Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hiking To Tenaja Falls - A Valentine Hike

On Valentines Day, Dave and I decided what better thing to do but go hiking. We figured the trails would be pretty clear as people may have other plans. I'm not really sure why I keep waiting so long after the actual events to post these pics to the blog, as the exact memories of the events tend to fade a bit by the time I want to write the post. One thing that stands out crystal clear in my mind with regards to hiking to Tenaja Falls is how very proud and impressed I was with Caiden. This was a nearly 9 mile trek and he hiked all but maybe the last 1 mile himself (at this point Dave had to carry him on and off for the last mile).

When you look up in books and on websites what kind of trails and the lengths of hikes one should take a child of his age on, it states no more than 1 mile, and here my little man is hiking nearly 9 miles. I will fully admit this was NOT our intention (we miscalculated), he did amazingly well. Thankfully he had new magic hiking shoes (as we had stopped at REI right before the hike to buy me some backpacking shoes, and Caiden some new hiking shoes).

A few a short way through our hike

I just thought these were pretty

We then set out for Tenaja Falls. Now it is quite important when exercising or really when approaching anything in life to set a goal. Caiden had set a goal at the beginning of the day that he was going to hike 10 miles. He even conserved his energy all day until we made it to the hike, because he was dead set on hiking ten miles. While again, we had NO intention of going that far, we were proud that he was setting a goal and trying to reach it. He nearly did too, had the light and our legs not given out.

The kids before the hike. All smiles... you can tell we are hiking. Kiya has a bug on her face. :P
Look at this happy boy with his goal of 10 miles!!

We parked in a bit of a remote location, and I don't even know if where we parked was ACTUALLY a parking spot. It was off the beaten path, and only large enough for Dave's truck - nestled in some trees. We figured we were at a good spot though because there was a post that contained a paper and pencil in which hikers were supposed to check in (how many people where in your party, when you arrived and when you were leaving the hike). That should have tipped me off that we had a slight miscalculation if we were having to SIGN IN to a hike. We hadn't done that for a day hike before.

Dave signing us into the hike
And we are off...with Caiden in the lead

There were some elevation changes, and some hopping of streams and water crossing which was fun. I say that because I was able to stay standing on all 6 crossings - Dave did not fare as well - of course he was carrying Kiya and Caiden. He kind of got the short end of the stick there, but I am blessed with an unnatural sense of grace - yea right...I am SOO klutzy, so I say we were even. :) Dave had a few unfortunate accidents when crossing the water when Caiden would shift his weight so he could see better, but other than that we were unscathed!

Some of the water crossing were challenging.

Hiking up some rocky terrain

Parts of the trail were really pretty and tranquil
So we thought we would take a picture :)

Just another view of the water crossings

We actually crossed a couple of trails in order to hike up to Tenaja Falls. And when we were about a little less than a mile we saw the main area where MOST people parked. We did not know that it existed, but it was just as well...that would be been WAY too short of a hike for us. When we made it to the Falls we took a quick break and had a quick snack. Even though we were a bit tired, we really could not afford to take a substantial break as we were going to run out of light and did not have flashlights with us.

Me sitting on a rock by the Falls. There was a cute couple laying on a blanket by the falls with Champagne, or we would have taken a better pic of the falls.

Caiden chilling. He was doing so well. :)
Kiya wanted a quick snack :)

The way back seemed a lot harder as we were all very tired. Caiden did VERY well and kept himself hydrated, and walking. He didn't complain until the VERY end when we had a little less than a mile left. He kept walking, but slowed a bit. The first sign that he was done was when he drifted behind Dave. He likes to lead the trail and we try and go at his pace. He then started holding Dave's hand. I found him a hiking stick on the trial, but that didn't last very long. I ended up carrying it. Dave ended up being a real trooper and holding him. I was really worried about that though as he already had Kiya in a pack on his back, and now he was carrying Caiden and he was really tired as well. I couldn't carry Kiya because my back is not stable enough to carry a full pack yet. I have to say the last mile was hard. I was done, Caiden was done, Dave was done, and it seemed like every time we thought it was "just around the corner" the corner came and there were miles of trail left. Plus I had to go to the bathroom, and didn't have the luxuries that Caiden and Dave had of christening the trail multiple times.

Dave with Kiya and Caiden

What a trooper Caiden was...this was a long hike for him!!

We FINALLY made it back to the truck, which was SUCH a welcome sight. Then we just had to try and get back to the main road and a gas station before we ran out of gas, which thank God we made it to a gas station. Hiking to a gas station with the kids would NOT have been fun. Dave - always playing games :P


Hart's Haven said...

What a great hike, the kids look so happy. You must have had a great time.......