For Mother's Day we went on a short day hike at a place called Smart View, off the Blue Ridge parkway. It's becoming a tradition of sorts, because we did the same hike last year.
And there I was...all 28 1/2 weeks pregnant with the twins.
Somehow, this year sure seemed a lot easier - and cooler - than last year.
Sadly, the picnic areas are closed right now, probably due to budget cuts in the NPS. I hope that they will open later this year. My family has been going to Smart View for picnics as long as I can remember.
Paul and I like it because the hike is only 2.6 miles, and is easy so Pierce can walk/run as much as he wants.
The day ended up being much cooler than expected, with a chilly breeze blowing constantly, so we had to stop to make a swap into pants.
When I think Blue Ridge parkway, I think of these quaint fences:
When Pierce got tired, Paul double loaded with Reid and Pierce both on his back:
Meanwhile, I only had to tote little Cort.
I did not, however, like this Kelty backpack, and will be on the lookout for something different at yard sales this summer.
Smart Loop (the trail) has an old little cabin on it.
And every time, as an adult, I see this little cabin it reminds me of my grandparents.
The type of strong knock-you-over memory.
We always came to these mountains with them for picnics. And hikes. Potato salad and Long John Silvers chicken planks. Charcoal and my dad throwing little sticks at me (I always insisted on leading the hikes).
Pierce goes in for a closer look in the cabin:
One of the highlights of the hike, besides the cool temperatures and smell of damp earth, were the two pink lady slippers I found nestled in the forest.
They are an orchid, and I never see them very often.
When I have, it has been hiking in the spring, and you really have to be looking for them.
I didn't take this picture (full memory card on camera), but here is what they look like:
After our hike, we headed south to Mabry Mill. A tourist trap, but one worthy of a visit now and then.
What a beautiful Mother's Day with my boys.