Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Grandfather Mtn & Gem Mining

In early May some in our homeschool group took a trip to the mountains of North Carolina. We made it a camping trip which was 'interesting'. And only 'interesting' because of the conditions of the campground. I've never been to a group campsite before but from that experience, I don't plan on repeating it anytime soon. I much prefer the individual sites with a little privacy and room.

We did enjoy each other's company though and the activities were a blast. We hiked a trail at Grandfather Mountain and below you will see a bunch of the kids making the adults nervous by hanging out close to the 'edges'.

This trail leads you to a lookout where you can see the grandfather. It's due to the mountain looking like an old man's face as if he's lying on his back.

Too bad I didn't seem to get a picture of it. It was a windy day but thankfully not too windy. We were able to go out on the hanging bridge. That'll scare the pants off anyone who has a problem with heights as you travel across a bridge one mile high. I just didn't look down. And I'm embarrassed to admit that I crouched as I walked across. I didn't want any part of my body above the railings. You know, in case some strong gust of wind came along, picked me up and threw me off. You think about things like that when you're up there.

On a different day we made it to a gem mine. You just can't visit the mountains of NC without hitting a gem mine. The boys were enthralled finding their 'treasure'! I can see the lure of this cheap pastime. Well, it's cheap if you don't actually do anything with your stones. LOL I found a nice hunk of ruby but I didn't have it cut. Maybe for my 25th wedding anniversary or something?

You can tell here who was pretty intense. Tigger didn't let up until every last scrap of sand was sifted through. I helped Pooh make it through his bucket. He did a lot better than I thought he would. And once he started finding some gems, he was happy.
You can see the flow of water was coming along at a nice clip. It kept our work area clean so we could see what we were looking for.

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