The last time I took the kids hiking we tried to scale the epic Devil's Slide Quad 7 sans trail and Lilly demonstrated a new hiking move best not repeated. So this time we (they) chose a destination with an actual trail. Go figure.
A fellow TNAB hiker had told me about magical caves on Tiger Mountain. I was skeptical, but of course willing to drag the kids around the woods for the sake of proving him wrong. We lucked into a parking spot in the lot (as opposed to down by the freeway) and were soon wandering up the trail after only a minor fit by Henry. (I'm still not sure what it was he wanted, but it might have been a combination of M&Ms, Tokul, Lilly, not me, Amy, or perhaps the Moon itself.)
Turn right, turn left, stay on the trail. Always on the trail. Tiger's not a place you can get REALLY lost, but you can always turn the wrong way and wind up where you didn't think you'd wind up. Not so today. We were spot on. The route was short, but with lots of wooded goodness. We climbed a bit, had lunch, saw some flowers, and then pushed on higher. I saw the cutoff to the dreaded Section Line Trail and shied away. We were headed for the caves, after all.
Just after we reached our high point and started downhill a bit we found them. Sort of. At least there were some big (and I mean BIG) rocks. Poking around we found a couple of little passageways that surely did fee like caves. Pretty cool caves. Especially if you're all of two and a half feet tall. (I wonder if that's really how tall Henry is. I should measure him.)
After a bit of trepidation Henry was chasing Lilly while I hoped like heck I wasn't going to see another acrobatic move on her part. Clara had been my right hand all along and tried to corral the two little kids, but had her hands full with Tokul who was none to pleased by the rocks even if there was dirt under paw and sky over head. Lilly returned and was followed by Henry so I breathed a bit easier.
Of course, we were only half done with the trip. Since it was a loop we had uncharted territory ahead including a really pretty waterfall just beyond the caves, a bit of flat trail with no impressive trails, and then an intersection with the heavily trafficked Tiger Mountain Trail. From there it was a race down the hill during which I implored the kids to not fall and try to keep their squeals of delight to mere giggles as opposed to full-bellied guffaws.
At the trailhead they feigned fatigue (at last) and collapsed on the benches. Of course, they wouldn't all lie there at the same time without some serious coaching so the candid photo was a bit less candid than I might have hoped, but you'll never know, right?
Back at home they all had naps and woke to find Amy home from her day trip to Chelan to meet baby Paige. A pretty nice day, even if there were no REAL caves. Take that EWB! (But it was definitely a fun trip and we'll be back with proper caving gear.)
Totals: 2.9 miles and 1,080 feet of gain and no somersaults (backward or forward).