Friday, March 26, 2010

Unicoi State Park Day Three

After a cold and windy night, I got up early enough to grab a shower at the comfort station (fancy word for bathroom), just after noticing raccoons had gotten into the trash we forgot to secure the night before. Thanks, my dear, spoiled dogs, for alerting us to the critters rustling round under the camper in the middle of the night.

Jenny: "I'm just not sure about this lying down in the dirt thing. Where's my orthopedic dog bed? I think I'll just sit here for a while."

Jasmin: "I did not hear raccoons in the night. I have absolutely no responsibility whatsoever in this matter. And, laying in the dirt isn't really all that bad."

After breakfast we packed up a lunch and drove to the trailhead for a hike up to Anna Ruby Falls.

BooBoo at the trail head.

T-Bear demonstrating the Water Cycle and Mountain Stream Ecology.

The Whole Crew at Anna Ruby Falls (courtesy of a very nice gentleman who volunteered to take our collective picture).

It was a perfect length for the kids, beautiful scenery, and the falls were spectacular.

Anna Ruby Falls in all Her glory.

After a bit of a lunch/snack, Kit, Billy, Papa, BroBear and Jenny all continued on the long way back to the camp (another 4 miles).

Jenny: "Why you sittin' down?!?"
Papa: "Cause I'm tired!"
(Photo courtesy of Kit)

BroBear takin' the lead.
(Photo courtesy of Kit)

Meanwhile, I went back down the short way with the rest of the kids (that’d be four boys) and Jasmin. Back at camp, T-Bear needed a little carb stoking - one of those times when a snack just won’t do – so I whipped up some Mac & Cheese. The rest of the crew showed up a couple of hours later, tired but satisfied. BroBear did great, took lead for part of the hike, and didn’t complain during the tough parts. As he said, “I was whining on the inside.”

By the time dinner rolled around, the campground was filling up fast. I was kind of assuming there wouldn’t be many campers out at this time of year, but they were arriving frequently enough I kept the kids at our campsite. Some of the RV’s arriving were monsterously big, and I wasn’t entirely certain all of the drivers knew exactly what they were doing.

Some time around dinner came Injury Number Two. Papa Bear sliced a good chunk of skin off the pad of this thumb with a hatchet, pretty much down to the muscle. He was cutting off kindling, it was kind of dark, and he couldn’t see properly. He insisted it wasn’t bad enough to go to the clinic, so after dinner I cleaned and dressed it as best I could.

Lessons from Day Three:

  • Dogs who are comfortably sleeping inside the camper will not alert you to the raccoon(s) digging through the trash less than a foot away. They know you’ll make them go outside and chase the critter away if they wake you up, so “mum’s the word” as far as the dogs are concerned.
  • Trim finger and toe nails before you head off to camp. Long-ish finger nails get sore when you’re using your hands so much for grabbing, pulling, etc., especially in the cold. And, you don’t want long toenails in hiking boots. Especially with an ingrown toenail. Ouch.
  • Don’t wear TIVAs while hiking (courtesy of Papa Bear). Good boots are worth the price.
  • A good, well-made backpack is also worth the price. Mine is less than a year old, the inner lining has torn, and it doesn’t hold the weight close enough to my body to keep from killing my shoulders (as I’m walking down a steep path holding a dog/leash in one hand and a small child’s hand in the other). Investing in a GOOD backpack with appropriate weight balancing is no longer an option at my age.
  • Type 1 doesn’t have to take the front seat on any outings. Plan ahead, allow for unforeseen events, be flexible, and keep an eye BS. And always take snacks.
  • Never underestimate the power of Mac & Cheese as comfort food. And, Kirkland (Costco) brand Mac & Cheese doesn't have The Forbidden Three Ingredients.
  • Fire starter bricks are probably safer than trying to make kindling in the dark.
  • We need a better First Aid kit, and don’t count on the little camp store having anything more than Band Aids and peroxide.

And, on to Day Four!

1 comment:

  1. Nice photo. You and Kit are definitely outnumbered with all those boys! Looks like fun.