Sunday, July 26, 2009

Into the Woods

On the weekend of July 24, we celebrated Tim's birthday with our first-ever family camping trip. We went to Elkmont, where we celebrated 4th of July, and pitched our tent for two nights. We were blessed with these amazingly mild July temperatures throughout the weekend, and we had a fun time learning the "camping" ropes from Tim, who camped with his family throughout his childhood. Here are pictures from our weekend in the wilderness:

We had a lovely spot (campsite A7 if anyone is interested) at Elkmont beside this small creek. Our tent proved to be roomy and waterproof, which was a good thing as we had a nice rain shower during the early morning hours on Saturday.

Seth enjoyed whittling with his new pocket knife. He made two menacing daggers.

I learned that one of the great things about camping is how easy it is to clean up after dinner. Tim and the boys were all too eager to do the dishes.

On Saturday we drove to Cades Cove so we could hike to Abrams Falls. Boy, was it crowded on the loop! But once we parked and got started on the 2.5-mile hike, the crowd thinned out somewhat. Here we enjoy a serene moment before we start the trek to the Falls.

This hike was the first time we got to try out Tim's Camelback. It was a hit, as we could stop for a drink anywhere along the trail. The boys were especially fond of it!

Obviously I'm not thinking; Tim's thinking "I'm not so sure about this"; and Reed's thinking "Uh, I don't think this branch can hold the two of you!"

Here Seth and I pose on one of the many bridges you cross hiking to Abram's Falls. At first we were wary of the troll under the bridge, but we decided he looked harmless enough and crossed anyway.

Ahhh, we reached the Falls. Time to enjoy a healthy and delicious lunch of peanut butter crackers, Combos and Chex Mix, and Snickers bars.
Our destination: Abram's Falls. Now, time to cool off before making the 2.5-mile return trip.

We couldn't pass by this natural water slide on our return hike. It looked too inviting for two (or is it three?) adventurous boys.

The boys were super troopers and made the 5-mile round trip hike with little complaining. When we reached the car, however, it took less than 10 minutes for the boys and me to pass out. We slept for the entire drive back to Elkmont.

Without question, the boys' favorite part of the camping experience was building and manning the campfire.

Our version of campfire stories: reading a Magic Tree House book that is on Reed's summer reading list.

The boys' second favorite part of camping - S'mores!!! We tried out new caramel-flavored and strawberry-flavored marshmallows. Yum! Overall, it was a very fun weekend (though I wasn't too fond of the middle-of-the-night trek to the bathroom on my own...) and a successful inaugural camping trip. I look forward to what may become Tim's birthday tradition.

1 comment:

QuilLight said...

Wonderful pics, Susan! Looks like a great time.
deb