If you missed part 1 of Maya's birthday weekend at Candlewood Cabins, start here.
Saturday morning, I woke up fairly early, put some Amos Lee on the iPad and started breakfast. In no time at all, my activity caused the girls to start drifting downstairs.
I had originally planned on pancakes the first morning, but I soon discovered that I had grabbed the wrong pancake mix at the store. Instead of the just-add-water kind, I grabbed the why-am-I-buying-pancake-mix-when-I-may-as-well-start-from-scratch kind. I didn't feel like driving into town for milk and vegetable oil, so I went with what should have been Sunday's breakfast, scrambled eggs, bacon and fried potatoes.
After breakfast, we slathered on sunscreen, filled our water bottles and hit the trail, which begins less than fifty feet from the cabin.
One of the first things I said to the girls was "Stay on the trail, there's poison oak, and I don't have any calamine lotion." So of course, thirty seconds later, they were off the trail and into the creek bed to explore a tree with exposed roots. If you want to know what raising a teenager is like, I've pretty much just described it.
When we hit the Ridge Road, the girls were off and running. But not for long. It's a fairly challenging incline the whole way. I felt like I was definitely in better shape this year than I was last year. The climb wasn't as difficult and didn't seem to take as long.
Once we were at the top of the ridge, the first thing we spotted was a small paddock of dairy cows. We approached them eagerly but cautiously, and once we determined they were friendly, we got to know them a little better.
Most of them were not shy at all, and we were able to pet their noses and feed them a little grass. Everyone was completely enamored of one cow. She was a beautiful velvety russet color, with gentle eyes.
We said a reluctant goodbye to the cows and set off into the wide open meadow. It was such a glorious day, and reminded me again of why I love my adopted state.
We wandered around, looking for some of the old farm house ruins that Trevor and I had come across last year, but we didn't find them. Finally, legs fatigued from the walk up and wading through knee high clover, we laid down and enjoyed the sky and the quiet.
And, let's be real, the girls also enjoyed the little bit of cell phone reception they were able to get on the ridge. But for the most part, our weariness and the quiet overtook us and we just rested.
With the soft wind in the trees and the birds and the warmth, I was very close to drifting off when my stomach reminded me that it was time we headed back down for lunch. Off we headed, back down the Ridge Road, vowing that next time, we would bring our lunch with us.