Archive for October, 2017

The Hiking Plan

October 10, 2017

I realized that I forgotten to mention where we decided to go on our camping trip. For the first part of the trip we drove about 2 hours north, to Cloudland Canyon, which is close to the Georgia-Tennessee border. Choosing a place no longer than a 2 hour drive away was a pretty high priority for us, the parents. Cos you know, kids, cars, long drives, its not exactly a winning combination. Cloudland Canyon also had all of the things the kids were excited to experience, including short but not overly strenuous hiking trials to the waterfalls and canyon rim. That is until the little legs of the littlest people in the group started to get tired, and The Husband and I suddenly found ourselves in the very strenuous situation of hiking sherpa style, with a child tossed up on each of our backs. Now that right there is a leg and ass workout if ever you were looking for one. The only vacation pounds any of us are going to be gaining on this trip, were pounds of muscle.

After an early breakfast on our second day, we headed off to do a 2 mile hike of a portion of the canyon rim.

Our trail was marked by these yellow diamonds, Cullen loved finding and following them all.

Frequent stops to check out the view below and to give the littles a minute to rest.

Part of the canyon view. Once the leaves start to change color this place is going to look magical. May have to come back for a weekend to see it.

This is where the hike turned into a type of cross-fit/military workout for The Husband and I.

Because we were close to the end of the hike and also because The Husband and I were wrecked, the lads had to finish it out on their own 2 legs.

Lots of these moments lately of Keane helping Cullen with various things. Buttoning his shirt for him here.

Of course Keane was fixated on fishing again.

Cullen had zero interest in fishing, to busy with the trucks.

But he did help to point Keane in the direction of the fish.

And what do you know, HE CAUGHT A FISH!! I was so busy trying to get video footage of his big fish catching moment that I only grabbed a few photos.

But he was beyond excited.

If anyone’s curious, it was a catfish.

And yes, we did release him back to the water.

And closed out the day with a family shot, to prove to our future selves that momma was defiantly part of this trip.

Hidey Ho Campers

October 5, 2017

So lets chat about camping. I’m actually ok with camping. I don’t mind it at all. In the early days of our relationship, the now Husband and I did our fair share of camping trips. As a result bugs no longer bother me, nighttime noises don’t strike the same level of fear they use to and peeing in the forest feels a lot less degrading. As long as we’re not talking about any kind of long term (more than a week) wilderness living, then yes, count me in. However, camping with 2 kids and 1 dog, that is a whole other experience.

First of all the amount of stuff you need to bring is downright shocking and to be honest feels somewhat ironic since camping is suppose to be about a more simplistic and basic way of living. Not with kids. Then theres the added challenge of trying to keep all of that crap organized so that when the time comes to light the fire for s’mores, you’re not pulling the guts out of every bag, checking inside every shoe, moving air mattresses and blaming The Husband for all thats wrong in the world cos you can’t find the feckin lighter.

Then theres that optimistic capable feeling you have upon arrival at the camp site. Working together as a team to set up the tent, familiarizing ourselves with the new surroundings, even getting to know a couple of our fellow campers. Until its time to eat and the realization that I’m still responsible for preparing the food, but without the amenities of a home hits. I pulled it off, preparing some pretty decent stove top food only to discover that the kids would prefer to exist on snacks the entire time.

And how about the pat on the back we gave ourselves, for picking the perfect time of year to take on this great outdoor adventure. The weather is still hot, but not too hot and overnight temperatures are comfortable, not at all cold. Checking the forecast for the week and all we saw were happy faced sunshines, day after day. So after setting up camp we headed off on an explorative trip. Not at all bothered by the fact that we forgot to put the rain cover over the top of the tent. Until suddenly, out of nowhere popped one of those pop-up showers. Abandoning the rest of our exploitive excursion, the mission was now to get back to the tent ASAP before everything was completely saturated. Sadly our bedding fell victim to the rain. Teetering on the edge of panic, imagining the back ache I was about to wake up to after having spent the night sleeping in the car, we found out the campsite had a laundry room, with a working dryer. Praise Jesus.

The kids of course loved everything about the experience. The little dramas we faced actually excited them. The relaxed rules and flexible schedule made them giddy. The freedom to pee in the open air was liberating. Night time walks through the forest with their lanterns and glow sticks made them feel brave. They enjoyed getting together with some of the other kids staying at the camp site to play tag in the dark. Hunting for fire wood to start the fire. Hiking, fishing, creature spotting, eating outside, there was nothing about the experience they didn’t love. For once The Husband and I felt like we were actually winning at this parenting game. Yep, its pretty simple really. Take the kids into the wilderness, let them live like feral animals, and suddenly you’re 2 parents, parenting the shit out of life.

Team work for tent set up.

Busy playing with his trucks in the dirt, Cullen’s contribution to tent set up came closer to the end.

Checking out the interior space.

Knock, knock.

No hammer? No problem, we found rocks.

Now this was a job that peaked Cullen’s interest.

Hammering with rocks appealed to Keane too apparently.

Dexter, chillin.

Time to test out the beds.

Map in hand and Cullen is helping to figure out our surroundings.

Post pop-up rain shower and its off to the laundry room to dry our bedding.

These 2 loving the drama of it all.

The morning after our first night in the tent.

How was your first night camping lads?

Dexter always knows the best place to position himself for potentially fallen food items.

After breakfast and we’re off on a hike. One of the things Keane was excited to do on our trip was to fish. So his fishing rod accompanied him everywhere.

Cullen was excited to snack, so his snacks came everywhere too.

Spotted, a cave.

Something else we’re excited to see.

A huge boulder.

All downhill work to get to the waterfall.

So pretty.

Dexter was game for a dip.

Theres always time for rock climbing.

Getting back out of the canyon wasn’t going to be as easy as getting down was.

The face of 2 little boys who just figured out that hiking can be hard work.

But they soldiered on.

And took plenty of rests.

Found ourselves a loving little spot to stop for lunch and to fish.

Keane was desperate to catch a fish, but it didn’t happen, not this day anyway ;)

This moment of Keane helping Cullen over the stones on our way back.

Closing out a fabulous day making s’mores.

The Wanderers Return

October 1, 2017

And here we are, one big happy family of campers, back from our week of nature bonding and adventure. Kids LOVED it. Parents had some definite moments of stress, but overall, a roaring success. I’ll be spending the next couple of days catching up on life and the editing of some family sessions that have been patiently waiting my return. Once thats done, it’ll be camping posts a plenty.