Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hanging Rock State Park

We intend on raising a child that's accustomed to long road trips in the car, so it's important that we do so every once in a while.

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So...Hanging Rock State Park. Never been. We were in the general vicinity a while back (October 2010), and I said, "We'll be back, and actually go there next time". Well, we're back!

Hanging Rock came highly recommended. There's moderate, but relatively short, trail all the way to the top, which we did. (All three of us!) There are also waterfalls in the area, which we didn't have time for. With Marla, one 2½ mile (round trip) hike was enough.

I think this was the longest hike Marla had been on so far. So, we came prepared. We just brought the whole diaper bag with us. And by the time we got to the top of Hanging Rock, it was time to feed her.

That's okay, though, because it was really nice up there. I didn't mind spending some extra time there. (Note: the people in these pictures are just random people. Popular day for a hike!)

Marla behaved wonderfully throughout the whole hike. Even though she looked terrified...

...she did great. It makes us want to do it again sometime! There were other young parents on the hike as well. Our baby carrying device was simple in comparison to what some of these other parents had.

Hanging Rock was actually one of three state parks we considered visiting on Saturday. Raven Rock State Park (south of Raleigh) is another park we haven't been to yet, but will some day. And we'd also like to go back to Pilot Mountain on a day that isn't cloudy and raining.

How many North Carolina State Parks have I been to? The North Carolina State Park web site lists 41 state parks and recreation areas; I've been to 8: Cliffs of the Neuse, Falls Lake, Fort Fisher (I think), Hanging Rock, Jordan Lake, Mount Mitchell, Pilot Mountain, William B. Umstead. I think we need to increase that number.

Road trip notes: the route we took to Hanging Rock (NC-68 to Stokesdale, NC-65 to Walnut Cove) seemed like a route I had never taken before. But my blog archives indicate that we took the same exact route in October 2010, except in the opposite direction. I'm slipping! Usually, I know when I've taken a particular road before. Unacceptable! (The route we took from Hanging Rock, NC-8 south to Winston-Salem, was definitely new.)

Also, no new counties for Marla on Saturday, although she came really really close to Rockingham County.

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