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Showing posts from March, 2011

Tallulah Gorge

The weather and fire finally cleared and we got to hike into Tallulah Gorge , though it was more bouldering than hiking. We already walked down the HUNDREDS of steps down to the bottom of the gorge with my friend Lisa and her daughter earlier, then back up the HUNDREDS of step to the top. This time, in between the HUNDREDS of steps down then HUNDREDS back up, we crossed the river (on boulders) and hiked (bouldered) to the sliding falls. It was crazy, but of course fun. And this time, again, there was a big payoff at the end. Although it was a bit cold, again, my hearty swimmers had to slide down the rocks at Bridal Veil Falls! Lizzy and I opted to watch and take photos. The river, rocks, waterfalls, cliffs, and trees make this gorge, well, gorgeous! This is where they filmed parts of Deliverance (so of course we had to watch that, and now Josh is learning Dueling Banjos on guitar). The scenes where they wrecked their canoes, swam the rapids, lost one man, injured another, and c

Panther Creek

Since Tallulah Gorge was closed again , a ranger suggested the Panther Creek Trail (part of the US Forest Service) and it was great! It was long, but we took plenty of time, and lunch, and snacks, and water, all because there would be falls to play in at the end. The payoff was definitely worth it to our hearty swimmers. It was cold, but they had to do it! They had a blast playing in, around, on, and under the falls. We also did a bit of geocaching , which is always fun. Jack got to go on this hike and was one happy dog. Here are a few favorite pics. Slide show below with more. More pics...


While we were at Tallulah Gorge, we were stuck for WEEKS unable to get down into the gorge! The hike in is by permit only and of course it says extreme, so we were in! But first it rained and was closed for days. Then there was a controlled burn that seemed to last forever. We didn't see or smell smoke for days, so I admit we grumbled a bit about not getting to hike. On this day, after yet another day of no permits, a ranger suggested an alternate hike nearby. On the way there, we saw a bit of smoke and then realized yeah, glad we didn't hike in that! Of course the kids learned all about controlled burns and how fire actually helps the forest. We've seen such fires all across the country. So we waited (a bit more patiently) until the gorge would open for hiking.

Robot building

For more of his destruction embracing I mentioned earlier, Allen gave Matt a jar of nuts, bolts, brackets, and miscellaneous weird metal stuff with which to... whatever! He loves to build things, disassemble them, and build other things. Today's thing was a robot with moving arms. It was very impressive. Strangely enough, he and Josh worked well together, for hours. Okay, Matt can't usually sit still for hours, and they definitely can't get along for hours! So the jar of metal weird stuff is awesome!

Shop class, or something

As we've learned to use Matt's love of destruction for good, the kids learned about how remotes functioned, by taking one apart, and reassembling it. Very few things hold Matt's attention for even a few minutes, but he'll stick with destroying or building things for hours! And yes, he got it completely back together, well, minus one screw. :) This is one example of roadschooling , which we've explained in more detail in this post . Read about other families on the FOTR blog carnival ! As we travel, it's honestly just so easy to learn as we go . And since it's easy, natural, relevant, and fun, it sticks! And of course, Dad was there to help if needed! He knows how everything works. :) Want to read about how other families roadschool? Check out the FOTR Blog Carnival !

Vogel family bikes to the end of the world!

They did it! A family I've been virtually following on Twitter and Facebook has biked as far as humanly possibly, together. I love the stories and lessons they've shared along the way, for over 2 YEARS! They made it to the end of the road today! I know because I've been anxiously awaiting Nancy's tweet. I can't imagine the excitement they're feeling down there in Ushuaia! Congratulations Vogel family!!!!! Here's more info from their website . Idaho Family Cycles Pan American Highway from Alaska to Argentina The Vogel family has reached Bolivia in their quest for the end of the world. The family - mom Nancy, dad John, 12-year-old twin brothers Davy and Daryl have spent the past two years cycling south from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and are enroute to Ushuaia, Argentina at the southern tip of South America. They expect to reach their destination around March, 2011, at which time the boys will have broken the Guinness World Record as the youngest peopl

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Our Junior Rangers were happy to see our campground in Georgia was only 1.5 hours from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ! Allen took them on a road trip so they could earn badges and climb mountains. That they did, but they also had a pleasant surprise. As some rangers saw their vests loaded down with badges (they love that attention lemme tell ya!), they offered to let the kids in on a private blacksmith class they were doing for rangers and park volunteers. It's not even open to visitors until summer. They learned about blacksmithing and got to make dinner bells. (FYI, dinner bells are loud.) They loved it and got to heat, bend, and hammer metal. Then they brought them home and banged on them until we all went crazy! Did I mention dinner bells are loud???

Tallulah Falls, GA

We found a GEM of a campground in Tallulah Falls at Tallulah Gorge State Park ! We usually avoid state parks as they're pretty expensive, but this one is operated by Georgia Power and was affordable AND a great campground. We ended up staying 3 weeks! We were right beside the playground, trails to the gorge & visitor center, and laundry. More on the gorgeous gorge later, but this was a great campground and I have to mention it to anyone looking to camp in northeastern GA. Definitely worth your time! He was defeated! He's awesome at being a dad AND at teeter totter. :)

Pi Day

What did you do for Pi Day ? March 14 ... you know ... 3.14 ... Pi! Come on, you geeks love it as much as I do! We had pizza pie and brownie pie and talked about Pi. :) Because math can be yummy!

Lake Lanier, Georgia

For the Georgia laptop crop weekend, we stayed nearby on Lake Lanier at Shoal Creek Campgound . We had a big, wooded, wonderful campsite right on the lake. The boys even attempted to swim, despite the freezing lake. Hey, we're from Ohio you know! :)

Piedmont College

Since we were driving right by my parents' alma mater, Piedmont College , I thought we'd take a pic of the kids by the sign. I figured they'd get a kick out of that. I mentioned that to my friend Lisa (who lives nearby and I'd planned to meet up with as well) and guess who also went to Piedmont? Yep, Lisa! She also knows people and arranged a wonderful TOUR for us with the Chairman of the Board! We got to meet the President too! The kids loved it and said it was a lot bigger than I led them to believe. I know it's a lot bigger than my parents remember! The lake was drained and a wetlands developed and many, many buildings added. We were in the chapel in time to hear a student playing the giant (real) organ, and got to peek inside it. We also learned from the Chairman about the whole process of buying, building, transporting, and rebuilding it. One of Josh's favorite parts of the day? Drinking "college water". Yep. :) It was a good day learning

Georgia Laptop Crop wrap up

What a gorgeous day and a perfect venue for a laptop crop! We had a ball on the house boat and Tracy Hunt was the perfect host. (The boat even has Margie thinking she should swap the RV for a house boat!) It was good to see old friends and make new ones and do a little scrapping too. We had lots of room, calm waters, a beautiful view, yummy donuts , and plenty of chocolate!

RV remodel

After 10 months on the road, we finally took the plunge and did some remodeling. Well, I watched and Allen did his thing. First, we made Lizzy an official bedroom in the den/kid room/Playstation room/the room that wasn't being utilized enough to be in the RV. So he took out the couch and shelves that were being wasted behind it and built a bed frame. Now she has a great space that doesn't have to be converted to a bed and doesn't store junk. Paint and curtains to come later. Then Allen & the kids surprised me with phase II of our remodel and removed a wall and stairs. (They even took the pics they knew I'd want! Though honestly, I'd have closed the door to hide the other mess.) The wall was decorative (and heavy) and while we liked it, we'd rather have extra space in our living room. We replaced those with a bench, which provides extra seating, storage inside, and lets us still get upstairs to the boy's loft. They also have a ladder in Lizz