When we pulled into the parking lot, Carsten, my born hiker, said, "This place is sooo AWESOME!" Everyone agreed. Nathan and Megan are the only ones who have been before, and the others were very impressed by their first sight of the massive rock.
I packed Austin into the backpack. He's usually pretty good about tagging along that way. Steffen, on the other hand, has been a bit of challenge on our hikes. This time, we had a BIG talk ahead of time. I impressed the whole "celebrating Mother's Day" thing on him, and then told him we were going to walk all the way to the top with no stopping and no whining. I wasn't particularly confident about my powers of persuasion, despite the fact that I promised him a snack at the top, so I brought along the front pack, just in case I ended up having to carry both the little guys.
All the kids started off with a will. There were already a good number of people making their way up. The great thing about Enchanted Rock is that it's almost impossible to get lost. You can look up and see exactly where you're going (though it's farther away than it looks) and it's up to you how you get yourself up there.
Carsten figured the best way up was, well, up.
Either my conversation with Steffen had its desired effect or he's just gotten older and more willing to hike (crossing my fingers), but whatever it was, he did great! He kept saying, "I'm doing great. All the way to the top with no stopping! I'm fine! I'm good!" He was like a hiker and cheerleader all in one. And even though he took a nose dive into a puddle and had to hike wet, he made it all the way to the top all by himself! That's a pretty great accomplishment for a three year old.
I handed out the promised snacks at the top, and let Austin out for a bit of running around time. Every time he tried to take a step though, the steep grade had him wheeling his little arms around for balance. He decided to stay put and just snack.
Steffen showed off the secret to his great hiking success- Lego Crocs.
And all of the kids enjoyed the stunning scenery.
We walked down in a zig-zag so that I could keep my balance with the backpack, and we passed so many people going up that I was indeed glad that we had gotten there early.
We drove back to San Antonio for lunch at Green before heading back home, where everyone sort of crashed, all worn out from our exciting and happy Mother's Day.
Oh, and thank you, Nathan, for lending your phone for all the picture taking.