I'm not sure we chose exactly the right summer to do this, especially given gas prices, but we have dedicated this summer to hiking. The kids are finally old enough to go on hikes for several hours with us. They enjoy it. We enjoy it. It's great physical activity. And we can sometimes take the dogs with us too.
We've taken 2 hikes so far this summer. The first was out "trial hike" to see how everone would manage while hiking. We went to the Hoyt Arboretum, a beautiful hiking area near the Oregon Zoo. We learned two things:
1. The kids are going to manage just fine.
2. Hiking with the dogs when there are lots of other people and dogs is a pain in the rear.
Regardless we had a good hike. We saw lots of beautiful flowers, plantsand trees and found THE BEST climbing tree EVER.
Our second hike was to Multnomah Falls. We've taken this hike once before about 2 years ago and it was really hard for the kids. But they have been asking to go again so we decided to try it. The falls, as always, were beautiful.
About 1/2 mile up the path to the top of the falls we saw another path breaking off. The sign was missing but there was much speculation that this trail led to Horsetail falls. We decided to be adventurous and take the trail. The short story is that the trail was NOT to Horsetail falls and instead just circled the hill we were on. However it was a LONG trail. We ended up hiking for several miles each way, spending about 2 1/2 hours hiking all together. And while we didn't make it to the top of Multnomah Falls OR to Horsetail falls, we did have a good hike.
We got to see some creepy crawlies on the trail and had some beautiful views of the Columbia Gorge.
Oh yes, and the lesson learned from this hike: no matter how hot it is DO NOT hike in sandals. My feet were not thanking me at the end of the hike.