I went camping over the summer with my family and Sarah. We were in Virginia, and we did a fair amount of hiking. My parents were going biking, and we didn't really have enough bikes for Sarah and I to go with the 4 of them (6 bikes is too many to fit into an aerostar with all our camping gear: the van was riding at the bottom of the shocks as it was ;)). I also didn't really want to go biking. My family is pretty good at biking - I always feel rather left out.
Anyway, since there wasn't enough bikes to go with my family, Sarah and I decided to try to go hiking. We stopped at the visitors center and got some information on trails, etc. There was a "moderate" 1 mile out hike on the map to a waterfall. We figured that would be okay, and so we dropped my parents off and went back to it.
The hike started out okay, but it just kept getting harder. More steep, rocky, less well marked, etc. We were walking farther and farther down the side of this mountain, basically (the trail was on or near the blue ridge parkway, so either way you went, you went down, and fast). After about an hour we got to what should have been the waterfall (at least, that's what we think).
It was about 2 inches of water trickling over some rocks. Nothing spectacular, nothing even that fun. We got to this, sat down, and just kind of stared.
I've been backpacking in New Mexico. I've been to Isle Royale in Lake Superiour. I've portaged in the boundary waters and I trekked through the grand tetons (okay, so it was a 2 day trip but still) when I was 10 years old.
That "Waterfall" path was the most strenuous thing I had ever been on. I wanted to cry.
Sarah, who had never been camping before, never went anywhere with her family, etc. was happy. She just laughed at it.
That's when I knew that I had a keeper.
We clambered back up the side of the mountain in about an hour or an hour and a half. We were both starving by the time we got back, and we kept asking each other what the other would do if we passed out, whether we'd drag each other back up.
If that's a moderate path, I'd never even want to touch the strenuous path.