Saturday, July 18, 2015

Smoky Mountain Trip

Our summer trip for 2015 we decided to go to the Smoky Mountains with Grandma & Grandpa Denton and Uncle Tim. We towed our camper and they drove their RV and we drove to Tunica, Mississippi on the first day. We stayed at Sam's Town Casino RV park next to the casino the first 2 nights. There are several casinos in Tunica but they are spread apart. Sams Town, Hollywood, and the Resorts were all next to us. When we went into Sam's Town we were shocked at how small the casino portion was and in talking with one of the dealers he said the other floor(s) were shut down due to the economy. They no longer had a poker room either. We visited all 3 of these casinos as well as the Horseshoe Casino down the road, this one seems to get all of the business and it was busy the whole time. At the Hollywood casino the boys were able to be within 10ft of a few of the slots and we let them "play" with $10 each as we pushed the buttons for them while they told us what to do. Josh lost all of his and Jake turned his into $30.

On Saturday we headed on to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Saturday we arrived at Creekside RV and setup and just settled in getting our bearings with the surroundings. On Sunday morning we took the boys to the Alpine ride just down the road that went down the mountain.


Sunday afternoon and Monday we took the boys to Dollywood. We had a blast riding all the rides including: Wild Eagle, Thunderhead, Rampage, Tennessee Tornado, Fire Station, and Barnstormer. Their favorite ride was the Wild Eagle and it looped upside down several times.

On Tuesday, Grandpa, Jake, Josh and I set out to hike Grotto falls early in the morning. We arrived around 6:15am and before we could even park at the front of the trail we saw a bear. The bear walked beside the truck and kept on moving up the road. So we began our 1.4 mile hike toward the waterfall. We made it roundtrip in about 1.5 hrs and pulled in to camp just before a massive downpour. Later that morning we had our white water rafting trip scheduled for 11am. We arrived in the rainstorm and got geared up for a wet run. The guides were overly excited due to the high waters and better rapids. Jill even made a comment that she was a little nervous at how excited the guides were. Well, we began the rapids on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee on the Pigeon River. About half way down the river one of the Class 4 rapids "taco'd" the boat. Jill and Josh were thrown out of the boat and I took a beating from my paddle. Just as the boat folded up, I was pulling up to paddle and when it collapsed the paddle was slammed across my nose. Once Jill & Josh were pulled into the boat, we pulled over to land to look at my injuries. I was bleeding like crazy. The guides patched me up but said I needed to go to the ER once the trip was done. So we made it down the rest of the way and Jill & I spent 4hrs in the ER to determine that I broke my nose in 2 spots and got 3 stitches across the bridge of my nose.

Wednesday we went to Gatlinburg to visit the Aquarium and the Guiness World Records. We also putt-putt golfed.

Thursday we packed up and headed back home, we stopped in Little Rock, Arkansas at a KOA and spent the night. On Friday, we made the final leg of our trip back home! The Smoky Mountains were great and completely different than the Rockies. There was a lot more trees and everything was very green. The weather was also warmer as well as much more humidity. It rained every day we were there but most days it was only a short shower.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cedar Hill State Park

Cedar Hill State Park October 17-19

On Friday, we headed just south of Dallas to Cedar Hill State Park.  We setup on campsite 142 and had a partial view of Joe Pool Lake. Our site was secluded with lots of trees all around, unfortunately we could still here a dog barking all night and a kid screaming. We could also hear the traffic from Beltline Rd as well. We were on a large hill above the lake and the boys rode their scooters downhill. Josh was going too fast and "decided to bail." So he skinned up his knees, elbows, and hands. We went on a short hike and played several games of bean bag toss. The weather was awesome all weekend with highs around 75 and lows near 60. On Saturday Jake had a soccer game so we drove back for the game(1hr) then back out to the campsite where we had dinner and too many smores. Molly joined us and lead the way on our hikes. She seems to enjoy camping, or maybe just like it better than staying home alone.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Huntsville State Park

We went on a quick camping trip to Huntsville State Park. We arrived on Thursday evening and setup in site 22 on Lake Raven in the Raven Hill campsites. (14, 15, & 19 would be great spots for the future). On Friday, the boys met a neighbor named Max and they had fun playing  baseball, chess, homerun derby, and getting the dogs together to play(Molly & Quincy).  In the afternoon we went to the other side of the lake to canoe for an hour and a little fishing. Our first 2 minutes in the canoe proved to be exciting as we didn't anticipate having to balance the boat to stay upright. Luckily we caught our balance before tipping completely over. We rowed to our campsite and then fished in the middle of the lake with no bites. Once we were back on shore we fished from the dock and I caught a small fish. Today we hiked with Max and his Mom. We packed up after lunch and headed home.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Brazos Bend State Park

We camped for 3 nights at Brazos Bend State Park. Jill was able to stay the first night but had head back home for work the next day. This park has tons of hiking trails including a trail that circles a swamp area with alligators. We saw 7 alligators overall and numerous other birds and ducks. Our campsite was 104 and we probably hike on only half of the trails. The weather started out rainy on the first day and each night it was down to 40 degrees but the last day and a half the temp moved up to 65 and 70 degrees.
This park is only 1 hr from our house and is located very close to the SW Houston suburb of Sugarland.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Estes Park, Colorado to Wichita, Kansas

We chose to drive a different route home for a change of scenery and we headed east on I-70 to Kansas. We picked a campsite near Wichita, KS so we could visit with my high school friends Matt & Jen and their kids for the evening. Our campsite was located on Lake Afton, about 10 minutes away from their house.

We had a great time catching up with old friends that we hadn't seen in 10 years. Matt & Jen's kids, Brandon, Joey, & Kaitlyn had fun with Jake & Josh as they played basketball and watched movies in their basement. The next morning we were up early to jump on I-35 and head home. As we passed through Denton, TX we met up with Grandma & Grandpa Denton for lunch at the Fuzzy Taco and we showed the boys where we went to college at the University of North Texas. After lunch we were ready to complete the final leg of our trip back to Cypress. We made the uneventful drive home and parked our camper back at the storage site. Ironically a couple that parks their camper adjacent to ours was pulling in from their trip to Estes Park, CO as well. We chatted about our trips and how funny it was that we were camping within a few miles of each other. Being our first major trip with the camper we were thrilled to have completed it with no problems and we are ready to plan for our next trip. Not sure where we will go but we are ready for the adventure.

Ziplining & Whitewater Rafting

Thursday was the day we were all looking forward to ziplining & whitewater rafting. We drove to Idaho Springs, "Where the Gold Rush Began", for our adventures.

We ziplined on 6 lines down the mountain and then walked over to Clear Creek to raft down a class 2 creek with our guide. We didn't take any pictures of the rafting but we did use a GoPro waterproof camera to video record the rafting. Once we finished we ate dinner in Idaho Springs at Beaujo's, this pizza place was awesome and seems to be a very popular attraction in an otherwise quiet town. We drove back to Estes Park and were exhausted from the days events.