Thursday, October 30, 2014

House Mountain

Oh how I love the fall. And being outside. And going on hikes. And these five kids. And that fine looking husband. All of these things combined a couple of weekends ago and it was great. We'd never hiked House Mountain before, and it was a good one. Not too difficult for the littlest legs (maybe the first time neither little girl has asked for a piggy back ride ever!), a little over 5 miles round trip, beautiful views, plenty of big rocks to scramble around on, everything we like. Bonus: only about half an hour away.

I didn't take my big camera, but snapped away with my phone.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oakes Farm

The day after Afton's field trip, we brought the whole family back and met some more Cruzes there. It was still pretty muddy, but not too bad. The sun was out, we indulged in some deep-fried goodness and fudge, and scared each other silly in the corn maze.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Field Trips

Lydia's class went to Metcalf Bottoms for a field trip a couple of weeks ago. It was nice to go there in the fall and look beyond the river-fun that's the reason we always visit. A very cool ranger took us up a little trail and gave us a great presentation about biodiversity. (Seriously, you could tell she loved her job, and the Smokys, and she was great with the kids, five stars.)

Then the very next day Afton's class went to Oakes Farm. It was crazy muddy that day. It had been raining the entire night before, and it rained some more while we were there, and I was really glad she wore old shoes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


We're going to use air quotes here because we didn't really camp. We had planned on staying overnight, but when it came down to it we decided to head home to our soft, warm beds instead of pitching tents in the rain to sleep on the ground. The deciding factor was when we realized we forgot tarps. That plus we were borrowing tents and didn't want the added hassle of making sure to get them all dried out (rain was in the forecast for days) before returning them. That plus the fact that we had a lot to do Saturday and were planning to head back early-ish anyway. That plus we really like everything about camping except the actual sleeping in a tent on the ground part. So, air quotes. "Camping."

We joined a group of friends from church and headed to Frozen Head State Park one fine Friday evening. It rained the entire drive there, but when we pulled up at the pavilion where our crew was gathering for dinner, it had trickled off to an occasional drizzle. Mostly the rain just made everything look misty and beautiful.

We visited, played on the playground, ate dinner, caught crawdads, and sang a few tunes before calling it a night. We look forward to "camping" again sometime soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Virginia Creeper Trail, 2014 edition

We may have hit the jackpot this year. Sandwiched between days and days of rain, was one beautiful, sunny, low-70s, brilliant foliage day in Virginia, and it fell during fall break. We packed up the kids, joined our good friends the Morgeneggs, and spent that perfect day doing one of the things we like best. We all got pretty muddy, but no one seemed to mind. I snapped up as many photos as I could with my phone while coasting down the 17 miles of heaven on earth.