A month ago we went camping. We headed to South Mountains State Park, an easy, pretty, hour and 40 min drive from home. It was the first time we used our tent, and our first time camping together as a family. Because of course we took the dogs. Hence the title. Get it? Ruffin’ it? Like dogs go ruff ruff! Ok….
We just went for two nights, leaving after work on Friday, Aug. 24, and coming back home on Sunday. The weather was perfect. One great thing about Charlotte is that you can drive less than 2 hours and be in the mountains.
Saturday morning we went on a hike to the waterfall that is a main attraction at South Mountain. We followed the trail sign that said “High Shoals Falls loop.” It said 1.5 miles, so we thought, no problem, onward! Well, we didn’t pay attention to the actual map of the trails, and ended up on the equestrian trail that goes pretty much straight up and around the mountain. I was dying, the dogs were loving it. I ended up letting Corbin pull me up the side of the mountain by his leash. He didn’t seem to mind.
Finally we reached the top and saw another sign for the waterfall. We went through a couple of backpack-in sites, which would be fun to do sometime, and made it!
There are a bunch of wooden viewing platforms and stairs built along the falls and up to it, which make up the main portion of the trail loop we should have been on. As we were hiking, we were going down all the stairs, while everyone else was going up. It was then that figured we might have gone the wrong way on the trail. Although, I would rather go down the stairs than up. There were hundreds of them! I had Gus’s leash when we were on the stairs, and those dogs just wanted to race all the way to the bottom. I would say, “Gus, stop!” and he would sit down on the steps and wait for me to catch up.
We did make it back to the campsite, where we collapsed after figuring we went at least 5 miles, rather than the 3 mile loop it was supposed to be. Did I mention we didn’t have any water or snacks with us? Yep, I am out of practice when it comes to “Be prepared.” Next time I think we should get one of those dog backpacks and have them carry some water and food for us.
A neat thing about our campsite is that there was a stream running right behind it. You know how those doggies love their bodies of water. We walked a ways down stream and let them off leash to swim. It was so funny to watch them and how they handled walking along the stream. There were some places where we had to step from rock to rock. Gus would just forge right through the water, totally ignoring the rocks, while Corbin tried to keep his paws as dry as possible, sometimes leaping across to avoid getting wetter than necessary. I ended up with a soaked shoe. Those rocks were slippery.
Unexpected lengthy hike aside, it was a great little break from civilization! I hope we can go again before it gets too cold.