We headed into the woods yesterday for a morning of wandering and exploring at Myrtle Beach State Park. Although we have hiked this trail the past two years during our time in Myrtle Beach, experiencing it again with my little man, his eyes a little older and wiser, was enchanting. He doesn't recall our visits here from the last two years, so he looks at this place with fresh eyes. He sees things I miss, he picks up treasures, asks questions about the trees and plants, and makes me feel like it is the first time we are hiking this trail. As we stepped on the trail, I let him lead. At times he ran ahead, waiting to ask a question or point something out. Other times he took my hand and guided me to something I had to see. We moved slowly, and just enjoyed the solace the woods offer.
After meandering for a while, the trail ends, and we walk across a parking lot and end up on the beach. I absolutely love that this trail ends at the beach, it really is the best of both worlds. We feel the close comfort of the woods, trees standing tall over our heads, roots reaching deep below our feet, and then we step forward into the open and freeing expanse of the beach and ocean. There was a heavy fog over the ocean, as you can see from one of the photos above (there is actually a pier in that photo, but you can barely see it), which made our time on the beach quite mystical. We walked, collected shells, and stopped for a snack before heading back to the woods, finding our way slowly back to the car, new nature treasures in hand, and a feeling of calm and peace surrounding us.