Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Weekly Hike: Pot Point Loop

The plan was to hike the Ritchie Hollow Trail today and enjoy the coolness of the waterfalls along the way on this warm afternoon. We arrived and found the trail was closed for a “Big Game Hunt.” We decided it wasn’t in our best interest to risk anyone in our group being shot, so we did the Pot Point Loop instead. Alas, there were no waterfalls, but the kids enjoyed bouldering when we reached the top of the ridge, and then getting in the river for a bit as we neared the end. The final push was through a meadow set aside for monarch butterflies. We didn’t see any monarchs, but it was beautiful nestled right next to the Tennessee River. It wasn’t what we planned, but it was still a good afternoon spent in the woods with friends. 

This was our 35th hike for 2021 (34/52). We knocked out 5 miles bringing us to 108.5 miles hiked this year.   

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Weekly Hike: Mushroom Rock

Back at our weekly hikes with friends. This is our 19th friend hike for the year, but 30th hike for me and my boys! I let Isaac pick the hike since it’s his birthday week and he chose Mushroom Rock. It’s a nice low-key hike for our first week back home. It was a little cool today but actually turned out to be a perfect afternoon foe hiking. We ended the hike with donuts to celebrate Isaac.  

This was our 34th hike for 2021 (34/52). We walked a total of 3,5 miles. This brings us to 103.5 miles hiked this year.   

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Moores Go West: Days 30 & 31 (Tims Ford in Tennessee and HOME)

Day 30 since leaving home. We spent the day relaxing with friends at Tim’s Ford. It was a low-key day. The kids swam, built their own fishing poles and bows and arrows, got a lesson in animal anatomy (via dissection) from the campers next to us who killed a turkey, celebrated Isaac’s 6th birthday a day early with strawberry cake from the Bread Basket (a camping tradition), and ended the night with an outdoor movie, a campfire, and s’mores. We couldn’t ask for a more perfect way to end our trip. 

Home. 32 days on the road. Countless campsites (only 8 that we paid for). Lots of boondocking. 7,645 miles covered. Friends who waved us goodbye on the road and honked and waved us hello as we drove the last miles. Family and friends have shared moments with us. So many adventures, and misadventures, that I will be processing them for a long time. As we left our campground this morning we asked a neighboring camper to take a family picture for us. He commented on how good it was for kids to camp and that he and his wife and their children had bonded through camping and now still stay connected through it. Which was affirmation that we are doing good things for our family. It’s the end of an adventure and Isaac is officially six today! As we rolled home, Isaac said, “it’s good to be home.” 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Moores Go West: Day 29 (Back to Tennessee)

Day 29 on the road (yesterday), we had breakfast with my parents and said goodbyes and then drove on to Tennessee. This is a drive Daniel and I have done a thousand times. Through farm country, over the Mighty Mississippi, and back into the state we currently call home. We stopped 1.5 hours shy of our home to meet up with friends for the weekend. We have amazing sites on the lake and enjoyed a campfire until late in the night while the kids played joyfully with their friends. Camping season with our crew has officially started. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Moores Go West: Day 28 (Henryetta, OK and Crater of Diamonds)

Last night we were able to snag a nearly new bike rack off Marketplace in Oklahoma City. We woke up this morning by a small lake in Henryetta. When we arrived late last night the gate was open but a large sign said gates closed at 10pm. It was 10:30. We rolled the dice and stayed anyway. This morning we drove through the Choctaw Nation area of Oklahoma before crossing into Arkansas. The kids have been dreaming of being miners for the last year. They have a group of friends that they have formed a mining club with. They all have pickaxes and like to dig big holes in our back yard. When they heard there was a real diamond mine that was open to the public, they wanted to go, so it went on our list of place to stop at on this trip. I visited Crater of Diamonds with my family when I was a teenager and had told them about it. Today we made the stop as we crossed Arkansas to see my parents. The boys learned that mining is hard work and it doesn’t always net a profit. But they still had fun. We arrived later than we hope to my parents, but were able to enjoy a home cooked meal — my mom’s amazing roast with mashed potatoes and carrots dripping in butter, all topped off with gravy. After dinner we visited and then my mom got out the pistachio cake she made for Isaac because his birthday is on Sunday. It’s a family tradition and I’m so glad we got to share it with with my parents. I hate that we only have time for one night with them, but we are already planning a summer gathering.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Moores Go West: Day 27 (Travel Day)

I was driving along and passed a semi who flashed his lights at me as I passed. Normally that means “it’s safe to get back over.” But then I noticed the semi slowed down and scooted to the middle lane and flashed his lights again several times. I think this is universal language for, “something is wrong, you need to stop.” So I stopped and checked things out and our bike rack had collapsed. Isaac’s bike was dragging but still attached with the cable. Now to figure out how to reconfigure our bikes.

Day 27: we knocked out another 450 miles, crossing the panhandle of Texas and over half of Oklahoma. We are in Central Time, one time zone left to go. We also almost lost our bikes when our bike rack malfunctioned (see last post). And it’s cold and rained most of the day (only rain of our entire trip). We ended our day in Henryetta, OK. This is relevant because it’s where my dad grew up. He was born in California but lived here most of his life. His family history is tied to the Oklahoma Land Rush, the Okies fleeing to California during the Dust Bowl, and so much other history. It’s been cool to share with our kids. And as a bonus, we will see my parents tomorrow. So full disclosure, I know our trip has probably looked amazing and maybe made you feel a lot of things (hopefully inspired, but maybe some other feelings too). It has been amazing, but it has also been normal life. But stuck altogether in a camper and truck for a month. With a dog. And two whiny kids. And parents who sometimes argue. Today we found ourselves having a heated argument in a Starbucks parking lot in Amarillo while the kids sat in the truck. A man stopped and asked us (mid argument) if we wanted to buy hot tamales from the back seat of his car. Umm... don’t you see we are having a moment?! And when you are arguing in a parking lot, a long way from home, all you can do is try to figure it out and get back in the truck and keep driving. We aren’t perfect. We don’t see eye to eye. Sometimes we have temper tantrums. But we keep trying. We model arguing (sometimes poorly) for our kids, but we are still a team. A tired, road weary team. But a team none the less. Just wanted to keep it real. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Moores Go West: Day 26 (Travel Day)

Yesterday was a big travel day for us. It was our 26th day on the road and it was our longest driving day with almost 800 miles covered. We drove across two states, an entire time zone and the Continental Divide. When we started planning this trip, it was supposed to be to the southwest and I had a long list of places to go. Then we changed plans and it became a Pacific Northwest and west coast trip. I still held on to the hope of making a few southwest stops. Then we stopped in Vegas (not on the list at all). Instead of pushing on to see more cool places on my list, we realized we all needed some rest. Those two unexpected nights were what we needed to recharge and feel like we were on vacation, not just traveling. The sacrifice was having to drive through Arizona and New Mexico and know there were lots of places we are missing. But we will be back to do a southwest trip some day. The end of a trip is always bittersweet for me. I could keep traveling forever, but I also miss a lot of people. Notes on roads in NW Arizona: high winds, lots of pot holes, and you can go 75mph. That was fun. 

Weekly Hike: Pot Point Loop

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cheree Moore (@mo_haus) The plan was to hike the Ritchie Hollow Trail toda...