Sunday, June 7, 2015

Cumberland Mountain State Park

What a great weekend! We spent the past weekend with our friends from Alabama in Cumberland Mountain State Park near Crossville, Tennessee. We arrived on Friday, after our visit to Ozone Falls and set up camp and ate a delicious dinner of rainbow noodles (Sierra's favorite camping food) and rainbow cupcakes for dessert. We then tried to get to sleep after playing for a bit in the campsite.

On Saturday we went for a hike on the Pioneer Trail's short loop.
hikers on trail
We saw lots of geese
geese on lake
on the dammed Byrd Creek.
lake
We stopped quite often to look for animals with our binoculars!
looking for wildlife
We also saw some flowers blooming: a type of milkweed
milkweed
and some flame azalea.
flame azalea
The highlight of the hike was the bouncy suspension bridge that crossed Byrd Creek.
on swinging bridge
Sierra liked it so much she wanted to cross the bridge twice! After crossing the bridge for the second time, Sierra agreed to take a ride in the backpack.
Sierra in backpack with daddy
She didn't really want to, but she was hungry and since we had brought no snacks we told her we would get to food much sooner if she rode. It was a quick second half of our hike!

After lunch at our campsites, we headed over to the pool for a refreshing swim. For dinner it was hot dogs on the grill and s'mores for dessert! It was Sierra's first time eating s'mores. I think she liked them! We sat around the campfire a bit and the kids played with their glow stick toys, before heading to bed in the tents. It was a busy day, and Sierra slept well.
sleeping Sierra

Today we packed up camp, said goodbye to the local wildlife,
katydid
and then headed over to the playground to swing and slide (and rest on a tree stump)
sitting on stump
for a bit. At 11 there was an owl demonstration. I think Sierra really enjoyed it. The naturalist brought a barred owl
barred owl
and a screech owl.
screech owl
screech owl closeup
We got to pet the barred owl!
Sierra pets owl
Besides the owls, there were some grazing geese to look at and a dragonfly as well.
dragonfly
We ate lunch in a nice shady pavilion and then said goodbye to our friends and hit the road for our drive back to Greeneville. Sierra fell asleep almost immediately and slept most of the way back home. We ended our mini-vacation with blizzards at Dairy Queen before getting home to unpack.                 

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