July 11, 2016

Hiking the Trail of Tears!
(click here for pictures)
We all slept wonderfully well last night-except for that one time that I woke up and saw Keaton’s head hanging off of the Aedge of the bed.  I jumped up and rearranged her but I am not sure how well Reagan slept while sharing a bed with Keaton because Keaton usually sleeps crossways on her bed so I am sure that Keaton’s feet were on top of Reagan all night long.

On the other side of the cabin, Grannymom said that she heard Graham get up a few times to check the microwave clock so he could know what time it was.  They had been told that they could not get up until 6:30 and unfortunately their room doesn’t have a clock.  He had also been instructed that he couldn’t check the microwave for the time until it was light outside.

Probably about the time that he was checking the clock over and over again is when Campbell climbed in bed with us.  It took her quite a while to go back to sleep but she finally did.  And we all slept the rest of the night wonderfully well until Anderson came in telling us that breakfast was ready.

We didn’t want to miss breakfast so we were up and down the road in just a bit.  Les and Shelley had made waffles, bacon, sausage, biscuits, eggs and fruit.  After breakfast the kids played outside a little bit and Whitman enjoyed chasing Cash’s drone around and Keaton practiced her basketball dribbling.

Grandpa, Josh and Les headed off to play a round of golf and the rest of us loaded up for a trail walk.  I had seen the Trial of Tears on the map a few months ago at home and thought it looked like a neat (and educational) walk.  We had also seen a swinging bridge from this park in the paper the other day and of course that looked like fun.  It just so happened that after talking to the people at the Visitor’s Center they were the same trail.

We all took off on the Trail of Tears trail and it was pretty neat.  It was wide and not steep at all.  We were actually in a ravine type formation so we didn’t have to worry at all about anyone falling down.  After about 2 miles, we made it to the singing bridge and it was a neat little stop.  We could have continued walking on to Oklahoma but decided to turn around.  At the bridge, we stopped to take a few pictures and the kids waded in the little stream.

On the way back, we took a shortcut which wasn’t flat and even provided some snake sightings.  It did seem to be much quicker on the return trip but by that time Whitman was tired and Robby had to hold him on his shoulders the way back.  Whitman is terrified of being up high and wasn’t too pleased with this but did calm down with a few gummies to eat.

When we submerged from the trees at the end of the trail, we immediately noticed that we were at the bottom of the levee.  Eeek!  Some of the kids climbed the levee while others (myself included) walked to the road and waited for Robby to come and pick us up.  Once back at the cabin, we all headed to Les’ cabin for lunch.  After lunch, Josh played the guitar some for us and then the kids were anxious to head back to the lake.

We put Whitman down for a nap when the others left and I stayed with him.  I thought that he was going to go to sleep splendidly but it took me going to sleep with him for him to finally fall asleep.  My kids and all the cousins played and played in the lake.  Yesterday, they spend their time collecting mud but today everyone worked on finding clams (or something like it-I am not really sure what they were but I do know that when I was reaching for my brush this morning I saw one on my dresser.  I thought that it was a shell but it was moving)

Robby came back and I went to watch the kids while he looked after sleeping Whitman.  We had thought about waking him up but he was sleeping so wonderfully well that we just let him sleep.  After all of the clams were collected from the lake, we gave the kids a 5 minute warning.  They rinsed off in the showers and then came home to wash off in the showers before supper.

Supper was lasagna, salad and bread and was made by Grannymom in our cabin.  We all sat around and ate and then she pulled out dessert and after she had served all of the kids at least twice, the rest of us were able to have some.  I only had one of her two desserts but the kids loved it so much that they were quick to get seconds.

After we cleaned up supper, we all headed down to Dana’s cabin where Les had set up a movie screen in her back yard.  As Robby and Les were prepping the showing some folks played cards while I lost Whitman.  It was getting dusk and I was walking down Dana’s back steps with him when I started to talk to Keaton.  I was still on the steps when I realized that I didn’t see him any longer.  I went to the back and looked and didn’t see him, went to the front and didn’t see him, then back to the back yard.  Of course the edge of the whole back yard is a cliff so that didn’t help my heart rate any at all.  I asked Robby if he could see him (since so often, I lose the boy and he is just feet away from me) but nope.  Back to the front I went and this time I went all the way around Dana’s house and there Whitman was, and probably had been, ringing her doorbell.  Gracious me!  Seriously, that all happened within 90 seconds but took 9 years off of my life.

When the movie did start, I didn’t let Whitman out of my sight at all.  It was hard to let most of my Dennie folks out of my sight-5 of them were right beside me.  I was at the picnic table and Campbell was sitting behind it so she could prop her foot up on it since she twisted her ankle today heading to the lake.  It is a bit swollen but hopefully a good night’s rest will help it.  Keaton was tired so she migrated to me and laid on the picnic table.  Graham and Reagan were getting bit by bugs so they came for bug spray and tried to huddle with me by the citronella candle.  After about 45 minutes of the movie, Robby and Les stopped the movie since we were all getting bit by these pesky mosquitos.

Thankfully we didn’t get bit on our walk today but those mosquitos are everywhere here.  Outside, inside our car and inside our cabin.  I am getting bit but they do seem to go away so that is good but we are all probably now contaminated with zika.  After the movie was shut down, we all gathered our stuff and started to head back to our cabin.

The boys were standing outside our van when I walked up.  They had their ipads in their hands and were standing on their scooters.  They asked if they could ride and I said “no, not with your ipads.”  I had assumed they meant ride their scooters back to the cabin and was quite confused when they asked me the same question again.  Of course I answered the same and we did this about 3 times until I realized they wanted to ride in the van.  They were certainly given a ride and then I gave the girls a ride back to Dana’s cabin since they are spending the night there.

Back at the cabin, Robby rinsed the boys off and they played on their ipads while I baked a cake for tomorrow’s supper.  Anderson was pretty exhausted and even went to bed before he was told to and Graham wasn’t too far behind him.  Whitman, who could stay up all night long watching tv, wasn’t thrilled about going to bed but didn’t put up too great a fuss.  Hopefully all will sleep well tonight.

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