Sunday, August 25, 2013


Last Monday when everyone else was getting up to head off for their first day of school, we were up getting ready to head out for our Not Back To School party week.
We spent the full week in Tracy City doing ranger led programs and working on a trail project.  The kids are chomping at the bits to get back up and do more projects.  I was amazed by this, I had no idea they were all so into manual labor!

We stayed at a farm on Raven's Point, 20 of us in one house.  It was so much fun, everything just fell into place once we all got there, we worked through anything that came up and everyone kept a sense of humor.

In all, during the week we had 2 campfires, 2 hikes to the overlook, 2 canoe trips, we went rock climbing, swimming, hiked Fiery Gizzard, had a history hike, mushroom hike, saw snakes and fossils, looked at the stars, watched it rain, hung out and talked to all hours and spotted Bigfoot once.  I took 800 photos, 700 of those were of different mushrooms, I am sure of it.

Exploring the fields around the house.  The kids asked how far they were allowed to go on the property and Carl told them, 'as far as you can walk'.

Our first night campfire, Carl had worked all day and come in and set up the fire for us.  Park had driven to Memphis and back that day and still came by for an hour or two and met everyone.

The kids set up in the shop, which was the entire first level of the house but they called it the dungeon anyway.  They had 5 hammocks and a queen size blow-up bed down there.

Wednesday we went to the visitor center and watched a movie about the area, saw the snakes, had a safety talk and toured the museum

Then, after lunch, we went to Grundy Lakes and Park told us about the local history and particularly about the coke ovens.

Then it was time to canoe!

Evening hike to the overlook

Thursday, we met Park to work on a trail project with the older kids.
These guys did an amazing job working on the trail, I was so impressed!

Our ranger took time with each person and answered dozens of questions...mainly from me I feel like.
But he took particular care of our smaller and slower members.

Sycamore Falls

Thursday after our swim, the big kids all hiked back to the house from Sycamore Falls, a 4.5 mile hike with a pretty serious climb.  They did a great job!

This really happened!

Gearing up to climb

Foster Falls

Friday rock climbing fun

Friday night hike to the overlook

Our 6:30 a.m. canoe

Everyone else headed home by mid-day Saturday.
So, we headed out to explore some more.

We found a tiny swimming hole at an undisclosed location.  It was small but DEEP.

You can see some fall color tinging the trees along the Meadow Trail at the Visitor Center.

I call this one 'just throw it in there'
I am tired to the bone, I don't know how the rangers keep it up week after week.
South Cumberland State Park is fabulous, from the professionalism of the staff to the raw beauty of each location, it's well worth spending some time there.  I know we will be back!

About Me

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