our hike at Rock Bridge State Park.

A few weeks ago, we took a Saturday to head over to Rock Bridge State Park to hike around and check out, well, the Rock Bridge.  If you can't guess by the name, it's a naturally-occurring bridge made out of... rock.  

Getting out of the house still requires some scheduling acrobatics in this season of life, since Rocco still takes a morning nap and an afternoon nap.  He wakes up from his first nap around noon, and we have until two-ish to get out and back before he's ready to head to bed again.  So once he woke up that day, I nursed him and then we took a super-easy picnic lunch with us, so we could maximize our time out there. 

After lunch, the kids (meaning, mostly Atticus, but also the rest of the Tag Along Gang) spent some time burning off their freshly acquired calories by jumping off of rocks and climbing trees.

Then we headed to the hiking trail.  There are two main sights along the trail:  the Rock Bridge, which we've covered already, and Devil's Icebox, a cave kind of under the Rock Bridge where the water stays 58-degrees all year round.  We didn't go into the water, since it's crazy-rainy here over the summer and the water was really high and moving pretty fast.  But even in just descending the stairs to get down there, there was a drastic temperature shift.  It felt so good - the heat and humidity here is outrageous, so we were all pretty sticky, and grateful for even a temporary cool-down.  (There was a Professional Park Guy on hand who said that Columbia's climate can best be summed up as "Georgia Summers, Michigan Winters.")

After we'd hiked around for about an hour, we headed back toward the car.  Right at the opening of the trail, there's a place where, even though the bank is steep and muddy, the water is shallow enough to walk around in.  The kids begged to dip their toes in, so we let them for just a minute.  Some kids ended up ticked because they didn't get to stay in the water longer; other kids were ticked because they were put in the water at all to begin with.  I'll let you guess who is who.

At the end of it all, the girls got a few flowers that had accidentally been pulled up by Todd's shoe.  I'm pretty sure that was their favorite part of the day.

I'm really looking forward to more opportunities to go check out some of the neat things nearby!