Monday, August 16, 2010

Day Eight - Home again, Home again!

Day Eight
We left Daniel Boone National Forest on the final leg of our journey home...

I'm not sure where we were when we found this, but I think it was still in Southern Kentucky - it's a really cool looking "Tersa Sphinx Moth". None of us had ever seen one of these before, and it was really nice to sit still for me to take a few photos. Our budding entomologist, Taylor Anne, wanted to take it home of course, but I said "Let's let it live around here for a while longer"...

We quickly made it into Tennessee, where the sign about the Norris Dam caught our attention... so we pulled off of the main road and decided to check it out! Look at the GREEN water in that lake!!! It was beautiful!
There is a very nice visitor's center, and they usually offer tours of the power plant part, but they weren't available because of the current National Security Threat level. We walked out on the Dam to look down from the top.

When we were walking along the top, we saw these cute little groundhogs in the field... they were spooked when they saw us and went running to the wall - right into the little drainage holes!

After checking out the top of the Dam, we got back on the road... the kids were disappointed that we didn't let them swim in the lake while we were there... poor things! We drove along the river that flowed from the dam, and noticed a nice little fishing/canoe launch area and a weir dam... I had never seen a weir dam... it was kinda neat. Apparently they're meant to raise the level of a river and help control erosion. Although there were signs posted saying not to walk on the dam, there were people fishing on top of it.... you could see a lot of trout in the stream.

Mike and I decided that since the kids really hadn't had much 'swim' time, we would let them wade a little in the water... It was VERY interesting to see the huge amount of mist hanging over the water. I told the kids that it was because the water would be very cold... and that they would be surprised! It was a very humid, warm day, and the water looked refreshing!
There were some folks fishing downstream...
I know now why they were standing on the rocks...

While Mike and the kids were wading, I ran up to get the camera.
They really went wading!

The water was SO cold, and the rocks were very slippery! Our feet were numb after just a few seconds in the water... but we kept exploring anyway!

Taylor Anne slipped and fell in... it was a little more refreshing than she had planned!
She had to change clothes to ride in the van!

On the road again... through another tunnel...

And back to our HOME STATE!!! Woo hoo!! We were all so excited to see that beautiful state flag and our own home welcoming us back! I swear the mountains of North Carolina are more beautiful than the ones in Tennessee... home sweet home!

One of the places we had always wanted to stop when driving through the mountains is the town of Old Fort... so we stopped! We found a nice little lunch place, and took our food to the museum downtown. They have a nice little park with a beautiful stream running through it, so we had a picnic. The museum was very nice! Lots of really cool stuff in there with great information. I loved the displays of old Mountain musical instruments.

Another really cool display was the fiber display - I didn't know how many different fibers could be used to make fabrics! If you click on the picture, you can make it bigger and maybe zoom in enough to see some of the cool types of fibers!

Outside the museum, there were some really old buildings and a nice amphitheater where we ate lunch... we also waded in the stream - I think we'll have to come back soon! There were a lot of REALLY cool rocks - some full of garnets, and some that looked like REAL GOLD! (ha ha!)

We spent about 20 minutes playing in the water before we remembered we still had about 4 hours before we would pull into our driveway (if we caught traffic at the right times)...

After we all had 'pruny' toes, and Anderson had to change HIS clothes, we got back in the van and headed straight home! It was nice to sleep in our own beds that night!

We all had a great time on our first ever road trip - and we will definitely do more of these in the future! It was a great family time, and lots of fun. The kids were both great in the van, and we had a lot of wonderful experiences together!


melissa said...

welcome home!!!!

what a fantastic road trip - thanks for letting us tag along with you, i thoroughly enjoyed it!

Tipper said...

Wow what a great road trip you guys had. I know you'll always remember it-but even better your kids will too :)

Jen said...

This looks like an amazing trip. My brother lives in Tennessee. It really is beautiful. Hope it was a great time.