30 April 2017

Three Sisters with Family Adventures in Nature

Well, I did it.  I hosted a hike with our San Diego family hiking group, "Family Adventures in Nature," to Three Sisters Falls.  I was hesitant, because parts of this hike are pretty intense for some hikers and coming unprepared can be dangerous.  So I put a lot of thought into attempting to write the hike description in a way that would give all the details and explain how challenging it was, but wouldn't necessarily scare away those families who were up to the challenge.  When we had over 50 people RSVP I was even more nervous, since I had originally assumed we would only have 2 or 3 other families who would be up for this hike.  And there were a few families with younger kids who signed up, which made me wonder how they would do on the hike.  We met at the trailhead yesterday morning and ended up with 9 families (so about 2/3 of the people who RSVPed ended up hiking it with our group).

I gathered everyone together before we started and talked for a moment: I told them that this was probably the most challenging hike we had ever done with this hiking group, about how important it was to keep hydrated and told them we had a water filter so we could refill water bottles at the falls, and explained that parents are responsible for their children's safety.  Michael led the hike with the boys, and I brought up the rear to make sure we didn't leave anyone behind.  Fortunately, the families who had signed up with younger kids either left their younger ones at home and just brought their older kids, or the couple of families who came with a 4 and a 5 year old seemed to be able to handle this hike with plenty of breaks on the hike back out at the end of the day.

We all made it to the falls, and as far as I know there weren't any real injuries or problems.  There was significantly less water flow and a lower water level than when we were there just one week before, so Michael and I were unsure about sliding down the lower falls like we did last week -- but we both ended up deciding to do it in the end, and it turned out just fine.  He and I also climbed up to the upper falls and swam across the deep pool back behind the falls, which was cold & really cool.  Oh, and we used the water filter for the first time, and it worked great!  The group ended up leaving in a few different smaller groups, but the ones we were with did great.

We all left very dirty, tired, and I think everyone left feeling like it was a positive experience.  And I was pleased to get some good feedback from some of the hikers that my description of the hike seemed to be accurate and to portray the difficulty and the great parts of it well, so that was reassuring.  I think it was a great day!  The cool thing is, now by the next day Michael and I both feel like we're way less sore/exhausted than we were after this hike last week -- if only we had time in our family's schedule to do intense all-day hikes like this every week, we'd be strong and in better shape before too long.


The Upper Falls



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