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Stewart Falls: One Last Outing Before Summer Ends

by Tom Johnson on Aug 21, 2011
categories: family

On the last Saturday of summer, in a moment's decision, we decided to go hiking to Stewart Falls. Stewart Falls is right next to Sundance.

The previous year we took another hiking trail that we thought would lead to Stewart Falls, but we were uncertain as to whether it was the real trail or not, and so we ended up turning back before reaching the falls.

This year we took the right trail, and it was packed with people. We probably passed 100 people on the trail. Cars were parked along the roadside in such bunches that it was impossible, in many places, for two cars to pass each other. When a large trailer wanted to pass by, all the other cars had to reverse down the hill until they could pull off into an empty shoulder.

The kids were troopers on the trail, and managed the two mile hike with good morale. I carried Molly in the baby bjorn and water bottles in a backpack. Shannon held the camera and played the photographer role. She also lathered up the baby with so much sunscreen that Molly's hair was like a ball of wax.

While hiking along the trail, I told the kids a story about a rainbow dragon that lives in a cave behind the waterfall. Callie was completely hooked by the story, and Avery periodically picked apart the unbelievable elements. In telling the story, I realized how much I like telling little fairy-talesque stories to my kids. It gets their full attention, and they hang on every detail. I decided if I'm going to write fiction, I should try my hand at young adult fiction.

When we got to the falls, they were really impressive. The cool mist on the hot day was completely rejuvenating. Molly woke up from her nap at the sound of water and was excited about getting close to the waterfall.

On the way home, rather than taking the same two-mile trail back, we followed another trail down -- the same trail we'd taken the year before but abandoned.

We were all pretty exhausted, but it felt good to make one last summer trip before school starts.

At the base of the trail, I walked two miles up the Alpine Loop Road back to the van and then picked up everyone from the Sundance parking lot.

In September, many of our weekends will be taken up with swim meets and school activities.

At night Callie asked if we could go hiking every Saturday. I wasn't sure if she had enjoyed the hike or not, since during the hike she and Avery both said they felt like they were going to die.

We'll probably go again, sometime. Next time we'll bring our bathing suits.

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