Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Day Two: Canoe

When we lived in Tennessee, the kids and I spent a good bit of time in the South Cumberland Rec Area, hiking and camping and swimming.  Since moving to Alabama, the area has become a state park with a headquarters and many little satellite pocket areas that contain some of the most beautiful spots in the world, if you are into breathtaking waterfalls, mossy logs, crystal clear creeks and giant trees and boulders that is. 

The park puts out a list of events each month, they have some all year, but summer explodes with activity.  One of our favorite outings is the canoe trips, we have gone a few times before, the last time was 2 years ago, so it was time to go again! 

I called and reserved our spot and sent out the info in hopes that friends would join us.  The Lackeys decided it sounded like a good idea as well and signed up, too!  Everything is more fun with your buddies. (I typoed 'biddies', which is also true).

The weather was perfect-a few clouds and 85 for a high, it would be cooling off by 4, when we headed out on the lake.  We met up at the Dutch Maid Bakery in Tracy City, it was 2 hours and 5 minutes for both of us.  After nabbing some yummies for after the canoeing, we went on over to the Grundy Lakes and stopped at our favorite picnic spot on the upper lake and had some pizza and got hydrated.  We fed the fish and turtles the crusts and enjoyed being still for a few minutes after the drive.  Soon enough, it was time to head to the lower lake where we would canoe!

They had lots of catching up to do after being apart for 13 hours!

Coke ovens.  These were operated by convicts, converting coal into coke.  They stopped using them in 1896.

ring necked snake

Me and my co-captains, Grunt and Snort
We were lead canoe!

When they first launched, Matt and the girls tipped right over, Matt of course had not only his camera, but his phone and GPS. 
The phone and GPS were okay, but by the end of the day, his camera had glitched until it bricked.  It's in rice now.  I hold little hope.

Since they were already wet, we got a demo of how to use a t-bone technique to flip a canoe in the water.  Using a second canoe, it lifts the flipped canoe out of the water and drains it, then, you just flip it back over and hop back in...

I handed my camera over to Ben, who was in the middle of our boat and he took all the photos while on the lake.  No, I learned nothing from watching Matt kill his electronics.

Brief hand-off to Chandler, who took this one of us!

This is a bryozoan

On their race back, Chandler is clearly cheating by using her shoes to help paddle.

We swam across the lake and back afterward, one of my very favorite things to do!  I yelled at other people's kids for SHOVING Brit off the swimming platform-after she JUST swam across the lake and was wiped out and told them she did not want to play.  We opted to leave, the inbred bath day was a little more than we were interested in bearing witness to.  Hell is other people. 

There are many, many places to go in the area and all are beautiful, but I was thinking 'close and quick', so I suggested we go to Foster Falls, which is less than 10 miles from the lakes with a short walk to the overlook.  The kids all piled in our van, so I ran off to ride with Bobby and Gina!  We used swear words!

We got there, and the falls were flowing well!  But this was our view from the overlook!  Sad!
I suggested the easy hike down to the bottom to everyone and they fell for it, I mean went for it.

2 hours later, after having to kill a bear, we arrive at the base of the falls.

I LOVE swinging bridges.  The monogamous kind are super dull.

The easy walk out!

more easy walking!

If I could go back and do anything differently, I would have had the 4th kid we both wanted.
Thank goodness we can borrow friends to fill that void!

Another perfect day!  We rode along for miles with the full moon shining on us, skirting the lake for an hour of the drive home.  It was lovely, I am so thankful for times like this.

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.