We loaded up with plenty of snacks and water and headed up the trail. Allie and I each carried a hydration pack that I used in the past for running. Jack just carried his "spyglass" (my binoculars). The first 15 minutes of hiking included flat sections with a few gentle switchbacks. After that, we were in for a shock. The remainder of the hike was almost completely scrambling over large rocks. Allie lead the way with Jack and I trailing. About halfway up, I decided that getting down would be extremely treacherous and paused for a moment to determine if we should keep going. The kids ate a quick snack while we watched large groups of adults struggle to make their way up the mountain. I can't imagine how they felt seeing a 4 year old up there.
During our break, I asked the kids if they were ready to turn around? I explained the difficulty of getting back down but they wouldn't accept it. Against my better judgement, I decided that we would continue on with the hope that the Western trail would provide an easier descent. The picture doesn't do the climb justice, there was typically much less ground and more rocks the higher we climbed.
We reached the summit and the kids were amazed at the views. Jack checked out all of Arkansas with his spyglasses and we had another snack. There were large groups at the top, all dirty and exhausted. The vast majority of which had wisely climbed up the West Summit trail. After a few minutes, we made our way down the west side and back to our car along the base trail. I washed the kids off with a bottle of water, changed their clothes, and gave them more food before heading home.
Just a few days before our camping and hiking trip, we watched the kids playing in the back yard and I mentioned to Paige that I thought they might be a little soft. By this I meant that they are somewhat spoiled and haven't experienced any sort of hardship. Our Pinnacle Mountain trip has definitely changed my view of the kids. Not once did they complain about the bumps, bruises, and scratches while climbing up or down the mountain. You would have thought they did this on a regular basis. I think Paige grew tired of me saying how impressed I was with Allie. She led the entire way carrying about 6 pounds of water on her back and was as happy as could be. And Jack was covered in dirt from head to toe and didn't complain a bit until we weren't climbing or descending a mountain anymore. Simply hiking through the woods had become too easy for him and he was bored on the base trail.
Now I know that while my kids may be a little more spoiled than I'd like, they definitely aren't soft.