Mountain Memories, Mining, and Wild Bears

When I look at our pictures from the mountains and think of some of my most precious memories, they aren't from "activities" at all. They came in the moments that happened naturally.  Riding in the car, playing at the house, and just spending time together.

Beckett loved that he could roll down Poppy's windows by himself.  His favorite way to ride?  Windows down, foot out!  Eli soon copied him and they would both want their windows down while we drove around and around those curvy roads.  They wanted their socks off too so they could get wind on those bare feet. My heart was so full watching the JOY on their faces in the rear view mirror of such a simple pleasure in life. I hope they both always have a heart for spontaneous little things.

Watching my kids play with my grandmother, my parents, and my brother & sister I reminded how special the bonds of family can be.  After just a short time, the boys were BEST FRIENDS with their Uncle Bubba, Madison, and Aunt GG.  They loved being chased and they played some silly bear chasing games that they loved.

Playing with Poppy

Playing with their Alabama trucks from Ma
and their "mongos" (dominoes) as Eli calls them

Sweet moment of Ma & Eli playing dominoes and trucks

They loved this Toy Story water toy

Madison and JB set it up for them


Playing Ipad with Dee Dee

Relaxing and watching cartoons
And family came by!  Justin's cousin and her kids that live in North Caroline drove over for an afternoon for play.

While Justin and I were in Asheville, the boys had a great time without us. I know they loved spending time alone with their family (even though we really missed out I here on a great time)  They took the boys panning for gold & gems.  I don't have all the details on where but the pictures are precious!  The boys loved it and showed me all the "rocks" when I got home.  

The last morning we were there I asked for Justin to go on one more quick mountain run with me to a lake near the house to take a couple of pictures.  Well, to say that we got overly ambitious is an understatement and decided to do a "quick" 4 mile run/hike and Panthertown Creek.  All was going well and we were doing about 12 minute miles in for about 3 miles and ran past a gorgeous waterfall (Schoolhouse Falls) and then all of the sudden our 4 mile loop just stopped.  Like dead ended on the top of a mountain after climbing for almost a mile.  I think it might have been a rappelling trail but for us the only option was to turn around which made it a 6 mile run!  And we were in a hurry so we ran buddy.  Whether I liked it or not I finally crossed over into the world of 10k which I have been diligently working on at the gym.  Nothing like 6 miles of mountain though. My legs hurt for days!  

our map

self timer shot :-)

Christmas tree farms!

And what good is a mountain vacation without a bear sighting?  First look at the trash cans at Uncle Colby's house!  They have screw on tops to keep out the bears.  Well on the last morning, Dave comes out to load the car and 2 little bear cubs are working on the trash cans.  When he goes to look, here comes the Momma bear! Of course he ran inside and they grabbed the camera but they were headed down the mountain behind the house before they could get a really close shot!

On Thursday we headed down the mountain to Atlanta and of course I was already sad that they wonderful trip was over.  Waking up everyday and having breakfast together, cooking as a big family, experiencing new adventures, it was a very special time that I will always remember fondly.  We have 100's of stories to tell and pictures to go with it.  I found this online and I love it..

Farewell to the mountains whose mazes to me
Were more beautiful far than Eden could be - Davy Crockett