Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Day Twenty-Two: Family Glue

I often pass a billboard that says, "Pigeon Forge...something something glue that holds your family together".  Or along those lines anyway.  So, for Matt's day off, I decided we needed to have some family bonding time, we have been holed up all week on our various computers and not hanging out more than meals and chores, so dull. 

The thing we all can agree on is swimming, and hiking if there's a swim involved.  We just were up at South Cumberland a couple weeks ago and it was lovely.  It's rained several times since and I knew there would still be plenty of water, even if it is mid-July!  Plus, I needed to talk to one of the rangers about an idea we had hatched.  That went very well, by the way.

The original plan was to go to Turkey Creek and be back home for the afternoon.  But late the night before, I changed my mind. Surprise.

Fiery Gizzard has long been my favorite trail to hike.  I used to take the kids on it way back when and in fact, it's one of the first places I ever took Jessie back when she was an only dog.

Baby Jessie, 8 months old!

We have camped at the primitive camping area there several times and spent many day trips running back and forth to the Gizzard, but after moving to Alabama, I have not hiked the trail once.  It was always too far or too hot or too cold, or we'd head that way and run out of time. 

So, I planned the whole day around one thing-hiking to Blue Hole Falls, which is all of a mile round trip, but it would get us in the area at least.  So, off we went, left around 8 and stopped for gas and food and then again for paracord.

We arrived at the park headquarters around 11 and I decided to stop in and see if Park was around.  He was, but off doing something and agreed to head in to meet up in about half an hour, so we broke out the food and had an early lunch of GF crackers, sliced cheese, smoked turkey, some fruit and of course, gummy bears.  Nia had Filet Mignon with gravy.

We sat and hashed out various ideas and dates and swapped our contact information.  I am REALLY looking forward to our week later this summer!

We drove straight on over to Fiery Gizzard trailhead and parked, refilled water bottles, shrugged on our packs (for those who bothered to listen...) and hit the trail.  I was giddy the second the van disappeared behind us, Matt started in immediately complaining that we had never done the hike before.  Not 'I am a whiner' complaining, but 'why have you kept this from me' complaining.  We had, once, many years back.

The recent rains left everything damp and surprisingly cool instead of humid.  It was lovely.  Mushrooms EVERYWHERE.  The creek runs by the trail 95% of the hike, it was loud and cascading, everything was green and lush, the sun filtered through the trees, it was the best day ever. 

Big tree!

 I am amused that Chan appears to be hiking topless.  I asked her about posting these pics and she said, "Everyone will know I am wearing a bathing suit." 

Blue Hole Falls, our original destination, but once we arrived, no one had walked long enough yet, so we opted
to head on into the gulf a little further to swim at Sycamore Falls, which is just over a mile from the parking area.

Black Canyon Falls

The Fiery Gizzard Lizard!

Next up, the falls!

About Me

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