Thursday, May 16, 2013

Weekend Hike: Archer's Knob

During our annual summer trip down to a local state park we didn't get to do our annual hike. We intended to go back & camp again & do the hike while we were camping, but things don't always go according to plan. Instead of the beautiful weekend we'd envisioned we had warnings coming in that people needed to batten the hatches & get everything undercover due to high winds & an excess of rain. We're adventurous, but not quite that adventurous.

Despite the disappointment on having to cancel this trip for the third weekend in a row Mr S woke us up on Saturday & said, "Wanna hike?" Of course we did! There was a mad scramble for proper shoes & our nifty light weight hiking drink bottles & a stop off for some snacks. It's about a 45-60 minute hike up & then about the same coming down.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for our adventure too, & while I have no picture to prove it the wombats were out at the park when we arrived. They still refuse to answer to the name of Barry, perhaps they know we're on to them? They do seem to give pause when we ask how the flying & emu riding is going though. The kids got their quick speel about what to do if we spot a snake, the signs for snake activity are still up at the park, & off we went.

Lovely hike up & being a bit older there were no complaints fromt he youngest in our company. Then again the lack of jack jumpers & bull ants probably had a bit to do with that. I can attest to the agony of walking at the end of a line when those little critters are out & about!

We had our snack at the top, cracked jokes, checked the time, & then, just before heading off discussed what appeared to be an older path heading down the knob in a more direct fashion. The current path circles & winds it's way back & forth over the knob making your accent much more gentle until you're nearly at the top, but it does add to the time in which it takes one to hike it.

Mr S & I were discussing weither it was a wombat trail or an old human trail. We decided it was probably a bit of both & settled in to hear a few more, all be it extremely corny, jokes from the boys. Then Mr S asked what I thought of trying the old trail. I was game if the path was reasonably clear, with snake warnings out we didn't want anyone accidentally stepping on one. The agreement we made with everyone was that we'd start down the other path & if it became rough or unsafe at any point we'd have to hike up. The kids didn't seem to mind & off we went.

It started out so-so, but within a short time it felt like we were slipping & sliding down the front of this crazy thing. When we stopped long enough to catch our breath we could no longer see the top & couldn't quite figure out how we'd get off. We tried going forward a bit more, but the farther we went the rougher things got, all though eventually the Ranger cabin came into view. By that point there was a lot more slipping then actual climbing & we decided it was too unsafe to continue forward. The kids were not pleased, but obliged us in climbing back up.

By the time we got to the top for the second time we rushed the kids through another snack, thankfully the bag of fruit was big, & hurried them down the normal path. I was worried the littlest feet amongst us might not be able to handle another hour climb downward, not to mention the sun was setting & we had some wooded area to climb through still. The boys were completely worn out by the halfway mark so the suggestion arose to make some marching songs. All I can say is I'm really glad we were alone on that trail, aside from the occasional wallby that bounded across our path, stopped long enough to gawk at the singers, & then carried on a tad faster then they'd come.

Our lovely 2 hour afternoon hike became a nifty 4 hour hike. I figured after that much hiking the kids deserved to pick out a bar of chocolate each & go crash in front of the footy game. They were glad I saw things there way!

The view at the top was worth it though, don't you think? We did! We even debated climbing down that way & walking back up the beach. The boys were opposed to that way because the beach is a good distance from the main entrance where our car was parked. Funny thing is, had we gone that way we'd have probably saved a good hour & a half. Yeah, I laughed for a while over that one too!

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