It was a long hike for a family so foreign to the exercise. I am proud to write that our kids did not complain but instead were invigorated by the views and by the climb, eager to plan the next trip. Miraculously, my muscles did not squeal the next day when I attempted to walk. My husband's and my own shoulders ached a little from carrying our youngest, but they didn't cramp at all. Even more of a marvel, my husband said he was not adverse to doing a hike again, someday, if the trail was shorter.
This hike was meant to be, I plainly and gladly believe, the first of many up South Mountain. I can't wait to drive to its base another fine, clear winter morning, jumping with anticipation and ready for my visit with Mother Nature.