Most of the readers of this blog know that I love hiking. I’m not sure if it was Boy Scouts, my sense of adventure, or my love of nature, but I’ve always preferred hiking to almost any other activity that involves the outdoors.
The worst part of this addiction is that I’m also a pusher. Give me a group of people, some free time, and a trail and I’ll be pushing them to make it up to the top. And so it was this fall when I was spending time in Huntsville. It was a beautiful, if a bit windy, fall day in the South, so I herded the troops (well, fourteen of them) into the van and headed up to Blevins Gap. This area of Green Mountain used to be part of the Space Walk when I was in High School. That trail is long dead due to residential development, but some of it has been preserved in a land trust to keep some of my memories alive.
Ages three to seventy six, we were a diverse lot, but we suited up and pretended we were going for a short stroll.
The trail was through a nice mature forest, still recovering from logging around 80 years ago.
Given the geology of limestone, this area of Alabama is blessed with many caves and overhangs to keep the youngsters entertained despite the climb.
We wander through some grass fields, with the occasional tuft of grass tucked between the teeth to feel a bit like Huck Finn.
We eventually reach our goal – an incredible view over the valley and a chance to throw off a cliff any misbehaving kids.
Jeremy strikes a leadership pose that inspires us all to start heading back.
Meanwhile, the youngest is content to stare at her crazy uncle while he takes yet another picture to prove that even three-year-olds can join an epic Fall hike.
I’m happy to report that we all made it back alive, physically, mentally, and spiritually, with hopefully a few more future hiking addicts added to the rolls. Who’s next?