My buddy, Firefly Mom, who blogs over at Pack of Hungry Snails is BIG on field trips. If you ever had feelings of inadequacy about not doing enough homeschool field trips, then I BEG OF YOU not to frequent her blog, because you’ll basically want to hang up your homeschool uniform, take your bat and ball, and go home. She does field trips like her life depends on it!!
Us? Not so much.
Well, until now that is. Thanks to our recent foray into unschooling, we aren’t tied to Uber’s online school schedule anymore, and we can gallivant all over creation whenever the urge strikes us. AND our new homeschool support group is big on field trips, so our fall schedule is already packed with things like visiting a chiropractic office, spending an afternoon at a horticulture center, and park days galore.
Nowadays, I have my ears and eyes on “Eagle Alert” for any and all field trip opportunities. For one, because I’m making up for lost time. And for another, because Firefly Mom has been a monopoly for too long. It’s just not good for America if she doesn’t have some honest competition.
So today, we headed down to Chimney Rock. Chimney Rock is a 1000-acre state park boasting attractions like a 400-ft. waterfall, a nature observatory, interpretive trails, and a 500 million year old monolith that sticks out like a chimney and provides one of the most spectacular views of a mountain gorge you will ever have the privilege to see!
Today, Chimney Rock was hosting one of their monthly homeschool days, and we were determined to take part. The theme was Nature Journaling, which interestingly enough has been one of Uber’s latest passions.
After assembling their nature journals with paper, sticks, and twine, the group headed toward the woods to do some observation, sketching, and practice with descriptive adjectives.
There was PLENTY of nature to interact with. Trees, flowers, boulders, and a handful of live critters too!
I guess watching live critters makes us Topsies hungry, because as soon as we finished with our class, we headed up the mountain toward the chimney, and even better – – the Chimney Rock Cafe! This was the view from our lunch table…
Tuna salad, nachos and cheese, and pizza by the slice was just the fuel we needed! We had plenty of energy for our climb up to the chimney…
where we saw even more of the beauty of this clear September day in Western North Carolina…
Then it was time to put our hiking boots on and head out for Hickory Nut Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the state. I’ve lived here basically my whole life, and had NEVER visited this waterfall, so I was bound and determined to get there today!
It did NOT disappoint…
The long hike was taxing…especially because summer decided it wasn’t quite done with us, and it was 85 degrees in the park today. But we made it! ( I could give away the fact that we had to recuperate about 10 minutes longer than the 80-ish-yr-old looking couple that got to the falls just ahead of us, but that would be embarrassing, so I’ll just keep that to myself)
Last thing on the day’s agenda? Grabbing some of the best ice cream in the world at the Chimney Rock ice cream parlor, and taking it down by the river, to soak our tired footsies and reflect on how awesome this unschooling thing really is!
Take THAT Firefly Mom!!