Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cades Cove 4

Our craving for the perfect nature walk and a brush with wildlife won over.  Saturday we tackled the Cades Cove loop again, which is a calm, Tennessee version of the wild west.  We went three times the summer that we first had Burl, and loved it each time.  With a rowdy three year old and a little baby, we had been cautious of making the three hour tour around the place.   We took the chance and it paid off.  

We woke up at 4:30, got ready, loaded the car and throe the sleepy and surprised kids in the car at 5 am.  Two hours later, we hit the trail barely after sunrise.  Look at those kids above?  They were primed for some adventure.  Or, at least, chilling in the stroller, eating some snacks, hoping for bears.

The first ten-twenty minutes are a bit surreal.  The weather is perfect, the scenery is all natural, and it smells like Eden. I just can't get enough of it.  I have to mention the tree tunnels that cover the little road.  I felt like the Von Trapp was going to pop down any minute with a perfect version of Do Re Mi.  

I was also on edge looking for animals.  We promised Burl turkey, horses, and deer.  We hoped for bears, but we didn't get any this time.  Naturally, we were all eyes peeled for some sightings.  Thanks to the 1/32 Native American that runs through my husband, we spotted some.  And I quote, "look across the field.  There, low in the tall grass.  See those brown specs? There are some deer."  I didn't see any until we were close enough to touch them.  It was a big time for Burl.  Each time we saw them, Burl let out a low and soft breath.  "wow-wow-wow," while Fern yelled with all of her small frame, "DOGGY!" 

These kids did great on the trip.  We had several mini stops and exciting times.
We like to call it the toddler pace.

High grass blowing in the wind=golden waves of grain? 

Waving "hi" to the deer. 

Field of ferns for the Fern.

When we got back to our car, we released the kids in the babbling brook where they  let out a lot of energy.  It was a sweet reward for them, and the cold water was a sweet reward to our feet.  I'm about fifty pounds lighter than last time and a whole lot better shape, but I was still achy and we were both sore the next day.  It was the good kind of sore though.

Two hours back home and some Hardee's value meals later, we were back home and happy.  The kids half napped in the car and half napped at home, leaving them a bit restless.  John and I both were thinking the same thing: pool.  We hit the pool for the first time this season, which was our time to re-teach the kids how to pool.  Fun times.  

The whole day was just a wonderful day of being together as a family.  We call these days, "money in the bank," because we're investing in the children and in our family as a whole.  We're not sure what the return will be, but it was to be something like solidarity or something else cheesy.  Whatever it is, it was fun and good and awesome.  We're already planning for another go 'round later this summer, and we're taking some people with us.

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