Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Camping Trip!

This past weekend, we took the kids camping.  I had a little help, because one of our friends came in from Washington D.C., which seriously could not have been better timing.  Plus, he loves hiking and camping, so it was wonderful to have him there since Hubby is still recovering from his torn Achilles tendon.

We went up to Cheaha State Park, which is home to the highest point in Alabama.  The first day, we arrived and set up camp, played, but didn't hike.  Number One is such an outdoors kid, and he felt at home playing outside all day!

Number Two and Darling Daughter were enjoying themselves too:

As an added bonus, you can just barely see the "potato person," Liam had drawn on his hand that morning!

That night, I went to bed with Darling Daughter somewhat early.  She was not too fond of tent sleeping.  She tossed and turned in the tent all night, often sitting up and whining.  The boys slept great in their sleeping bags, but Darling Daughter felt claustrophobic in hers and kept kicking it off.  I think the fact the temperature dropped (probably into the 50s over night), and it became windy and rained a bit didn't help Darling Daughter to feel comfortable either.  At about 3 PM, I had to go to the bathroom, and guess who tagged along with me?  Needless to say, all weekend I got my exercise holding her on my hip!

We up early the next morning (thanks boys!), and sat around with our sweaters and coats on waiting for Hubby and his friend to wake up and make the fire.  Finally the boys were so hungry, that I sent them in the mens' tent to wake them up! 

Herb started the campfire, while Hubby threw bacon the grill.  Then Herb, the kids, and I headed to the little store at the bottom of the mountain to buy eggs.  While there, we bought hot boiled peanuts, only they were HOT as in spicy, boiled peanuts.  They were fantastic!  I had never had them that way before.  YUM-O.

We had our breakfast of champions: bacon, eggs, and peanuts, all protein, and then we sat around for a few minutes before deciding to go hiking.  The kids were running around and playing in the car prior to this, so it was definitely time to make our way!

A co-worker let me borrow his hiking backpack, and that helped with Darling Daughter.  Here she is the first time I put her in:

She wasn't happy at first, but she did get used to it, and she generally liked it when we were hiking.

We hiked the Bald Rock trail first.  This trail has a boardwalk, but also has a woods trail on the side.  Herb took the Woods Trail down to Bald Rock, while Hubby, the kids and me walked down to Bald Rock on the Board Walk.

When we reached the end, Herb was sitting out on the rock.  You can climb down to it.  Son Number One, always the daredevil, BEGGED to go down there so I let him.  He climbed up the face of the rock that led up to the boardwalk (not down to the valley!). 

I had to have Herb take a photo of me and the family with me BALD at Bald Rock.  I find this photo so funny, because a) I'm bald, b) Hubby still has his boot on from his Achilles tendon tear and c) Son Number Two has his finger jammed as far up his nose as it will go:

After Bald Rock, we decided to go to the highest point in Alabama, which happens to be on Cheaha Mountain too.  We drove up there, and there was a little building built during the Depression.  There were metal stairs all the way up to the top, and we had fun walking up there.  Hubby even made it, slowly but surely up and down the stairs.

At the bottom of this building was a little wooded area with some great rocks for the kids.  Number Two had wonderful fun with Herb.  He LOVED imitating him, and they had the same dance style.  I just love this photo of these two kindred spirits!

After this, we went back to the campsite so Darling Daughter could take a little nap.  She did take a very short nap, and then we were up and snacking by the campfire.  The kids LOVED the trail mix, or should I say they LOVED the M&Ms in the trail mix! ;-)

We decided to take the boys on another hike, and we left Hubby with Darling Daughter.  (She was screaming when we left, because like I said earlier she is entirely attached to my hip).  We went down to the Pulpit Rock Trail, and unfortunately I left my camera in the car this time.  Herb and Son Number One walked ahead, and I helped Son Number Two down the steep hill at the trail head.  We walked through the woods, admiring a tree that looked like a pig, and we finally made it out into the opening where Pulpit Rock is.

Son Number One had ran ahead of us, and I came to the tip of the rock, and I didn't see him anywhere.  I said, "Oh my God, Herb, you have to find him."  My heart was beating so fast.  Herb walked down the side of the rock, and found Number One down there.  He came up with him and said, "It's ok, Lauren, I have him." 

But, my acrophobia had set in, and I was in full blown panic attack mode, just certain that Number One with his mad energy and craziness was going to plummet 2100 feet to his death.  I had to sit down on the edge of the rock.  I put my head down, as my heart beat faster and faster.  Herb said, "It's ok, Lauren.  There's only a 10 foot drop to the next rock.  He can't go over there by the tree, because there IS nothing under that rock."  My heart was still beating, as Number Two tried to run up the rock face to Herb, but I wouldn't let him.

I said, "Herb, will you let Number One play over here, and I'll talk Number Two over here to play on the rocks in the woods?"

"Sure he said." 

I was so nervous, and I didn't want to put my anxiety onto Number One so I thought it best to remove myself from the situation so he could enjoy himself, or die without me watching.  Yes, this is what a stupid phobia will do to you!

Oh, and since I don't have a photo of my own, I've included a link to someone else's photo of where Son Number One was acting like a mountain goat.

After about 15 minutes, Herb brought Son Number One back over and we took the trail back to the car. 

Herb said that Son Number One is like a mountain goat.  He said he seemed to know exactly where to place his feet, and he has fantastic balance.  He told me I should get him enrolled in mountain climbing classes, so he can do it safely.  One thing is for sure, Number One has ALWAYS liked to climb, and he certainly does not share my fear of heights.

The rest of the afternoon we spent hanging around the campsite.  We went to bed super early, because we had to break camp at 2 AM to take Herb to the airport.  We did this in the pouring rain, and then drove down the mountain going about 10 miles per hour in the fog, but we eventually made it to the airport and said farewell to our friend.

What a wonderful, refreshing weekend.

1 comment:

  1. What great pics! We couldn't have survived without our hiking backpack! It's gone through many kids and has survived um...27 years thus far! Looks like your kids had a great time (well, except for the 'lil one's sleeping!) And, you there was a separate mens tent?!? Must be!


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