Hiking and other forms of child abuse

Being in the Great Smokey Mountains is amazing. There are so many things to see and do. I was very interested in going on a hike, and everyone agreed. There are at least 20 different places to go, and it was hard to pick. Fortunately, there are guide books that give you advice on what to do.

According to one of these guide books, there was a short trail in Cades Cove that followed along a rushing creek and led to a dramatic water fall. They said that it was a trail appropriate for everyone, including the elderly and small children. I figured that was right up our alley.

Armed with water bottles and peanut butter sandwiches, we started our hike easily enough. I wasn't too concerned that the trail was completely unpaved. I wasn't concerned that everyone else was wearing hiking boots and carrying walking sticks. I wasn't even too concerned when we reached a bridge made by a single 2 by 4. As the kids started to complain, I declared them lazy and insisted we keep going.

I started getting a little nervous as we got further up the hill. The creek was at least 100 feet below us, and the trail edges dropped off suddenly.

After walking about 1 1/2 hours, Owen refused to go any further. He simply sat down and said "pick me up on your way back." Well, of course, I'm not going anywhere without him. I begged and pleaded and promised that the waterfall would be worth it. I insisted that we couldn't possibly have much further to go - after all, we had been walking a long time. A lot longer than most senior citizens I know.

Finally, in desperation, I stopped a nice looking couple climbing back down the trail and asked them to please tell me that we were almost there.

Well, apparently, we weren't almost there. According to the nice looking couple, we needed to finish climbing the hill until we saw some rocks. Once we climbed over the rocks, we would be about half of the way there. After that, the trail becomes a little treacherous, so they warned us to be careful.


I immediately abandoned any hope I had of seeing that waterfall. Instead, we climbed back down the trail and found a nice place to swim and eat our peanut butter sandwiches.


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