As we were riding along in my truck on our way to go hiking, my oldest daughter proclaimed that she felt like she was going to throw up… within 20 seconds, she threw up. Fortunately there was a towel in the back seat where my dog was riding earlier and she had the wherewithal to direct the contents of her stomach in that direction. I pulled over at the next stop (which happened to be a Burger King) and she gagged on the grass while patrons enjoyed their breakfast.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning in the mountains and I had a picnic and hike planned for the family. Reluctant to throw in the towel (figuratively… I actually threw away the towel), I went inside to get her a drink… and one for her little sister who, in her words, was feeling “a little left out”. We loaded back up into the truck and proceeded toward our trail (with an empty Burger King bag… just in case).

We were heading to an area we had never been to before, so we weren’t sure what to expect. It was amazing. We drove deep into some very dense woods on a gravel/dirt road that followed a beautiful mountain stream for miles. We discovered dozens of incredible campsites and found a great spot for our picnic. My sick little trooper still wasn’t feeling great, but she was willing to give the hike a shot.

The trail was outstanding – one of the best I’ve ever been on east of the Rockies. It was actually a portion of the Appalachian Trail – a 2,100 mile trial that extends from North Georgia to Maine. After walking the famed trail for a while, I turned perpendicular to it and walked across. Now I can say that I have hiked the entire width of the Appalachian Trail.

My youngest was fully in hiking mode… actually running much of the trail (mental note, stop and get sugary drinks before our next hike). Olivia, while plainly not back to herself, seemed to be doing a little better. At the end of the trail were a beautiful waterfall and some huge boulders that we all climbed on.

The girls had a blast. By this time, Olivia was smiling, running, and chasing butterflies. This ended up being one of if not the best hike we have taken as an entire family and we would have missed the experience if we had given up when Olivia got sick earlier. Now I know… sometimes the right thing to do is turn the car around and try again later, but sometimes we miss out on life’s greatest joys because we give up too soon.

There will be no posting next week because the girls will be trying out their legs on the mountains of Colorado. I think we’ll need a lot of soft drinks.