Day one of our vacation for five began with the packing of three children, two adults, one dog, and all of the various and sundry items required by said children, adults, and dog into my Toyota Camry.
Now, I love my car.
But it is NOT a family of five plus a dog kind of car.
(Thank goodness we weren't taking the cats too! YIKES!!)
Our destination was Marble Hill, Georgia.
With a stop at Brian's dad's house to drop off the dog.
('Cause you know...it's easier to ask someone to come feed the cats once a day instead of coming over a couple of times each day to feed all the critters and walk a dog...Thank you, Rachael for feeding the Hannah and Screamer! And thank you, Grandpa Bill and Gramma Julie for taking care of Cookie!)
Yep, that about sums up day one.
Oh, yeah...don't forget the unpacking!
Day Two: In Which We Climb...
Day two started out with the threat of rain and didn't seem like a good day for swimming and water play. So we packed a cooler with sandwiches and drinks and grabbed a bag of snacks and set off on an adventure...destination Amicalola Falls State Park.
I love that name...Amicalola.
It's fun to say...Amicalola, Amicalola, Amicalola.
(OK, typing it was a little more challenging...)
I was excited to go just because of the name, not because I knew anything about it. ;)
We started in the visitor's center where we met Arlis and one of their legless lizards...I mean, well, you know that creature that starts with S and is five letters long.
|The only one brave enough to hold the legless lizard!|
Amicalola Falls is the location of the Appalachian Approach Trail, the 8.5 mile trail that leads to the base of the Appalachian Trail.
Don't worry...we didn't make them hike 8.5 miles! However, the first mile of the Approach Trail runs alongside the creek and the falls. 604 steps make that possible. Our friend Arlis suggested that we hike UP on the East Ridge Trail and then come DOWN the 605 steps. Sounded like a good suggestion so we set off on our hike, water bottles full and springs in our steps.
|The arch at the beginning of the trail|
|Pondering the crooked tree..."Dad, how did that tree grow that way?"|
The hike got a little strenuous as we went up the mountain, but the girls were great and didn't grumble. We were rewarded with some gorgeous views along the way...
When we got to the top, we could hear the rushing water of the falls. And we started seeing signs like these...
The first one...not too ominous. We knew we had 604 steps to descend.
Then there was this one. Guess they mean it when they say stay on the trail!
Then there was this one...
If that doesn't strike fear in your momma heart, not much else will! And the girls decided it would be a good idea to stay on the trail, which made the parents' jobs a little easier.
Our first view of the falls, from the top of the falls looking down...
Then we set off down the stairs...the many, many stairs...
And I was very glad that we were going DOWN those many stairs.
|Looking back UP some of the stairs we had just descended|
The falls...which were just amazing in person...the pictures really don't do them justice...
|Whoa...a picture of all five of us!!|
|OK...so maybe they did venture off the marked trail just a tiny bit...SHHHH!!!!|
|This tree had the thickest trunk I've ever seen. The three girls aren't even stretched half way around it!|
I love this next picture...we were had to duck under this branch and as we did, one of the girls put her hand on it for balance and commented that it was really smooth. That, of course, made the other two need to touch it.