Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Stone Mountain (NC)

Road trips and recreational activities don't come as easily as they used to, but we're still willing to put in the effort every once in a while. Saturday was a beautiful Spring day in North Carolina, so we went to a nearby* state park - Stone Mountain State Park in northwestern North Carolina.

(* - For us, "nearby" means "less than a 3 hour drive". With Marla, that's about the longest day trip we can manage, if we don't want to feel like we've been in the car all day. Unless that's the idea, of course.)

If you're like me, when you think "Stone Mountain", you think of the famous attraction outside Atlanta. So, I'm going to refer to the North Carolina version of Stone Mountain as "Stone Mountain (NC)", kind of like how Miami University in Ohio is "Miami (OH)".

Marla is willing to do some hiking on her own. But she needs to be in the mood, and it's better to "hike" on strollerable trails so that we can more easily get Marla back to the car when she gets tired. (Marla hasn't grasped the concept of turning around and going back before you get tired.) Marla wasn't quite in the mood when we first got there, and the trail was not strollerable at all (even with a jogger stoller, although ours is currently out on loan anyway). Eventually, we were able to talk her into walking down the trail that we actually wanted to take, as opposed to all of the other trails that didn't go anywhere.

The best hike to do at Stone Mountain State Park is the Stone Mountain Loop: a strenuous 4.5-mile loop that goes all the way to the summit. But that would be a bit much for Marla to handle, of course. (We'll be back in 10 years when the kids are older.) Instead, we settled on a portion of the loop which led to an old homestead, and also a nice view of Stone Mountain (NC) itself:

Marla thought we were taking her to a playground. Poor girl. But the homestead was sort of like a playground, except there were no slides, or swings, but there were things to climb and explore, at least. She seemed to have a good time.

We actually had to carry Marla two-thirds of the way in order to get there and back, but it was worth it, because we had the mountain recreation bug pretty bad. I don't take it for granted that we only live two hours from the mountains. That's one reason I like living here.

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