for our final adventure on this trip to the smokies, we drove out and around to the bryson city entrance, for a nature and waterfall themed hike that derek found in a kid friendly hiking book he picked up at the visitor center. the three waterfalls hike is a loop made up of several other […]
once we moved to the north carolina side of the park, to smokemont campground, we had a long deliberation about what hikes we wanted to do. we had to take into account the length, elevation, danger, our kids level of motivation, weather. all the things. eventually we decided on the chimneys hike. it’s not super […]
the activity the kids were most looking forward to on our trip to the smokies was tubing. our lazy river time in boone, nc has gotten them hooked. the tiny town of townsend, tennessee, just outside the park has several options, and derek booked reservations on our second day of the trip. and then it […]
originally, we had planned to lay low on our first day, a sunday, in the smokies. even though we were still in the midst of a pandemic, great smoky mountain national park is the most visited park in the us, especially on a weekend at the more heavily trafficked spots. but then. the weather was […]
well. it appears i’ve gotten incredibly behind with my blogging again. the truth is, i’m not very motivated these days. but, we have some rv trips coming up, and i know we will have lots of adventures, and if i fall much further behind, i’m not sure i’ll ever blog again. so without further ado, […]
when we were planning this florida trip, we knew we wanted to revisit the everglades. but, this time, with ruby in tow, it was a little more complicated. the campgrounds don’t have hookups, and she’s not allowed on any trails, so we would have to leave her inside, with no a/c, which could be a problem, depending on weather. so, we didn’t even bother with the risk. instead we opted for just a quick visit, stopping on our way to the keys. we parked the rv in the shade in the parking lot for the anhinga trail, opened all the windows, and went for a short ranger led “hike” (walk along a paved path and boardwalk).
we eventually moved on from the tour, because the group was soooo big and we could hardly hear anyways. and i also forgot about all the little crickets on the ground that completely freaked hazel out and made us be the annoying family with a crying kid. anyhoooo. we saw TONS of wildlife. it is such a strange and surreal place.
of course, the main attraction is the american alligator. we saw a few along the way, but the highlight of the hike (walk) is “alligator point” (i think), where there’s a large gathering of gators, soaking up the sun, in what must be extremely ideal conditions. they were still a few weeks away from the social distancing mandates, so it was ok. 🙂
isaac had the good zoomy camera, so i bummed a lot of the shots from him, like this guy…
after alligator point, the rest of the walk is along a boardwalk that passes through/over some marshy, watery parts. lots of lily pads and things lurking beneath. we played leap frog with the massive crowd from the ranger tour, which is always fun when you have small people leaning over a railing, peering into a soup full of things that would like to eat them.
we stopped to take a few selfies with this guy, which was probably the closest alligator we encountered.
on our way out, we remembered to stop for the obligatory sign photo. early in our travels, we talked about whether we should do this at all national parks, before deciding it would add a level of stress to each visit that i wasn’t prepared for. also, the line for the sign photo is often rather long, and i would rather get to seeing the things in the park instead of waiting in line for a pic with a sign. anyhow. there was no line this day. so we stopped.
on the way into and out of everglades, there’s a fruit stand called robert is here. it’s massive. and pretty much the main reason i wanted to go back to florida. there are sooooo many weird tropical fruits. and other fun snacks. and the MILKSHAKES (which we postponed until our return trip on the way out of town, like last time).
between anna’s photos, and mine, i have quite a few, but i’ll spare you massive amounts of tropical fruit photos.
after we made our fruity (and sunflowery) purchases, we grabbed some fast food, while ruby waited in the camper. :). and then, we were off to the keys….
our second full day in shenendoah was beautiful. unfortunately, so overnight wind and rain had knocked a LOT of leaves off the trees. there was a distinct difference in fall foliage between the two days. on tap for the day was a short little hike that derek discovered that took us up to bearfence mountain. […]
we didn’t have much time after our giant acadia adventure before we would head back out into the wild. our second trip in october was to shenendoah national park, which isn’t all that far from our house (4-5 hours), but we have actually never been. we arrived in the afternoon, scoped the visitor center, checked […]
on our first trip to acadia, i was too chicken to hike the precipice trail. but, after making our way around the country, doing more strenuous and dangerous hikes, and consulting with folks who have done the same, i felt confident in my precipice hiking abilities. so, on day five, i ditched the fam and […]
on our first trip to acadia, three years ago, i hiked the beehive trail alone. from the moment we booked this trip, anna has been plotting and planning all of her adventures, and hiking the beehive with me was on the top of her list. so, on day four, we all hopped on the shuttle, […]