house rock and zippy the turtle

So we have been sick lately. Passing a germ from person to person like a bowl of candy. Letty, Dom, David, me, Letty. She got hit the worst though. And add into that the longest stretch of rain in who knows how long... Cold temperatures for May and gray days are not what my dreams are made of. To think in a few weeks we will be putting the pool up? Surely you must be joking?

Anyways we had some errands to run last week that put us in southernly Lancaster county. And Letty was chock a lock full of Tylenol and acting practically normal... Errands done and a lunch packed I figured it was the perfect time to visit one of the most scenic spots in Lancaster county. Per my local newspaper... House Rock.
I should have done my research. I should have figured out parking or gotten a map up on my phone and I shouldn't have been wearing flip flops. But in my mind it was a pull over and there it is, a pretty overlook. And what it actually was was quite different...

It was drive around several times and google until you learn that tiny gravel off cropping is in fact a parking "lot" built for three. And then it's staring at said googled map trying to decipher our proper direction. All while keeping Dom calm and making sure the big kids didn't run into oncoming traffic. Once that was figured out, off we went. Regretting our footwear and the entire decision honestly. But we were there and so we saunter on. 

I led the way... With Letty and then David following me. Matt wearing Dom (payback for all last year's hikes amiright?) taking up the rear. All was fine. Climbing over fallen trees, pushing past overgrown bushes, yeah sure we got this and yes absolutely kids we know where we are going. But we didn't. And then. I stopped short. Like needed new drawers stopped short because I looked at the path in front of me and stared into the eyes of a black and yellow turtle. Letty then started screaming and crying. David started whining. And I mean it just surprised me is all... You imagine seeing a turtle giving you the stare down in the middle of the trail? Not I. Not I. It was at this very moment both big kids decided they had to pee. So it's the woods. And they peed. I held Letty up because I don't trust her erm... Aim... and well right I was because my toes got a lovely golden shower.... Ahem. Moving on. Matt moved the offensive turtle out of the path (our hero) and we continued. I wish I had gotten a photo of it because he was quite pretty and minding his own business before we came along and scared the living hell out of him. 

So over hill and dale and through a creek and we finally arrived at House Rock!  Where on three sides there was nothing but a seriously stiff drop. Matt wanted none of that and held back. I immediately banished the big kids to sitting only. And then we took in the views before turning heel and heading back to the van.

Should we have done it when Letty is under the weather or whatever allergy possible thing is plaguing her? Probably no. And should we have researched it? Yes. And should I have bug spray and shoes of the closed toe variety in my van at all times? Yes yes yes! 

But let's adventure my dears. Right? Because that turtle? Once David relaxed.... He named him Zippy. Zippy his turtle, his best friend. And that's sort of fun. 



  1. lol this whole thing. but that last photo of them holding hands is priceless. also you should have learned from white cliffs to not do flip flops ha

    xoxo cheshire kat

  2. So here's what I love about your writing. You could have just shared the beautiful pictures of this amazing hike with happy smiling children and pretty flowers and other scenery but no! You share the whole story behind the story. And I love it! Keeping it real sister which is what I just love about you! xo B

  3. hahaha. oh the adventures you get into. turtles, being peed on, and inappropriate shoes. I'd toss a pair of sneaks into that van asap.
    The first time I visited PA Chris and I got dropped off somewhere by Muddy Creek and we hiked in and then hiked out and then walked all the way back to his parents house. I thought I was going to die. I don't think we hike in FL. I never did. You want to get your legs cut up by all the saw palmettos? no thank you.

  4. okay okay okay i am dying. hahaha. but first, i love your adventures and i love that they include matt so much of the time!! i wish we could be like that. second, crying at the turtle! haha! i never want a child to feel afraid or scared but i am picturing that if i could be a fly on the wall [or tree trunk] that this scene MIGHT be hilarious. third, it helps to pull pants completely off one leg and make sure to pee downhill away from any feet. :) #experiencedoutdoorpee-er

  5. Beautiful view and pictures! That is quite the "trail". No joke! These moments are what memories are made of, right? :)

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