We spent a somewhat interesting week in Auburn.
Not as much to do in Auburn in we had expected.
The Montgomery Zoo was cool as was a city pool with nice diving boards.
We arrived at the Morganton Point Recreation Area late on Friday night .
The Recreation Area is in northern Georgia on Lake Blue Ridge.
What a beautiful camp site – #11 is isolated away from the others – you have to walk in to the site.
It is literally right on the water with easy access to fishing and swimming.
We were there June 21-23rd.
On our first day on the road we went through an amazing tunnel in Alabama.
We are still trying to find the picture of the tunnel.
After leaving the tunnel, we came out the other side to find a battleship!!!
It was an area of land full of military weapons and stuff.
We loved visiting the U.S.S. Alabama and all of the other cool vehicles on the site.
The second leg of the 2011 road trip has begun. We are headed to Fayetteville, AR and will see lots of sights there. So far, we stopped off at Caddo Lake in Northeast, Texas. What a great spot to hang out if it was not so HOT! The lake and Cypress trees are amazing. A daddy long legs hitched a ride on my dad’s leg and those spiders are huge. We saw Cypress knees that were bigger than we are, but the mud was really deep getting there! We are pretty sure that Squatchs live in these woods and the BFRO needs to investigate. We looked for Squatchs in Flo-ridah, but just did not have time to look for them at Caddo Lake. Click our ads to the right – make us millionaires!
Well, this is our first attempt at video production and we think it came out pretty good for two little kids. We used Windows Movie Maker and it worked out okay.
We will be posting our videos as we get them cleaned up. This is the first one and we hope you enjoy it.
Ben saw these hawks at Monument Rock in Kansas. He used his Jedi animal powers to get close to them.
Well, the mighty 30 day road-trip challenge is over and we all survived.
We hit 16 states in roughly 30 days and had a great time doing it.
We camped and hiked all over the greater United States.
We are glad to be home, but our feet are already getting itchy.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail is starting to take shape as a future adventure.
On our way to Destin, we took a tip from Drive-ins, Diners, and Dives and hit the Metro Diner in Jacksonville, Florida. It was goooooood and we are glad we took time to stop.
We also took the Man vs. Food advice and hit Deanie’s Seafood in Bucktown – just north of New Orleans. It was very good and well worth the stop. We did our own little Man vs. Food using the lunch special – the mate platter. Sam and Ben tried their hardest to eat it all in 45 minutes and just could not do it. The mate platter had the option of shrimp, catfish, and/or oysters. We all had a bit of all of it. In the end, food won!
We are working on a few wrap-up posts for some of the spots where we spent the most time, like the Black Hills. We will post overviews of the locations and what to do in each spot and such. Videos and pictures are on the way as well.
Flo-ridah is awesome, but it is a bit hot – much like Texas.
We made the trek from North Carolina down to Florida and it just kept getting hotter.
Harry Potter land is on the radar, but it apparently on the radar of everyone else as well.
Well, what a cool city this was. We spent five days here and have loads to say about this place.
We started out by caving at Diamond Caverns and ending up caving and camping at Mammoth Cave.
The Mammoth Cave campground is awesome, but DO NOT camp in the sites adjacent to the bath rooms.
We camped in site 12 and it was next to a bathroom and the light and noise was worse than expected.
The motion flood-lights are really bright and they ruin the camping experience.
We did not visit all 7 caves in the Bowling-Green area, but the two we checked out were the best we think.
We hit the Beech Bend amusement park in the middle along with quite a few other local stops.
The Kentucky Rumber is the bomb-diggitty and so was the tiltin-whirl!
Hand-breaded corn dogs and pretzels are hard to beat.
Michael Jackson used to own this.
Tilt-in Whirl - Just like at the state fair!
This city is really cool and has tons for us kids to do that does not cost an arm and a leg.
There are tons of local parks that are free and very kid friendly.
We had no idea that Indiana had 150+ foot tall sand dunes that you could hike and roll down, but boy do they. We spent a few hours at the Lake Michigan beach just playing in the sand, throwing rocks, and learning to be good polar bears. The water is freezing!
We scaled Mt. Baldy, the largest sand dune we have ever seen, and rolled down in fine fashion from the top – put all of this in a loop that repeats about 10 times and you have it. The place was really cool with lots of rocks, sticks, and dirt – the things boys like best.
We made it to Chicago and it was pretty cool as usual. We walked all over the zoo, biked along lake Michigan in the rain, and had some big old fat slices of pizza pie. Chicago-style stuff pizza is really hard to beat.
We wrapped up our stop here by visiting the most amazing museum in the world – the museum of Science and Industry. If you are ever in the Chicago area, you have to hit that museum. It is lots of walking, but there are tons of things to do and see. We were able to tour the U-505 – the German sub captured by the US in WWII. This was really cool and we have been talking about it for days! We saw a real Enigma machine!
Before we got to the park, hunger pains set in and we were looking for an eatery. The Root Beer Stand caught our eye. The Root Beer Stand is in Oglesby, Illinois which is not far from the park so we stopped there for some lunch on the way in. This place was the bomb diggity! The root beer is homemade ( we talked to the owner to get the scoop ) and has been made by hand for 50+ years. This place should be on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives ( hear that, Guy )! The food and drink was splendid! Ben says the root beer was the best in the world and he did not spill a drop – this coming from my brother who has spilled a drink in every single state he has ever visited – Scout’s honor! He spills every drink at every meal and is always surprised! We, on the other hand, always see it coming and try to appear surprised.
Root Beer Stand menu
Homemade Root Beer
We arrived at Starved Rock State Park and it was wet and muggy. We decided not to camp, as the rain was coming down all over the area and had been for several days. The humidity was high and water was everywhere already.
The Starved Rock State Park is located on the Illinois river and it is very pretty, with some amazing hiking trails (read more about that below). Our reserved campsite was covered in poison ivy and there were tornado warnings in the area, so we opted to wuss out and stay in a hotel for the night.
The hiking trails were awesome! There were boardwalks everywhere and some really cool waterfalls. Mom carried Wil in the backpack carrier until we got to the bottom of Wildcat Canyon, where all of us got into the water. He loves water, but since he can’t swim, we really had to watch him. Dad had to go into the water with his shoes on because Wil took off & fell into a hole; all we could see were his blond curls floating on top of the water until Dad grabbed his shirt and yanked him out of the water! Best of all, he was smiling and had his big fat grin on when he come up – what a monkey! We hiked through 5 different canyons and viewed waterfalls from so many different levels. We crossed paths with many deer & we even saw a mama deer with twin fawns. That was so cool!
Starved Rock View
The bad news on Starved Rock State Park is that the camping sites are across a road and not connected to the Visitor Center and hiking trails. You essentially have to drive to the hiking trails as you cannot get there from the campground. That was a bummer as well.
For supper, we drove our car across the parking lot, braving the hurricane-force winds & rain, to eat at…wait for it…the Cracker Barrel. Yes, a chain. It was raining & CB was close, please don’t pass judgment; you know you all love the games anyway.