The kids and I started a tradition 2 summers ago. It all started as a way for me to prove to myself I can do this on my own. I can make a wonderful life for my babies, I can take them on adventures all by myself and we can create our own little memories. This annual trip has become so special to us, and all 3 of us look forward to it all year.
The week after school gets out, in early June, we set off for a week-long adventure. I cram as much as I can into my car, enough for us to live for a week away from home – camping gear, food, games, clothes, snacks… ALL the snacks – and we drive up to the Blue Ridge mountains in Georgia where we camp for 2 nights right on the Toccoa River.
The first year we made this trip, we had a reallllllly nasty storm come through in the middle of the night. The lightning and thunder were horrendous, as was the torrential downpour. I went into full on momma bear mode and carried each kid to the car in the midst of this storm. They slept in their carseats, while I turned on my headlights every 5 minutes to see how quickly the river was rising (we were in a flash flood zone). That was quite an interesting night.
This past year (with awesome weather!) we hiked on the AT, explored some waterfalls, and went tubing down the river.
The next 2 nights, we head for the Smokies where we camp in Cades Cove. This past year we were lucky enough to see a few black bears, and even (not-so-luckily) have one come hang out in our campsite at night. My tiny adventurers endured a 5 mile, steep hike (almost) without complaint. They both agreed that the waterfall reward at the end of the hike was worth it. I was incredibly proud of them for accomplishing that and understanding how rewarding a hike can be!
The last 2 nights this past year were spent camping in Bryson City on a river. We had fun exploring the campground’s petting zoo (that included 2 day old goats and pregnant momma goats) and playground, and going tubing.
After 6 nights of sleeping in a tent, it was difficult for me to adjust to sleeping indoors, in a real bed. Even my daughter mentioned that as well at the end of our trip – that she was going to miss sleeping in our tent.
Cannot wait to see what memories are made on our next annual three-musketeers camping trip!