Day 44 – June 19, 2015

Playing in a stream along a trail

That A/C last night sure did feel good! We all slept well and got up ready to do some exploring of Cumberland Gap. After breakfast, we drove to the Visitors’ Center to sign up for a couple tours that we wanted to do. Unfortunately, due to federal budget cuts, they have had to cut back on the number of tours that they offer every day and all the tours were full. (Note to self: This is one of the problems that you encounter when you don’t plan trips in advance, especially when you have a lot of people to include in a tour.) So the rangers gave us a couple other ideas of trails to take and things to do. We headed off for a trail.

As the kids got out of the car for our hike, I noticed that Dominic got out minus his shoes. When asked where his shoes were, he replied that he had lost them. After questioning the older child that was specifically told to make all littles had shoes, we realized that he didn’t complete his task either. Not willing to go back to the campground, we put Dominic into the backpack and let him be carried for a little while. Eventually, he wanted to get out and walk. As we weren’t on a long hike, I made him walk in his barefeet the whole way back as a natural consequence. He walks barefoot everywhere at home, and even 4 year olds can learn from natural consequences. We hiked up to a cave and were amazed at the natural air conditioning emanating from its entrance.

View of Fern Lake from Cumberland Gap National Park

View of Fern Lake from Cumberland Gap National Park

I'm finally seeing rhododendrons in bloom in the wild.

I’m finally seeing rhododendrons in bloom in the wild.

Nicholas and AnaClaire ready for a hike.

Nicholas and AnaClaire ready for a hike.

Dressing up at the Cumberland Gap National Park Visitors’ Center

Dominic dressed up as a pioneer boy

After our hike, we returned to the campground for lunch. The kids were all moaning about “peanut butter and jelly again?” but when you don’t eat meat on Fridays and you are having quick lunches, PB&J is an easy, go-to meal. We all climbed back into the van for a little driving. In the hopes that some littles would sleep in the van, we ran a couple errands: a quick oil change and picking up charcoal for grilling dinner. Next we took the pinnacle drive up a steep, narrow road to an overlook where you could see the surrounding areas as well as the point where the three states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia meet. The kids all thought it was neat to drive into three different states in a matter of about two minutes. We finally went back to the Visitors’ Center to see the film about Daniel Boone. They had a nice dress-up area for the littles, which kept them occupied for probably thirty minutes. I sure would like to have some dress-ups like that at home – nice quality wool coats, linen shirts, wool trousers, and wool tricorn hats for the boys. The girls had some really cute hats and cotton dresses along with wool capes. There was also a craft center and a gentleman demonstrating his craft of broom making. I bought a beautiful piece of pottery as a little remembrance of this trip.      We headed back to the campground for our dinner of grilled salmon with mango salsa and broccoli. We were going to finish our last night on this trip eating well. The kids even had s’mores for dessert. We all had a little down time in the campground, just enjoying the outdoors. It is hard to believe this is our last night of our trip of blessings – I guess all good things must come to an end. We will be home tomorrow.

Dominic eating a s'more

Dominic eating a s’more

The results of Dominic’s s’more: sticky hands. He thought it was funny, as we all did, to stick his hands to his face and pull his cheeks out.

Ryon, just one of the family pyromaniacs

S’mores are enjoyed by all except Charlie and I. We opted instead for an all-fruit sweetened Larabar – no sugar for us!

Some people are even happy with cooked-to-a-crisp marshmallows!

Damien, with a large branch that he was attacking me with and laughing about it.

Nathanael enjoying his chocolate

Nathanael enjoying his chocolate

As a side note, Happy Birthday to my dad and my sister, Karen! (Of course, this is a day late when I finally get it posted.) Blessings, Rebecca

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3 thoughts on “Day 44 – June 19, 2015

  1. Rebecca your journal for this trip is fantastic. You will really enjoy in years to come and then in about ten years or so you can send it around again to your children as well as your sibblings. And the pictures. Love

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  2. As a parent, I understand completely the reasoning behind making Dominic walk barefooted. As a grandparent, I have to say “That’s awful and shame on you!!”.

    My birthday present is knowing that you all get home safely and had a great time.

    grandpa

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  3. I have never been to Cumberland, but whenever I hear of it, the first thing that comes to mind is the historic/record setting GT football game we won 222-0 against Cumberland (thank you Coach Heisman).

    In the pic of 5 kids dressed up, Dominic’s costume reminds me of Obi Wan Kenobi (can’t you tell I am looking forward to the new Star Wars movie later this year). He certainly stole the spotlight in this blog. I enjoyed the side story regarding his shoes and the aftermath of his s’mores experience (I can hear him laughing now).

    Happy Fathers Day to Charlie! You have to be a pretty awesome dad to give your family a trip like this. Your hard work and sacrifices do not go unnoticed and are reflected in all of your kids.

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