This morning, we all piled into the van to climb Pinnacle Peak. Unfortunately, the trail was closed on account of swarms of attacking bees (no, not the killer bees, just really irritated bees). However, the warden was very helpful and told us about another trail nearby that went up to the top of "Tom Thumb", a really cool rock formation. If you have watched Veggie Tales' "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Movie", the area looks a little like the rock monster island with more sand poured over the rock formations. The boulders are all metamorphic rock (thanks H.A.M.I.C. geology studies!). To get to the start of Tom Thumb trail, you have to go on a dirt road, which reminded me of Kyle's newest song, "Rock and Roll on a Bad Road", beecause that is what we did. I think Eric had fun driving on it, though we had to be careful of washouts and huge dips that still caused us to bottom out a few times. The kids were great. At the beginning of the trail, John told a guy passing us, "I will never get tired." He changed his tune. Trail statistics: It took us 90 minutes to hike 2.6 miles with an elevation gain of 700 feet (thanks to Eric's GPS program on his phone). We saw lizards, a hummingbird (I think), lots of ants and lots of little flies that reminded me of the little flying bugs in "Cars". The flies were annoying, but at least they didn't bite--just tickle. The trail had places with loose gravel that made it tricky to go up and even trickier going down. On the way down, Elizabeth slipped and fell once, Jessi and Kyle each slipped and fell three times and John slipped and fell too many times to count (I think he liked it because Eric was holding his hand and didn't let him get hurt). John also confessed to getting tired at one point. We did not make it to the summit of Tom's Thumb. Our water was half gone, the kids were really tired, and a couple on their way back said that the trail got pretty steep near the end, which made us decide to turn around with Tom Thumb's peak in site.
The views were fabulous, both up close and panoramic. Unfortunately, we did not bring a camera, so we only took a couple of pictures with Eric's camera. All in all, it was a great adventure. Who needs to be in "The Amazing Race" when you can create your own road blocks :-).