Category Archives: hiking

Black Rock Mountain and Knitting

We drove up to the lookout point on Black Rock Mountain.  We didn’t get to do any hiking, because one of the girls was not feeling well after the curvy drive up.  We didn’t know she was in the back seat playing games on the Nook.  lol  Poor thing.

The daughter rested while the rest of us enjoyed the view.


And against my better judgement, I had a picture taken with Pea #2.  Look at her and not me, ok?


Just a little ways up the mountain we cross the Eastern Continental Divide.  I decided we needed a family photo to memorialize this momentous occasion.  I set the camera on the back of our truck, set the timer, and hauled butt back to the sign.  It worked great!  See?


We drove to the place we wanted to see.  It is a small hike from the road up to some rocks and an awesome view.  Except the view wasn’t so awesome this time due to over growth.  Still a very fine place to be.

The violinist doesn’t look so green now. 🙂


I love the rocks around this place.  So fun to climb and explore.


Now on to knitting!

In Franklin, NC is a yarn shop called Silver Threads and Golden Needles.  It is a very nice clean and bright store.  I walk in and there is a bin full of yummy yarns called PEAKS.  I was told that these yarns are hand-dyed by one of the owners.  What makes these special?  They are named after the mountains in the area and the color represents them.  The fun part is the color number is the Elevation of the mountain.  Isn’t that creative?   So, I had to get two skeins of Blackrock Knob, Elevation 4500.  Color is black and gray.


My goal is to use the yarn for the Caroline Ave. Shawl, on Ravelry.  As of right now, I should be able to start knitting after Christmas and finish just in time to pack it away for the summer.  Then pull it out the next 2 days of winter in Florida. 😀

Tallulah Gorge

One of our favorite spots to visit and camp is at Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia. We camped there last year in Phil and this year we camped in Ivan.  First thing we do is head down the trail to the overlooks.   Here are my girls sporting their new knitted hats by me.  It really wasn’t cold enough for hats, which was a shame.  The days were a beautiful mid 70’s and the nights were in the 60’s.  I was hoping for 40’s.  Maybe next year.


This area is called Hawthorne Pool.  The colors were not as colorful as they were last year.  I think we missed the peak season by one week. Still beautiful, though.


Another view.  Sir Husband and I walked down this way during a full moon.  It was amazing.


Some more views.  Really, who would get tired of looking at this?


Sir Husband at an overlook.


And The Violinist at another overlook.


Yep, I’d like to live near here.  🙂

Cary State Park – Hiking

My friend and I are continuing to earn a badge for the Florida Trailwalker Program. We have to hike ten trails before earning our first badge.  Why are we doing this?  Because we can and want to.

Last month we visited Cary State Forrest.  It is a very nice well kept park.  As usual, we were the only ones to visit that day.

The trail is called Nature Trail and it is only 1.2 miles.


It was an easy-peasy walk through the woods.  Nothing exciting, except for the beautiful view.  Loved this park.  They have a small tent camping area and a few picnic tables in the area where we were.


They have wooden walk-ways over the water areas.


A walk in the woods early in the morning is awesome.


We even came across a few spiders.


The hike through Cary State Forrest brings me to 4 out of 10 hikes needed for the badge.  Woot!

Next hike is at Twin Rivers State Forrest.

Go take a hike!

Kayaking on Dixie Lake

During the weekend of our Hot Air Balloon Ride adventure, Sir Husband and I decided to take a little drive from Ivan to Dixie Lake.  We wanted to check out the lake for a possible kayaking adventure.  This is what we saw….


After a few bits of lightning and gusty winds we decided it wasn’t a good idea.


Bright and early the next morning, the weather was beautiful.  We rented two kayaks and off we went.  The rental time was for two hours, which turned out to be the amount needed to lazily paddle around the perimeter of the lake.


It was beautiful and oh so quiet.


We didn’t talk much, just enjoyed the area.


Whenever possible I paddled through the tall grasses.  That was fun.


Sadly, we did not see any gators.


We enjoyed this part of our adventure so much, it is on our to-do list when we go back.  I am sure all three girls will enjoy this.

**All photos were taken with my smartie phone.  It was taken out of a waterproof box only to take photos. I do not bring my big camera out on water.

Big Shoals

So I ask the husband, “Hey, what are we doing for the 4th of July?”  His response, “Go somewhere there are no people.  Like Big Shoals.”   GREAT says I, that’ll give me another notch towards my Trail Walker patch.  More on that later.

We pack our walking sticks, backpacks, camera, lunch, and two out of four kids.  Because two out of four kids prefer indoors than outdoors.   Two parents out of two parents wanted to keep four kids out of four kids, so decided to let two kids out of two kids stay home and not “dispose” of two out of two kids for having bad attitudes.

Two hour drive to Big Shoals State Park, no problem!  I have my knitting and Root Beer.

We had a lovely lunch right by the river.  All by ourselves.  Except for one other large family, but they left us alone.  I’m good with that.


Off we go on a 1.5 mile hike to the waters edge.  The edge where we could probably put our feet in the water.


We noticed the water was high and moving very fast.  Decided it would not be a good idea to wade in it this time.  Girls were not happy.


The walk was beautiful!  It sprinkled some, but mostly it was really nice.  Not too hot.


At the end of the 1.5 mile hike, more like a stroll, we rested at the water’s edge.  So beautiful.  We did keep our eyeballs open for gators.  The Husband and The Daughter decided to take a rest in the hammock.  I had no idea he had packed that hammock.  LOL  Who does that on a 3 mile hike?


On the way back to the car, we stopped by The Bat Cave.  It is really cool and you can hear the squeaks of the bats inside.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good picture of them.


I did get a nice picture of their poo.  Bats drop a lot of poo. I have to admit, it was gross.


Afterwards we went home and did nothing.  Didn’t even go watch fireworks.  So un-American!

Florida Trailwalker Program

On May 9th, my friend Georgeann invited me to hike with her at Jennings State Forest.

Georgeann has been participating in the Florida’s Trailwalker Program and I have decided to participate also.  To earn the Trailwalker patch you must:

“Walk a total of ten trails in a minimum of five state forests, selecting trails from the Trail List. At the trailhead of each trail you hike, obtain one pre-paid postal survey card for the trail. Fill it in and put in the mail after you complete the hike.”

We decided to walk the North Florida Black Creek loop.  It is a five mile hike.

The girls photos 002

This was right after days of rain and that means Black Creek floods.  There were several times we had to either go through or around some water.

The girls photos 011

The girls photos 012


Georgeann kept us on track with her handy-dandy hand held GPS.  Of course this means I have to have one too.  I am currently waiting on the husband to get me one.

The girls photos 009

We saw some wild life and lots of prints.  This is a raccoon, I think.

The girls photos 013

It took us just over two hours to do the hike.  We walked and talked the whole way.  Never stopping, except 3/4 quarters of the way around.  I was yacking, as always, and all of a sudden I had a hard time breathing.  I’m like whhaaaat?   I told Georgeann I had to stop for a breath and drink water. She explained to me we were going up a slight incline, the ground wasn’t flat there.  Geez, I really need to work out more.  After a few minutes and some water I did pretty well.

Once I got home I sent my little card in to get the sticker saying I have hiked the trail.  Now where shall we hike next?

What a great way to get out doors and have some fun!

Tallulah Gorge State Park, Part One

After Reed Bingham State Park, we head on up to Tallulah Gorge State Park.

It’s beautiful there.  Right away we see color at the camp site.First things first.  We have to get the new spare tire out of the camper.

This is what happens when you leave a watery Florida.

There wasn’t much of the day left for us, so we hiked down to the damn.  It was an easy hike right from our campsite!

William and I visited here 25 years ago or so.  I’ll have to dig the photos and compare them later.

We walked just a little ways down the trail and stopped at the overlooks.  When William and I were here last, there wasn’t any “overlooks” or stairs or railings.  It was all open.  We didn’t realize until the last day of our visit this time, that it wasn’t a State Park when we were there before.

Below is a view of the upper gorge and southern part of Hawthorne Pool.  Gorge depth 250 feet.

Heading on back to the campsite, Pea #2 has to pose for the camera.  She likes to be serious when she wants her picture taken.  Back at the camper, Pea #1 throws pillows at us because we all piled on her bed, in her own little cozy spot, while she was in there.  That’s what families are for.Can anyone tell me what this tree is?  The fruit fell in piles on the ground.  We constantly stepped on them and it was like dog poo on the bottom of our shoes.  It wasn’t easy to get off, but thank the good Lord it didn’t smell like poo.Stay tuned for more exciting adventures of our trip to Georgia.

Easy Granola

Started making this simple recipe for granola a while ago.  It is perfect for our camping trips.  Easy to store.  Easy solution for a quick breakfast.  Easy to carry while hiking.   Just plain easy.  🙂

Yummy Granola

You can add anything extra to this recipe before baking.  I added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup raisins.  Nuts, craisins (all natural kind), shredded coconut is good too.

Simple Granola
Source:  Breadbeckers

  • 1/2 cup cocount oil (all natural, unrefined)
  • 1/2 cup honey (local if you can get it)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups rolled oats

Melt together the coconut and honey.  Add salt and stir.  Pour over oats and stir well to coat.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until slightly golden.  Stir twice during baking.

You may have to adjust the time for baking.  We found it takes us up to 25 minutes to bake, but the original recipe says to bake 10 minutes.

Yummy with milk, yogurt, or right out of the hand.

3 out of 6 family members will eat this, which means 3 out of 6 family members will go hungry if this is all we have, which means 2 out of 2 parents don’t care.

I will take a small jar with me when I am out doing errands to munch on between meals.  It fills me up and I won’t make that quick trip through a fast food joint.

This is good stuff people!

Views from Blue Springs

Looking down the spring.

Blue Springs

Manatee mother and pup.

Manatee and pup

Another mother and pup.

Manatee and pup

A big one resting at the bottom of the spring.  They can rest up t0 20 minutes under water.

A big one.

A whole family resting at the bottom. We saw four of these groups during our visit.

Group resting

The dark line going across the bottom of the springs is a cave. It is the source of the spring water.

Blue Springs

More photos coming up.

O’leno State Park

A few weekends ago, we decided to go hiking in a state park we have been to. O’leno State Park was the one we picked. It took us two hours to get there, but it was well worth it.

Since Sir Son is allergic to the outdoors and we knew we would not hear the end of it, we let him stay home. The girlies were more than willing to go.

This park is located on the Sante Fe River. There are several hiking trails to pick from. We decided to go on the trail that leads to where the river disappears underground. It comes up later 3 miles away.

The area is just amazing. Here take a look. This view is from the suspension bridge.

The photo below was taken while looking into the river. See how blue the sky looks? It really was that blue.

Now this is a picture of a spider web. The spider was making the web as I took the picture. It was really something to watch. I have decided to do an alphabet photo hunt, so this web will serve as my letter “O”. I also have a “Y”. 😀

Along the banks were gazillion Cypress knees. Some of the trees were huge!

Well, that is all for now. I’ll post more photos in a day or two.