Jessica and I had no delusions about our ability to hike all the way to the top, but Anna thought she and Elyse might make it. However, our progress was pretty slow, owing in part to Jessica and Elyse's tendency to stop regularly so Jessica could take pictures of her sister:
As it turned out, we all made it to what we call the half-way spot, which the official trail map labels as the Halfway House (though it isn't a house, and it's more like two-thirds of the way up...but since it gets steeper and rockier past this spot, by this point you probably have only expended half the energy required to get to the top, even if you have gone more than half of the way). When I was a kid, there used to be bathrooms and water fountains here--at least that's how I remember it--but now there's just this covered shelter with picnic tables:
I believe this is where the bathrooms used to be; when you're there, you can look closely and see the pipes in the concrete (but they aren't visible in this picture):
This is Elyse on the dais adjacent to the half-way spot. I'm not sure what used to be there:
We stopped here for a few minutes, had a little snack, and did some exploring. I was disappointed that they've let it get so grown over that you can't get to the area beside the Halfway House where the cooking pits are, but then maybe that's on purpose, to keep people from setting fires on the mountain. In any case, after a few minutes we turned around and headed back down.
The trip back down was less of a strain than the trip up (gravity works that way), and Jessica and I had a good time exploring some of the side trails on the way back to the start of the walking trail. We're going to go back one day when we don't have to worry about making Anna and Elyse wait too long, so we can explore to our hearts' content.
When we made it back to the parking lot, we all piled into the car and went back home, for once not going to Crossroads and gorging ourselves on candy at the candy store.