Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Spring Exploration of Devil's Bathtub

With the end of a long weekend upon us, we felt the urge to get outside one more time. We cruised over to Spearfish Canyon and hiked into Devils Bathtub. It's a favorite hike of ours and that we've only done in the summer (directions on how to get there can be found here).

All winter long I've been worried about the condition of the trail and especially the stream crossing but apparently that was all for naught. The snow was packed and the crossings were solid (mostly). It seems that winter had spring just begun their yearly battle for the area.

Wu led the way most of the journey. For about 5 steps, Josh was actually ahead of him. I think that's a record. He would run into the stream, then out to roll in the snow and race on. I can't count how many times he actually did that. He was happy to be out on an adventure, especially one that let him swim.

Josh carried Eli on his back. They were both pleased to be out on the trail. Eli gets really calm in his carry pack. A few times he started smacking his lips and he was very interested in touching the rocks and tree bark. He would reach his arm out and we'd stop, pull of his mitten and let him explore. It's the most amazing feeling watching him learn while enjoying nature. We hope that these moments build the foundation for a lifelong love of nature. They certainly bring us together as a family.

When we reached Devils Bathtub we didn't dare to traverse further. The trail was steeper, slicker, and narrower. A bad combination. We took a few moments to take it all in and decided it was the perfect day for our little escape. The sky was blue and the sun warm. We were out enjoying the Black Hills as a family. It doesn't get better than that.

On the way back, the trail was a little more treacherous. The creek crossings were melting and breaking up in a few places. Where the trail was ice was quickly becoming slushy ice. By the time we reached the car, Eli was asleep, Wu was soaked, and we were a couple of happy parents.

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