We were wrong.
The morning humidity was brutal, probably why our toddler was in a very "up and down" mood. Though she whined much more than usual, she did take the time to enjoy the smell of wildflowers, the sight of butterflies, and the taste of raspberries straddling the trail.
The evening rain also led to a muddy mess of a hike, but there's nothing wrong with getting a little bit muddy. As we trekked through some open prairie, we took pleasure in the shady spots and yearned for the upcoming covered canopy of the forest.
The shade of the trees was much appreciated. The steep, uphill descent wasn't, though the high humidity and rising temperatures probably dampened what would have been a great hike for conditioning.
When the toddler was cooperating, it was great to hear her excitement at every discovery. From jumping off of roots to searching for the perfect hiking stick, her moments of joy make every hike worthwhile.
Although the searing sun made the trek a bit sticky, the spectacular scenery combined with the company of my two favorite hikers made me ready to hit the trail again soon.