Of course, Jonah wakes up at 7 am despite the late evening. It is still quite cold. Kelly rouses himself and takes Jonah to go get more firewood. While Elisabeth and I cuddle up with every blanket we have on top of us. Kelly returns and gets breakfast going and I get up and sit by the fire. We had a nice breakfast and freshen up (no showers at this campground). By the time we clean up from breakfast, get the dogs situated, and tidy up the site it's nearly 11am. (You have to get all the food related items back in the car due to bear issues)
We drove to a trail head that would get us to the first water fall overlook (0.4 miles; good short trail for Jonah). We strapped Elisabeth to Kelly, while Jonah walked the whole way down to the falls.
Jonah managed to make it there and back on his own two legs. He started doing asking to be carried the last 100 ft which was a bit steep. I motivated him with the thought of candy and that seemed to be all he needed.
From there we went down the road a little ways to Linville Caverns.
It was fairly inexpensive and Jonah enjoyed it. They keep the stream inside stocked with trout. Jonah particularly enjoyed that and when they turned the lights out to demonstrate how dark a cave naturally is.
Afterwards, we took a leisurely drive back the campsite and drove a little longer to allow both kids a chance to fall asleep in the car. Some friends of our were in the area and despite horrible phone signals we managed to tell them where our campsite was located. So Amy and Tom came by and ended up hanging out with us for 2 or 3 hours. And the kids slept in the car almost that whole time. It was Great! That two hours was the nicest of the trip, just getting to hang out at the camp with friends and a break from the kiddos. Here's a picture of Elisabeth trying to wake up and our visitors. The dogs love Tom; they were at the best for him too.
When Amy and Tom departed, got things ready and left for Spruce Pine. I had been told the celebrations would start downtown at 5pm. Well at 6pm it looked like a ghost town except that I spotted a firetruck across the river on a ball field and firemen with augers. We drove our way over there and hung out a park right next to where they were setting up the fireworks. Here are a couple of videos of the kids playing at that park:
We walked across the river to the street pictured in my last post and got some ice cream and then decided to relocate the car and watch the fireworks from a parking area there. The fireworks started about 9:30 and went for a full 30 minutes. They were right over us. It goes in the family record books as one of our best Fireworks viewing. Kudos to the town of Spruce Pine. This was Elisabeth's first fireworks she didn't like the loudness at first. She sat in daddy's lap and he held her ears. By the end she was cooing after every blast. Jonah got bored after the first 15 minutes and started asking for food and drink.
That night was much warmer. The kids went to bed easier and we all slept well if not long. The next morning started off nice but turned drizzly so once again we had to pack up the tent in the rain. At least it wasn't pouring like our last camping trip. We took a leisurely route toward I-40 and drove along the shore of Lake James. We stopped for lunch in Marion and then made it home by 5 pm Sunday. Here's a picture during one of our stops at a rest area:
To see all the pictures from our weekend click here.