We all drove up to Spearfish Canyon (about an hour away) the final Friday in September, thinking that it would be one of our last really nice days (90 degrees in Rapid but cooler up north in the hills) and that perhaps some of the fall leaves would still be on the trees. It was an incredibly beautiful day and it was so refreshing to get away from the house, town and every day life.
Terry and I hadn't been up there since I was early pregnant with Noah in 2004 and we were taking a break from my nursing school study time. But when several of my church friends started posting photos of their Devil's Bathtub hikes, I wanted to visit again along with the kids. Plus, I saw this blog post which made me confident that I could find the place again.
Here we are just getting ready to cross the bridge at Cleopatra Place.
I had to take a selfie with Terry to prove I was there.
There's no point in wearing socks or hiking boots on this trail. You have to cross the stream so many times that your feet about get all wrinkly. Our very first crossing was like 20 feet after the bridge. The water was frigid at first but by the second and third time, you were pretty well used to it.
The kids did pretty good. Well, Noah and Evie rocked it but Samuel was really only up for half of it. But all the way up he did very well.
Ezra did much better than on the Flume hike we had done a few weekends before. There were lots of branches for him to grab.
We had probably missed the peak of fall color but there were still enough leaves up to enjoy the change of season.
Another stream crossing. Samuel needed lots of help over. Actually though, the stones could be very slippery.
Look at that weird growth on the tree! There were some business cards on top of it when we went by.
Kids being kids. Sillies.
After about 30 minutes we came to the best part - the limestone. How ridiculously gorgeous is that?!
Couldn't get over it. So pretty.
The whole hike was like food for my eyes.
The farther along you went, the more you had to climb rocks and cross the stream. Samuel needed even more help.
Getting closer to the bathtub.
We made it! Well nearly. Just had to finish traversing this little cliff. That brightly lit waterfall farther on empties into a little pool, Devil's Bathtub. No idea how it came by that name.
Evie waded right in. The last time I was here there was a large boulder at the bottom of the waterfall so you couldn't slide down it. I was so happy to see from my friends photos that it had somehow been removed.
I had prepped the kids for this hike by showing them everyone's photos and videos of their little friends going down the waterfall slide. Noah was the first to go and had no problem.
He made it!
Though she had been prepared, Evie was still frightened. I don't know if she thought she'd drown or what.
She did just fine, though, she didn't want to go again.
I went and stood at the top of the waterfall and took this shot looking down. It was a lot more narrow than I remembered it.
Ezra was happy to sit like that for a while. I was worried he would slip and fall in the water! He was perfectly safe though with a watchful hand.
Yeah, hard to believe last time I was here Noah was a little baby in my tummy and now he's a huge nine year old! Oh, and I have three more of them. Crazy.
Daddy also went down the waterfall and then they both went down the next smaller slide too.
Another couple hiked up and we took photos for each other. I'll have to frame this one!
At the bottom of the second smaller waterfall was a deeper pool. Terry jumped in from that little cliff, which was probably about six or seven feet above the water. Noah did it with him from the other side first. Pretty cold to immerse your head!
Evie didn't want to go down another slide so Daddy got her to sit on his lap. Except at the last minute he let her go by herself. Hehehe! It wasn't bad - she was just being a little too sensitive.
After about an hour of playing we went a little further down where the water was less deep to eat our packed lunch.
I wish I had taken more photos on the way down because that vantage point was even prettier. But Samuel needed even more help. He'll do better next year. The kids agreed we should do it every year.
"Hey mom, take a picture of me!"
Poor daddy ended up carrying two boys a lot of the time going down. If we didn't have Ezra, Samuel would have been better off on Terry's back. But really, he was big enough for this hike. Just kind of tired out and whiny.
Nearly back to the van.
Ezra started nodding when we were just about done. He never does this!
He went to sleep immediately in the van and even slept through Dairy Queen. Guess all that sunshine, fresh air and beauty wore him out :)