You know those days where you go to bed with your heart overflowing, those days where you wish daylight would never end? Saturday was one of those days. After putting in long hours the past few week my husband wanted to get outside and spend time together as a family, he suggested going on a hike. I immediately started checking local areas because we have some great options. After a little googling I decided we would head to Roaring River State Park. After looking over the trails I wasn’t sure what would be the best fit for our crew (4 year old and mom with baby on her back) but thanks to this awesome post on Adventures in the Ozarks I was sold on Devil’s Kitchen Trail. Rocks to climb over, caves to explore, spring water to touch, not to mention the various terrain we would encounter, it truly was a little boys dream! Off we went!
When I told Mr. J that there were caves he insisted that he bring his flashlight! Miss K was a little more timid about the cave exploring. Even daddy got in on the action. There were two different cave areas that were easily accessible. Along with a few other rock formations that were really interesting. The name Devil’s Kitchen comes from one of the rock formations along the trail. Before it collapsed there use to be a room like structure that is said to have been a hideout for Civil War guerrilla soldiers. (I did have to clarify that I wasn’t talking about the primate type of gorilla’s!)
We climbed 325 ft throughout the hike to a plateau where we stayed for a good portion of the hike. The terrain is beautiful with a variety of things to see. We are already talking about making this a winter hike so we can see more of the land once the leaves are off the trees.
I think my favorite moments of the day came from the hands I got to hold and the conversations that we had. I loved hearing the big two talk about the different animalia, plantae, and fungi they encountered. I wish I would of counted how many fungi we surveyed. As we were walking along the trail Daddy asked us to stop and look ahead to where we were going. We were at a place that we couldn’t see more than 100 feet in front of us. He talked about how faith in God is much like hiking the path ahead, not always seeing what lies ahead but knowing that God has provided a way and we just need to walk in it. Which led our kiddos to recite their verse from vacation Bible school, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
In reflecting on this day with my family I was reminded that this is the “more” I am journeying toward. The act of loving my people better, by intentionally being “there” with them. Growing deeper by marveling about the goodness of God and His amazing creation. Living richer by being all in, wholly there, savoring the good, the true, and the beautiful gifts God has given me. So thankful to be on a journey toward more!