Getting a toddler and a dog all loaded up felt like such a process--getting towels all tucked and situated in the backseat since I wanted to let Carmen play in the creek, making sure I had inhalators and water bottles and snacks and diapers packed, dousing sunscreen and then bug spray, gosh. Once Joony and Carmen were settled in the backseat and I climbed into the front seat, I felt like I'd run a marathon. That is, of course, when I heard a tiny two year old voice: "Mama? Poopoo." "Did you do a poop?" "Yeah." Right. Go figure.
Anyways, it was well worth the hassle! We got to hike a loop that was just over a mile, had a creek for Carmen to swim in, just enough incline to give us an incredible view, and lots of rocks for inspecting and throwing. Oh, and I got to strengthen my chicken arms because Joon wanted to be carried half the way--which I honestly didn't mind, he never asks to be held anymore and I loved that sweaty little blonde head on my shoulder.
I found the community of hikers to be just as friendly as the running community. Everyone we passed stopped to pet Carmen, ask how Joony was enjoying the hike, or comment on the weather. It was fantastic! Carmen even got to meet (/spaz out over) some new dog friends.