Last summer I had dreams of an overnighter with Clara, but it didn't work out. Probably best that I didn't try to force her to hike for miles and miles and ruin the experience.
To get her ready for this summer we've been in training. She's done a bunch of trips to the big tree on the local trail, but there was always one last big hill before getting to the waterfall that's the main destination.
Yesterday I had taken Papa up the trail as part of his training (Mt. Si or bust and all that) so in spite of the repetitve nature of second trip in as many days we headed up as Lilly went down for a nap. Our goal was to get as far as we could and back before Lilly woke up and discovered we had gone hiking without her. (Hell has no wrath like a little girl left out of a hike.)
Before you get to thinking this was a death march where we'd make it to the waterfall or else we began with the repetition of first rule of hiking: Have fun. (Over the course of the we added two more rules: #2 Stand next to Daddy when new dogs show up and #3 Daddy catches Clara when she trips.)
Clearly, Clara could have done this trail a long time ago. She had no issues getting to the waterfall under her own power. I told her she had mad hiking skillz and she said she actually had "hiking princess skillz" which are sort of the same thing. Then she showed off her muscles.
We got back to the house just as Lilly was waking up. SUCCESS!
Add to Clara's running total 3.6 miles and 500 feet of gain.