So the boys are a little young to understand the premise of geocaching, so instead we're just taking an opportunity each weekend to go out and find an adventure... adventure-caching!
Last weekend, we stopped in at Eno River State Park, about 25 minutes from our house. By the map online, it looked as though they had easy trails very close to a parking lot - perfect for us and the jogging stroller. We got started early to beat the heat.
But unfortunately, like so many other parks, you have to hike on a difficult trail to get to the easy trail! Why do they do that? It makes no sense. Anyway, we got about 0.01 miles into our hike before Nate and Will (in his backpack) took the jogging stroller back to the van. Luke (on foot), Otis, Matt (in the Baby Bjorn) and I opted to continue on to find the bridge over the Eno River and wait for Nate and Will to return.
Luke hiked that difficult trail like a champ, even mastered the stairs down to the river with minimal assistance. He was excited when he saw the bridge over the river. I, on the other hand, was petrified instantaneously. It was a suspended cable bridge, about 20 feet over the water. I am not afraid of heights. I like adventure and even a little danger... but not when I have two kids and a wimpy dog in tow on a bridge that moves!!
We climbed the stairs to the bridge: Otis in front with his leash in my left hand, me and Matt (who was wildly swinging his head all over the place to see what was going on), and Luke bringing up the rear, holding onto my right hand and doing his best to look straight down at the river beneath us. Everything seemed to be going fine, so we continued on to the bridge. By the time I realized this was a bad idea, we were already on our way to the other side.
With the first step on that bridge, Otis got freaked out. For a dog as regal as he wants to be, he looked downright cowardly as he got down onto his belly to cross the bridge. Luke's progress slowed as we got further across the bridge and he realized how much fun it was to bounce with each step and make the bridge move up and down, and side to side! Though it wasn't a terribly long bridge, it seemed like an eternity until we crossed safely to the other side. On the walk back, Nate took Otis. Phew!
After Nate and Will caught up with us, we walked about a mile on the smoothest, easiest trail you've ever seen (the jogging stroller would have been perfect)! Luke did wonderfully on the long walk, and didn't seem tired until after we had decided to head back to the van. Will did well with the longer trek in the backpack, and Matt actually fell asleep in the front pack for most of our adventure.
On the way back to the van, we sat by the river for a while and let Otis play in the water. Luke enjoyed throwing rocks into the river, and Matt enjoyed his time out of the pack. Will just wanted to get moving again... he loves being in the backpack and walking around. He hates to stop moving and is very clearly (and audibly) dissatisfied when Nate rests.
In a strange twist of irony, on our way back to the van at the end of our Eno River adventure, we ran into Nurse Lauren and her whole family on a geocaching adventure! It was fun to chat on the trail for a few minutes, and show off Luke and Will, who she hasn't seen for about 2 years.
Good times... and I'm always on the hunt for a new adventure, so send any new ideas my way!