Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Rivers and Roads

Our ambition for the summer was to spend as much time in the great outdoors, specifically in rivers, as possible. So we took off in our trusty Pathfinder's {final} expedition for a month-long road trip. We were all over the place visiting all kinds of dear friends and family; it was busy and chaotic...just how we like it. What can we say, we're funpackers at heart. 
Ultimately this trip resulted in arrant gratefulness for the middle of this beautiful country and all it has to offer. I know we used to live there; maybe we didn't take enough time to explore back then. We're sure glad we took the time to enjoy it now! Eight rivers later, we are feeling full.

First stop on the road trip and river #1: Ginnie Springs in the Santa Fe River



 Swimming the Devil's Eye. 


Quick stop in Maryville, TN to see our friends from CO.

Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN

Laurel Falls

The only ones willing to get up early for a 7am hike to Laurel Falls. Also, the only ones who got to see a bear cub, BOOM!

The whole Canaday gang whitewater rafting on the Pigeon River (river #2.)

This one adores horses! Horseback riding tour in the Smokys. 

He's always got a stunt up his sleeve, am I right?!

Bear #2 waltzing through town near our mountain home. 

Mountain biking trail for Graham and Daniel. 

BEST rapids Ever on the Little River (river #3.) 


Siblings happy hour on the town. Fatlinburg for the win!

After Gatlinburg, we road tripped over to Lake of the Ozarks for Nonni & Papa's anniversary party. Here are the cousins cheesin' it up at the photo booth. 
Happy 4th of July, Y'all! 

River day with the cousins and Grandma/Grandpa on the Niangua (river #4.) This photo was taken just moments before an angry, child abusing hillbilly totaled our Pathfinder. 

Daniel doing Daniel things. 

The Enloe/Canaday/Rockley crew. 

Boat day with Nonni and Papa. 

The great Rockley/Thibodeau slip n' slide kickball game. Painful, but awesome. 

It's super rare that we are all in one place, but here it is, folks! The Rockley/Thibodeaus!

It's like high school all over again, but now we're old AF. 


Boat day with Grandma and Grandpa. 

So we left the kids with Grandma and Grandpa and spent three days on the Buffalo River in Arkansas (River #5) with our old buddy, Michael. With all of our gear and food packed onto two paddleboards and a kayak, we set off on a 21 mile trip into the wild. Canoe think of a better way to spend a summer weekend? Kayaktually can't. RIP, my favorite sunglasses. 

As much as we love seeing family, this crazy beautiful river was the highlight of our trip! 

Got a little excited to be on the river. Enjoyed some beer/whiskey, only covered a few miles on our first day. Cheers! 

That was "in-tents!" First night camping spot at Jim's Bluff. Torrential downpour washed away my sunglasses and potentially two foot sub sandwich; Graham says I left it outside and the coons got it. I guess we'll never know. Nuts and dried fruit for lunch never hurt anyone. 


Jim's Bluff brings out the best in everyone. Love these guys. Love this spot!

Hemmed in Hollow was a roarin' from the aforementioned torrential downpour. What a treat.

"We hid for days like a proud pair of thieves." 
Second night camping spot. 

The bluffs here are mind blowing!

We gained a new appreciation for Missouri beer on this trip. Thank you, Colorado, for the beer snobbery you instilled in us. 


After the Buffalo River Trip and a couple days to recoup in an Airbnb in Springfield, MO, we met up with Booma/Boompa and Grandma/Grandpa for a few day's camping at Echo Bluff State Park. 

Nice little canoe trip on the Current River (River #6.)

Explorer Graham.

A nice bubbling spring on the Current River with Boompa and Denali.

Crazy River Rats. 

I'll tell you a little story about using inflatable paddleboards (inflated with an air compressor) as sleeping mats in your tent: you think, "what a brilliant idea!" It's not.

Sinking Creek (River #7.) Paddleboards and cliff jumping...not a bad day. 

Paddleboards. All day, every day. 


Grandma and Grandpa did pretty well for their first ever canoe trip! 

Climbing and riding the waterfall slides at Johnson Shut-Ins. 

Johnson Shut-Ins is part of the Black River (River #8.)


We left our babies in St Louis for a few days while we drove back to Florida. We missed them something fierce and were happy to welcome them back at the airport. 






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