Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blue Ridge Camping

Well, we just got back from camping at Lake Blue Ridge in north Georgia. Three days of happy chaos, and we all greatly enjoyed it.

On Tuesday evening after work, Dad went up to the lake first to make sure we got two campsites (you can't reserve sites next to the lake). Seth and I went to work on Wednesday, then Mom picked us up from there. We had quite a merry crew with us, Michael and Hannah H., Erin S., and Bethany G. It was about a two- hour drive from Alpharetta to rural north Georgia, and we arrived at the lake around 5 PM. We unpacked the car and got a few things set up, then we kids went for a swim in the lake. For whatever reason, the TVA decided to drain the lake, so we lost about three, four feet every night, and, plus we had fifty extra feet of a rocky and very muddy beach. Sill, we enjoyed the swim. Seth, Hannah, Michael, and myself did the daring task of swimming across the bay while the other three chickened out about halfway; we four made it and walked around (with some swimming involved too) back to the campsite. I must say, it felt good not to feel like a wimp, even though we were all a little tired afterwards. We had hamburgers for dinner, and then the girls went down to the beach for some silly pictures. We enjoyed the evening with a large lightning storm (Seth was totally fascinated by it), but thankfully it stayed fairly far away and only gave us a few sprinkles of rain. We did see a lovely full moon rise, but getting good pictures was hard because of the dark.

Thursday dawned fairly cloudy but otherwise not bad. Some people went swimming, and later the Abrahams joined us for their first camping trip. Nothing else big happened that day except for casual swimming and goofing off. That night we saw a lovely blood-red moon rise, though it rose much later than expected.

Friday was the big day, as a couple of families came up to go tubing down the Toccoa River with us. We had quite a merry party of about twenty-one people (including the A. kids). However, because the lake was being drained, the river levels were much higher and it moved much faster than usual; what would have normally been about an hour and a half trip became roughly thirty minutes. It was terribly short, but it was very entertaining nonetheless. Brittny and I tied our tubes together, and we made quite the awkward pair of trying not to hid the trees and brush on the river banks. I had a humorous beginning of trying to get into a better position on my tube, but the bulky life jacket that they forced us to wear (regulations have gotten worse since last time) did not help; I did finally manage to get in, but I was pretty much unable to move otherwise. The tubing guys told us to turn right when we saw the orange buoy, which got various reactions from everyone. Some, like Brittny and myself, got to shore without incident (though I made a very ungraceful exit from my tube), but Mom and some others had trouble, requiring them to be pulled in instead. After that, we drove back to the campsite for a large cookout. It didn't last long, as several had to leave shortly after dinner, but we still enjoyed it.

On Saturday morning, we got up, ate breakfast, and then packed up our campsites. It didn't take us that long, and then we split up. The A's went home first while Dad and Seth took a detour to Radiant Systems to pick up the car and Mom took everyone else home and dropped off the H.'s van. Then we came home. We're all a bit tired, but we thoroughly enjoyed our trip. I've yet to upload pictures, but I'm thinking of doing a slideshow for it instead... if I can think of some good bluegrass music to use, that is.

The next few weeks will be busy with other vacations as well. My last day of work at Radiant is August 6th, and the week after that Mom is taking some of her younger science students to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Then, the last week of August/ first week of September we'll be in Myrtle Beach with Grandma Gail and Grandpa Tom. I'm looking forward to both vacations, as I only had one last year and plus it's good to blow off a bit of steam from work.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

4th of July

Today I'm going to try and make my rounds, updating all three blogs that I manage (well, at least two of them: this one and the ramblings, as I have a few ideas in mind for that one).

Life still remains hectic. Quarter end came and passed at work, but it hasn't slowed down in the least; in fact, yesterday felt like quarter end even though it's just the beginning. I'm really looking forward to college next month and working towards my bachelor's so I can get a job that I like and actually have some talent in.

4th of July this year was quite busy as well. On Friday the 2nd, we went to the annual gathering at the Howlands for dinner and fireworks; we had a blast, even though our fireworks seemed to be the lame ones of the bunch. On the 3rd, we went to Uncle Jason's house for dinner, where we also had a good time with family and some friends. On the 5th, we went to Lake Nantahala in the mountains of North Carolina with two other families from church. The place was absolutely gorgeous, and I have pictures aplenty to prove it (now to find the time to upload them). It was a good day, with swimming, good food, fellowship, nearly flooding the boat (a funny moment, actually), jumping off a thirty-foot cliff into the water (Dad was the only one of our family to do it), avoiding snakes in more shallow areas of the water, and more. We would have liked to stay later, but because of the two-hour drive back home and work the next day, we had to leave fairly early. We were all red as beets when we came home, though now we're all looking nice and brown.

Well, I'm sure I could post more, but I can't think of anything else to say and Mandy and myself need to get going to help clean the church.