Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring Break 2016

We have developed a bit of a family tradition of getting out into nature for a couple of days over our kids' Spring Break (free entertainment!), but this year work schedules were going to make it a challenge.  So the question was - where can we get away where it feels like we're really away, even though it's only for a day and a couple of nights?  We settled on staying in Chattanooga, Tennessee, about 4 and a half hours from us, then spending a day hiking in Alabama and Georgia, since AJ had never been to Georgia, and only Matt had ever been to Alabama.  So we could cross some states off our list!  On Monday afternoon, after Matt had wrapped up some things at work, we headed down I-75.

DeSoto State Park (Alabama):

Our first stop of our hiking day was DeSoto Falls in Alabama.

The falls (and the park) were named after the Spanish conquistador, Hernando DeSoto.

Everyone agreed it would be awesome to own that cabin directly across from the falls.

Heading off to explore some trails in the DeSoto State Park

Azalea Cascade



Lost Falls

Ah, the relaxing sounds of a waterfall

The girls desperately wanted to get their hands under the falls.


Mom & Dad



Laurel Falls





Essie - very excited to get behind the waterfall

Chloe found a nice place to perch.

Chloe's dream come true - a climbing tree on top of a climbing rock

Essie striking her new favorite pose, apparently

Mom & Dad

Chloe's stone sofa

Indian Falls - located about 20 feet from the sewage treatment plant.  Not especially pleasant.
Lodge Falls

Two happy girls 

Hiking works up an appetite for Essie - lunch at the DeSoto Park Lodge

Little River Canyon (Alabama):

Little River Falls

We hiked on down the canyon a bit to spend some time climbing over river rocks:

Mom decided to relax a bit in the sun.

AJ shows off his jumping prowess.

Dad & Essie selfie

Chloe got a bit tangled up on this rock climb.


We were driving along the rim of the canyon when WHAM! suddenly this was in the way.

Also, there were a bunch of other cool roadside rocks to explore.






Mom & Dad are fine posing here on the ground, thanks.

Little River Canyon from an overlook

Grace's High Falls - Chloe Grace says, "Named after me!"

View of the canyon from Eberhart Overlook

Mom & Dad

Cloudland Canyon State Park (Georgia):

We were pretty worn out from all our hiking in Alabama, but we decided to stop off at Cloudland Canyon in Georgia and at least walk around the rim of the canyon for the views.

Family selfie that would've been better with Mom's selfie stick...which was in Kentucky.

After a full day of outdoor activity, we found this awesome little BBQ at the foot of the mountain.  That day we ate breakfast in Tennessee, lunch in Alabama, and supper in Georgia!

Chloe was pumped for her hot dog - wrapped in bacon and deep-fried.

Lookout Mountain (Tennessee):

Before heading back to Kentucky, we drove up to the top of Lookout Mountain.

We spent some time walking around Point Park and learning about the Battles for Chickamauga and Chattanooga in the Civil War.

Overlooking Chattanooga

Essie is firing down on Chattanooga.

Chloe had to get in on the action.

And now we're in tandem.

AJ was glad to participate if he could fire on his sister.

Military monument

Cannons over Chattanooga

Panoramic of Moccasin Bend

Climbing rocks on the west side of the mountain

Mural of the "Battle Above the Clouds" for Lookout Mountain

Now, time to point our wagons north and get back to the grind.  :-(

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