Sunday, April 4, 2010

Our first camping trip of the year

We left Wednesday morning for our very first camping trip of the year! The 'Gem Mining' bug bit the kids. Well, Bobby too, for that matter. It was his idea to go after all. We went gem mining for the first time a couple years ago and had a blast. The kids were SO excited about going back!

Here we are about to leave for Hiddenite, NC.

Random pictures from the drive.

That can't be legal!
(He's on a lawnmower in the back of a truck going down the highway)

Hiddenite Family Campground
We got to the campground around 9:30 pm EST. The owner met us at our vehicle and walked us to our site. He was very helpful. We even got a pull through site. Woot!

Before we left for the mine, I walked to the creek to get a few shots.

Cody found 'treasure' before we ever left the campground:)

We saw this wild turkey

Emerald Hollow Mine
Hiddenite, NC

We decided to try our hand at digging in their mine to find our own treasure this time. It turns out the 'mine' where you can dig, is really just the side of a mountain. You carry your shovels and buckets approximately 400 yards, fill the buckets with dirt and carry the HEAVY buckets back out....not really that much fun. Oh, and there are holes everywhere! Watch your step! Cody actually fell in one!

I walked down the mountain to see the creek, which was very beautiful...but the trek back up the mountain wasn't so much fun.

Cody and his new favorite rock.

After one trip to the mine and back, we decided to just buy the buckets provided for people who don't want to carry heavy ass buckets of dirt us.

Sluicing our first buckets

The kids trying to pick up the 5 gallon bucket of dirt.

Here's my loot from the first day

and my hand. I may never get the red clay out from underneath my nails:)

In the Lapidary

Back at the campsite, Bobby and Cody started the fire so we could cook the meat I had marinating for a couple days. Yum!

Cody collecting leaves for the fire.

He wanted to burn the Mountain Dew package because the last time he did, it looked like a chimney.

While the boys were with the fire and cooking the meat, Britney and I walked around the campground.

They have a petting zoo with miniature horses, goats, bunnies, hogs and a horse.

Brit, down by the creek

Back for dinner.

We had the roast, with salad and then on to the really important stuff...


I LOVE this picture!

The next morning in the camper before heading out for the day.

We went to the Hiddenite Museum, but they were closed since it was Good Friday.

We then decided to make the drive to Troutman, NC to visit Lake Norman State Park.

We walked the short trail and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Skipping rocks

We headed back to the camper for lunch and some playground time.

Back at the mine for a couple more buckets.

Britney's emeralds!

The guy in the Lapidary goes through your bag and identifies everything for you. He told Bobby that he had the nicest emerald he had seen all day. His exact words were "I'd put that in my pocket if I were you."

One tuckered out man!

Cooking hot dogs over the fire for dinner.

Back to the important stuff! Man! I love me some s'mores:)

ONE of the sacrificial marshmallows. I swear we should buy them a bag just to burn:)

The sunrise yesterday morning. Awesome!

We left the campground, stopped at McDonald's for breakfast, and hit the road.

We saw a mountain lion that had been hit by a car just outside Gastonia, NC!

We fell victim to the countless billboards promoting Abbot's Farm. We stopped and I'm really glad we did. They had all kinds of cool things.

Cody liked all the fireworks.

They gave free samples of a variety of different products. Here's Brit tasting the peach cider. A half gallon came home with us.

We were in awe of the HUGE $500 fireworks package!

Hee Hee

Cody trying a boiled peanut for the first time. He's not a fan. He said it tasted like beans.

I took this picture as Bobby was filling up. Georgia will give ANYONE a license.


  1. Looks like a wonderful trip ~ the sluicing looks really fun and you had some beautiful "finds". So glad you guys had great weather & a great trip! Can't wait to hear more.

  2. I am so glad you got to go camping. Did you like the bigger camper? Looks so fun!

    We miss you all!
    K/K <3

  3. We LOVE the camper and had a great time:)
    We miss you guys, too!

    Love you!


Where we've been as a family