The Great Swamp & the Great Fall
We start out the hike meandering through the great swamp on a beautiful boardwalk as we looked at the birds being flushed out of the tall weeds. Abby was having a great time running free down the boardwalk exploring every chance she could get. It was truly picturesque.
Eventually it ended and it turned into Forest as the Appalachian trail started a steady climb uphill. I really had to go to the bathroom so we stopped and took a potty break and then we hiked on. I’d stop occasionally to ask her if she wanted to stop or keep going up the mountain and she would gleefully say, “that way” pushing me further and further up the mountain. There were times when I wanted to give up and I would have this little person in front of me just telling me to keep going. She’s my little motivator.
Every time we would get to a log or rock we would have to go, “one, two, three” and jump over it. It was quite the funny game that she was playing. We stopped and had snacks and had a potty break for Abby this time. We went a little bit further up the hill before turning around back towards the car. We got part way down the mountain and Abby saw mud and got an excited look in her eyes. Playtime in the mud, gunk and water was commencing. Her boots got stuck in the mud and she had to wiggle, wiggle, wiggle to get it out. Abby kept telling me it was stuck as if I’m supposed to go get it. I wasn’t about to become a mud casualty too. She continued to play in the mud and jump up and down and run back and forth throw it and just making a crazy mess of herself. Eventually, she was finished and I pulled off any other clothing that had become a casualty. This would not be the first time she was barefoot and in underwear on the trail.
She took my phone and stopped to take some awesome photos of the scenery around her until she became tired and wanted up. I picked her up and carried her in front of me as we continued hiking down the mountain. We eventually crossed paths with a man who told us he was hiking 300 miles from Vermont to the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey on the Appalachian Trail. Abby snapped a photo of him and caught him off-guard with her camera. I explained her love for picture taking, so he stopped and smiled at the camera and thought it was great. We exchanged our trail names with each other and we said goodbye to our new buddy, Scooner.
We got back down to the boardwalk and came across a nice older, mountain looking man. He began talking about his grandchildren and life in Vermont. I turned around and Abby was mid air as she did a swan dive into the boardwalk. It was a perfect face-plant. We made it almost back to the car. We were so close. I pick her up and examined her and noticed blood everywhere. There’s blood on my clothes, on her … there’s blood all over. She’s crying, and I’m panicking inside but I know I have to check her out calmly. The older man decides to leave after giving us a few suggestions of things we should try doing. Three more people come up and one, just luckily happens to be ski patrol. We lay her down and check her out to make sure that she didn’t bite off her tongue or cause any serious damage or had knocked out any of her teeth. It turns out that she had ripped her upper lip from her gum so I cleaned it up as best I could with my trusty bandanna. One person tried soothing her and another one showed her their dog as I put her in her carrier. I put her on my back to take her to the car and thanked the kind hikers.
We got back to the car and I gave her something to drink to wash out her mouth and we headed back to the house. Not five minutes down the road, my check engine light went on the second her half drunk milk flew across the backseat. I just said “really?” and pushed my car home.
I had to call the doctor because she was looking like a Simpsons character with her lip the way it was. They said she had to come in because she smacked her head even though I didn’t think it was really necessary because this fearless child has done stuff before. We saw the nurse and she told us that Abby had giving herself a frenectomy (the detaching of that piece of skin from lip to gum) and that she also has some superficial scratches and bruises but was absolutely fine. She was shocked her teeth looked great and said from now on we could do home checks because she’s so tough. I brought her home and that was it for adventure in the Great Swamp via the Appalachian Trail. Oh and bonus, her lip skin grew in higher up and her speech has improved!