Hanging Gardens State Park

Steven and I are terrible at making plans for the weekend. We are so excited for it all week, but then when Friday night rolls around we're all, "what should we do this weekend? I dunno.. what do you want to do? I dunno.. what were you thinking?" And then the usual errand running / baby chasing weekend ensures.  But every so often we decide to just get the heck out of dodge! Recently we did just that and discovered a beautiful little gem just 20 minutes or so from our house.
We stumbled across Hanging Gardens State Park (and no there were no hanging gardens) and it was so beautiful. After a steep climb down a rather frightening hillside that I was sure Huckleberry was going to run off, we came to the most beautiful, crystal clear water nestled within in impressive gorge. Huckleberry took a much deserved swim and I simply marveled at the fact that a place so beautiful was literally 20 minutes away from me and I never even knew it!
Jack wanted to jump in the water alongside Huck but opted for playing with some rocks instead. Steven and I explored a bit more and then decided to make the steep 2 mile climb back to our car. It was a simple, conveniently close to home hike but so gorgeous and unexpected! 

I forget more often than I like to admit how important it is to get away... even if "getting away" only means 20 minutes down the road. Just go outside and explore! There is so much beauty out there and not only do I want to enjoy it more often, but I want Jack to grow up loving the outdoors and the beauty of God's creation. And let's face it, it definitely beats out Saturday morning Costco runs in the fun department. So local hikes for the win!

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