Another Hatcher Adventure!
Recently, we decided it was time to go on a family hike. There was lots of discussion beforehand about where we should go, how far of a hike, who should join us, etc. I've been a little hesitant about Richie hiking just because his ankle is completely jacked up - but he insists that he is not going to miss out on these memories with his family. So, he suggested we go to Chimney Tops. They've recently redone much of the trail and it is under 4 miles round trip. Sounded like a good option to me.
I borrowed a baby backpack carrier from a co-worker and we were off, all five of us on our first hike together. This picture below is quite possibly one of my favorites EVER! It was moments after we put Luke in the carrier - I'm sure he was a little confused about the whole thing. You can see the distress in his face - he was crying, but the funny part is his hands. He is signing the word "Help!" (or his version of it) apparently begging us to get him out of this awful situation. Kinda cracks me up.
I mean, seriously. It's less than 4 miles. The boys and I just hiked 10 miles last month. How hard can it really be?
It was so freaking steep!
I do believe it was the most physically challenging thing I have done in all of my adult life. There were times I felt like I was being irresponsible because I had Luke on my back and I was expecting my body to give out at any time.
There were steps. And hills. And steps. And more steps. And as soon as you got to the top of the steps, there would be a slight turn and then twice as many steps. My thighs. My calves. My back.
Richie's ankle completely shut down on him about half way up the trail. We were all a mess!
But we made it!
And that was pretty cool :) The picture above is all of us at the top.
The total elevation gain of the trail is 1487 feet, which is 783 feet of elevation gain per mile. The Mt. Leconte hike that we did is a total gain of 2763 feet, at 502 feet per mile. Honestly, that stuff is hard for me to put in perspective… what it basically all means to me is "Chimney Tops is really freaking hard!"
As you can imagine, Luke was completely warn out after all the hard work he put into the day! :) He passed out for about 30 minutes on our way down the trail.
Meanwhile, both Richie and I were pretty amazed at how much our legs were trembling with each step we took back down the trail.
But we did it! It was a great workout and a pretty big accomplishment for all of us.
Go Team Hatcher!