It was a wild Saturday for the Jackson. We set out to play some baseball at Ball Camp Park. Tyson is getting good at hitting the balls we throw at him, now we are working on catching and throwing a ball. Taryn is beyond angry that she isn't quite old enough to play this year's season of ball, but I told her it just gives us another year to work on her skills. She isn't too bad for a 3 year old. She may be my athlete. Once we had tired out from baseball and filled our bellies with lunch, we took off, on a whim, towards The Smokies and Cades Cove on a hike to the Abrams Falls. We packed and dressed accordingly, ready for anything.
The beginning of the LONG hike. I didn't realize it was 2.5 miles in to the falls and 2.5 miles out. 5 miles round trip, oh boy. We may not make it.
We took a photo opportunity early on in the hike. This is after hiking 30 minutes. We then came across a woman with a 3-4 year old boy who said to us, "Good luck making it all the way. We didn't." That vote of confidence didn't exactly have my spirits soaring, but we were determined to make it the WHOLE way. After one miles Taryn fell twice. We stopped for a breather, had some water and continued on. We had to crawl under a whole mess of trees that had fallen over the trail. Then we stumbled over the rocky incline that was 1/8 of a mile. We were almost there, had about 500 yards to go, and Taryn had a melt down. She had tripped and fallen again and that was enough to break her little spirit. BUT...her momma didn't hike for 1 1/2 hours just to quit before the finish line. (I am the nurturer of the family) So...I stood her up, brushed her off and pulled her along while she cried and cried. Other hikers would pass us coming out from the falls and tell us that we were almost there. That didn't sooth her in the least. She wanted to stop and go to the car and when I explained that we have to hike out to get to the car, she howled louder! Finally I convinced her that she was attracting the wild life and a bear might hear her cry and come get us. That lowered the level of howling to a minimal. (I know I will get punished for that one later, but hey it shut her up.)
We rounded one last curve in the trail and there it was, Abrams Falls. It was a gorgeous sight and all crying ceased! WAHOO!!
Vaughn surveyed our surroundings while the kids got to work taking off their shoes to play in the water.
Now she is all smiles. If I could enhance the picture you would see snot stains up and down her shirt from where we were wiping her nose from the crying.
Do I look a little tired? Ten four good buddy! I was!
Tyson fell in the water and wasn't too happy about the scraped knees and bruised ego, but turn a camera on him and he is all smiles. Love that boy!
Vaughn is going to go on a 25 miles hike next year with some friends from back home, so this was a starter hike to get the old stamina up. I think he will do just fine.
I caught this photo right after he fell in the river. He was a little ticked!
The hike out wasn't as bad as I was envisioning it to be. I carried Taryn 1/8 of the way and she, bless her little heart, walked the rest. She was happy when she could hold the flashlight. What ever works!
WE DID IT!!! We all hiked 5 miles and no one had any major hurts, save for a few scrapes and cuts.
On our drive out of Cades Cove we saw this field with about 4 big bucks in it. They were pretty to see. It reminded me of being home.
We tuckered her out, can't ya tell. She was out after about 15 minutes of driving in the car. We were all dirty and tired, but had a great feeling of accomplishment. I loved every minute of it. I cannot wait to take them again!
10 years and still counting. Our adventures keep getting bigger and better. Two kids, a residency in Knoxville, Tenn., and many doors to open up, our lives are just getting started. We have been blessed beyond measure and are so grateful for all of it!