Oh, wait. Maybe that isn't what most people would do. Oops.
But we did figure that maybe the drizzling rain would keep other hikers away and that the "easy"" trail we had picked out would not be as crowded. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
So off Sarah, Tara, Nick, Jeannie, and I went to tackle the hike up to Laurel Falls. For some reason, Darrell and Nelson did not want to go hiking in the rain. I cannot imagine why not. :-p
Good points about the hike: 1) The scenery was beautiful. 2) The trail was paved. 3) We didn't die.
Bad points about the hike: 1) "Easy" isn't all it's cracked up to be. We struggled. A lot. 2) Somehow, we forgot to eat lunch. Or take lunch. Or anything remotely related to lunch. OOPS! 3) We felt like we were going to die! :-p
Truly, we did see some lovely fall colors. I took a ton of pictures of all the trees sporting their fall finery. I took way more pictures than I could ever post here. And frankly, I can't guarantee that I'm even going to be able to select the best ones to post, because there were just so many that are amazingly beautiful. (Plus, stopping to snap another photo gave me lots of opportunities to rest along the way!).
As you can see, we picked a short hike. Only 1.3 measly little miles. Total round trip 2.6 miles. Why wasn't it easy for us?! Surely it couldn't be the fact that it was 1.3 miles UP the mountain. Or that I'm pregnant. Or that Tara has other issues to deal with. Or that we hadn't eaten any lunch. Surely none of that could have anything to do with it. ;)
Ah, the leaves in autumn...
And finally, the waterfall itself...
See? We all made it! (Barely.)
Sarah out-hiked us all, charging up the mountainside the way she charges through life in general. Thankfully, her grandma was able to keep up with her, because her mommy and Aunt Tara certainly weren't! :-p (Uncle Nick no doubt could have kept up with her as well, but he was being very chivalrous and hanging behind with his wife and sister-in-law!)
However, at the end of the hike, Sarah was apparently as worn out as the rest of us. Here she is in the car, once we were headed back to town to get some food!!!
So yes, we were very exhausted and very HUNGRY people as we headed back to town for sustenance. After bandying about several restaurant ideas, we decided to head back to the Old Mill. Only Jeannie, Tara, and I had eaten there--we needed to share the experience with everyone else!
Old Mill is so good that it always has a wait. Even at 3:00 in the afternoon, we were told it would be about 1.5 hours before we got a table. I think I wilted at this news. Those who know me know I don't do well if I don't eat. I was in full-blown crash mode as we sat and waited. Fortunately, my marvelous mother-in-law managed to bribe, beg, or steal a basket of corn fritters for me. I ate them and managed to survive until our table was ready (far sooner than expected! YAY!!). :)
Nelson and Darrell met us at the restaurant for whatever our meal was (what do you call it when you combine lunch and supper, anyway?). And this time, I remembered to ask about ingredients! Old Mill uses MSG in only three of their dishes.
I had eaten two of those three dishes on Tuesday. No wonder I was in such bad shape that night.
And yes, the beloved dumplings were one of the poison-laden items. Sigh. I will never again be able to eat the world's best dumplings (no wonder they were so good, huh?). :( Tara ordered them again, and I lived vicariously through her for a few moments.
But I did have a perfectly fine meatloaf, and some darn good yeast rolls that evening, so all was not lost. :)
Ironically, while we waited for our table, I overheard a gentleman talking about how good the Apple Barn was. Oh, sure, just rub in the fact that I picked the wrong apple restaurant! (Sorry again, Nick.) :-p
As always, you may go to Tara's site for additional pictures and commentary about our day.