Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Family Camping at High Falls State Park

This past weekend, my siblings and our families met up at High Falls State Park in Georgia for a little family camping. 

This must be a good weekend for a family get together, because four years ago we had met in Ellijay, Georgia for a weekend in the mountains. Levi and Jack were about 1.5 (Isaac's current age) and Izzy was almost four (close to the big boy's age now). 

So much has changed in the last four years! Our only regret is that our parents don't live closer.

The older three cousins are the perfect age for camping and our campground was perfect for our needs. We had water and electricity, and our site was large and wooded with trails that led to a small river. 

The kids loved riding their bikes in the woods and exploring on their own. We had a strict rule that they couldn't go down to the water without us and that they needed to have eyes on the our tents at all times.

We were also next to a small, dry ravine that the kids explored on their own. The weather is cool enough that we weren't concerned about snakes, and allowing them to explore on their own was great for everyone.

Jack and Levi wore their fire fighter jackets and pretended to go on countless rescue missions. They found a small piece of rope in the woods that they became obsessed with – they used it to tow things, to climb things and pull each other up. 

The trail by the river also went down a steep embankment to a small piece of land that the kids discovered and called their island. They all went down and found shells on the island. Isaac even managed to get himself down the embankment.

Speaking of Isaac, he really wanted to do what the big kids did. Whether pushing his tricycle through the woods behind them or just hiking on his own with big cousin Izzy to coral him (typically with an adult close by).

We ended each night around the campfire with smores. Our kids were dirty and exhausted, but they all had a blast. Each night Jack would ask to go to bed because he was that tired! Isaac had a little trouble going to bed the first night but the second night he slept without a problem.

We spent Saturday hiking and kayaking in the state park. We all loved the High Falls Waterfall – especially our bigger kids. They explored and ran to their heart's content. 

Isaac was in need of a nap and stuck in a backpack carrier. I'm sure he would have preferred to roam, but sometimes you just need to keep the baby contained in a backpack!

It was so nice to get together with my siblings and niece and nephew. We have been missing them and I'm so glad we have managed to get together throughout the year, even though they now live in Florida.

Hiking, biking in the woods, exploring, kayaking, campfires, a whole weekend devoted to being together in the great outdoors. 

It was what I needed... though we may need to invest in cushy-ier ground pads, my back was telling me that I'm old by the end of the weekend!

I think we are all looking forward to more camping in the future, and it will only get easier as Isaac gets bigger!

Highlights of our trip

Our boys on the drive to High Falls

Biking and exploring the woods at our campsite.

Levi and Jack perfected their downhill riding. Isaac thought about trying too.

High Falls Waterfall

Kayaking at the High Falls Lake above the falls.

The wind was intense, this is me and the kids getting blown into a dock!

Having fun with cousins.

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