In recognition of Kylo Ren Day this past Friday, we went for a hike at a newly found hiking spot – Hitchiti Loop Trail. We didn’t bring Gryphon or Sophie along because we wanted to have some quality time with Kylo. Also, Gryphon has been getting on his nerves, so we figured he would enjoy himself more if he didn’t have any other kitty company. As much as I missed having little Gryph with us, I think we made the right call.
A few months back, Kylo Ren had an “incident” while on an adventure that really affected him and has made him wary of adventuring. (I will go into detail about the incident in another post.) Since then, we’ve been having to re-acclimate him to hiking. He used to LOVE hiking and was by far the best hiker we had. Sadly though, the past few times we’ve taken him out, he hasn’t wanted to walk on his own at all. He’s chosen to ride in his backpack instead. Slowly but surely we will be able to rekindle his love of hiking, and his birthday hike this past weekend was a big step in that direction!
Hitchiti Loop Trail turned out to be a secluded, wooded hiking trail in the middle of nowhere – exactly what we were looking for! It is about a 4-mile loop trail that runs by a creek and the Ocmulgee River at some points. It was a beautiful spot. No other foot or dog traffic either. We only saw one other couple on the trail the whole time (and they turned out to be friends of ours).
We started off on the trail taking our time, and just letting Kylo Ren get comfortable and explore his surroundings. As always, he enjoyed hanging out on the fallen trees, of which there were many.
We eventually made it down by the creek. We have had a TON of rain lately, so the water level was pretty high and had more of a current. Surprisingly, Kylo was very interested in the water.
Then Kylo suddenly became very still and fixated on the direction we had just come from. He wouldn’t budge and just kept staring. We couldn’t see or hear anything at first, but then we heard someone calling out, “Hey guys!” It turned out to be friends of ours. We quickly put Kylo in his backpack. He was obviously nervous. He is not a fan of encountering other people when out on adventures, especially after the “incident.”
It was super random to run into our friends, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Kylo does know our friends – they have been over to our house tons of times – so he eventually relaxed. The four of us and Kylo (in his backpack) continued on the hike together.
The sun was starting to go down, so I kept Kylo in his backpack for a lot of the way in the interest of moving more quickly on the trail. He did come out a couple times after joining up with our friends, which was encouraging to me. He actually seemed even more comfortable having four of his humans with him.
We didn’t make it back to the car before the sun went down, so we all ended up on our first ever night hike! The stars came out, and it was really nice. Normally being out in the woods in the middle of nowhere at night would freak me out, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Kylo was into it too. He kept asking to get out of his backpack, so I left him do a little night hiking. He seemed to love it!
As fun and exciting as it was to hike in the black of night, I think we will be heading back to Hitchiti Loop Trail again earlier in the day next time. It was a beautiful hike (from what we could see before it got dark), and Kylo Ren seemed to enjoy it, so we will definitely go back. Maybe we’ll have to go with friends again too since Kylo liked having a “pack” with him. I’m just glad he made some progress towards enjoying hiking again.
We hope everyone else enjoyed Kylo Ren Day as much as we did!