Why is it when folks find out that I willingly participate in tent camping they are surprised? Oh, all right, I can think of lots of reasons. But when God gifted me with a husband who likes to camp and two sons, I knew I had two choices: make the best of it or be left behind. And even though it can be hot and buggy and is guaranteed to be dirty and stinky, there are rewards to camping. Nature, family time, and...one of my personal favorites - S'mores (and lots of them!).
On Father's Day weekend the past two years, we have camped in Cades Cove. Part of our weekend includes rising early on Saturday morning to bike the loop before cars enter the park.
Lest you think it's an easy task to bike the 11-mile loop, here's a picture of the boys taking a mid-loop break - Reed boosting with a protein bar and Seth giving himself some positive "self talk" (I think I can, I think I can...).
What's the best treat after biking the loop? Well, the boys and I would agree about the soft serve ice cream sold at the Cades Cove visitors center. Tim might argue that a nap in his hammock is the ultimate reward. Oh well, it's Father's Day...he deserves it!
The downpour came on Saturday afternoon, thankfully after we finished biking. It didn't damper our spirits though. We drove the loop during the worst part of the storm, and then did some wet exploring around the campground.
It's good to see the boys still enjoying the outdoor adventure despite an afternoon of rain. When the thunder clapped early on Sunday morning, however, we gave in, packed up, and headed on home.