I went on lots of fun trips with my summer job as an outdoor camp counselor and spent some quality time with my sweet girl. Then about two weeks ago we rescued another little dog from our local humane society. We are topping it off with a week long trip to the beach with the whole family. I *might* be ready for school and Fall when this week is over. But in the words of my nephew, “prolly not.” 😊
In June, at the end of the school year, I promised myself that I would take a break from the blog this summer. My thought was that at the end of the summer and the beginning of the new school year I would feel a renewed sense of excitement towards art ed and blogging both.
I think it’s worked! I haven’t looked at any notifications or anything the entire summer and I am so ready to jump back in and share what we will be learning and expiramenting with this year. But since the school year hasn’t actually started, I guess I’ll just have to leave you with this…
This is my fourth year with my local parks and rec dept, working for a program called Challenge. We have kayaked, canoed, fished, hiked, rappelled, climbed, slacklined and zip-lined. It’s such a fun summer job!
But something I’m even MoRE excited about is my upcoming, very first art camp! I can’t wait to get started but it’s not for another two weeks. There is still plenty I have to do to get ready but I will start sharing pictures as soon as I can!
For now, here’s what I’ve been up to…
Two more weeks have already slipped by. One week was filled with sparkly tattoos, cinnamon rolls, and fun at the lake.
This past week involved Young Explorers, another round of hiking, canoeing, and archery, and a trip to the Fork Farm in Norwood. We finished it up with a weekend at the beach and some sun, sand, and seafood.
I can hear the minutes ticking by and I’m feeling conflicted! I’ve had a fantastic summer and I don’t want the fun and adventure to end but I’m also ready to see my kids and get back to making some art!
My last week of Challenge was probably my favorite. We went to Lake Jocassee and camped at Devils Fork State Park for two nights. Despite a nasty storm on our first night there, it was a great trip and a beautiful place.
Maybe it was because we were there during the week (Wednesday – Friday) but there was very little boat/jet ski traffic. The park has campsites and villas. Our campsites were waterfront and had easy access to put our boats in. We had sites 10, 14, and 15 I think. There were 3, right together. Also, I came home from this trip feeling the cleanest all summer because of the nice bath houses with showers, woohoo! 😜
So, the best thing about Lake Jocassee is that it’s a clear water lake. The water was pretty warm and it was so nice to just hang out and swim and paddle.
One day we went to Whitesides Mtn and hiked. That was an easy hike with beautiful views. It was in Cashiers in NC, I believe. After our hike, we stopped at an ice cream shop in town called Sweet Treats to get cooled off.
It took us about 4 hours to get there but it’s totally worth the drive. I’m already planning another trip to take my family!
Another week on the job took me to Damascus, VA. We were originally supposed to go bike part of the New River Trail but because of some mix ups with camping reservations, we ended up at Damascus. I am perfectly happy in Damascus. It’s one of my favorite little adventure towns. They are obviously big on the biking with the Creeper Trail rolling right through town, but they also have climbing, hiking, camping, and fishing. The Appalachian Trail also crosses through Damascus at a couple different spots and it’s home of the Trail Days festival.
I love Mt. Rogers Outfitters – I bought a great AT shirt there this time. I also love Sundog Outfitters, which is where we rent our bikes and use their shuttle service. There’s MoJoe’s coffee shop right next door to that. They have delicious coffee, frappes, and smoothies, as well as homemade baked goods. I had a blueberry muffin and an iced mocha latte this time. YUM. Right down from Sundog is a place called Cowboys. It’s a gas station, I think, plus restaurant. They have delicious tater wedges if you’re in the market for that kind of thing.
One of the best cheeseburgers and/or milkshakes I’ve ever had also came from Damascus. It was after our AT trip last year when we did the Grayson Highlands section and finished in Damascus. I think it’s called Off the Beaten Path and the ice cream shop is separate from the cheeseburger place but the buildings are super close. I was so hungry, I honestly wasn’t paying much attention to anything beyond the food going into my pie hole. I had a black cherry milkshake and a cheeseburger all the way. I can taste it now. Hmmm… Totally worth the 4 hour drive to town. 🙂
So anyway, something new I got to see this time was Backbone Rock. How cool is that?! And people were climbing and rappelling on it! I hope we can make a longer trip of it next time and do the climbing as well as the biking. This was my fifth time biking the White Top to Dam. section. I love it! I love to go fast. I love it when I take my time. I love when it’s hot or cool, Fall or Summer. It’s always beautiful and well-kept and I would love for it to be in my own backyard. Check it out.
I’m about 2.5 weeks into summer and its flying by! But I guess that’s what happens when you’re having a great time.
This will be my third summer working for a program within our Parks and Rec department called Challenge. Last week was the boys’ extended and we took them for a two night trip to Emerald Isle and we paddled from Hammocks Beach State Park over to Shark Tooth island. We were supposed to continue on to Bear Island but the wind was just too strong. The kids really enjoyed themselves though and found some awesome sharks teeth and shells!
This week is the girls short week and we are leaving today for the US National Whitewater Center and one night at Crowders Mtn. It’s a new trip for us so we are all looking forward to it but keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t get washed out at the campsite.
We’ve already climbed, rappelled, hiked, and paddled this week…
I hope you’re enjoying your summer adventures like I am! 🙂