a two and a half hour hike ended up being over five hours.
My daughter and I decided to find the summit, which we did. I'm glad we did, because the view was beautiful. But the moral of the story is, if you're climbing to the top of a mountain, always follow the path that goes up. And bring a map.
Here's the view from the top: