Category Archives: Nature

The Squirrel's Nest!

The Squirrel’s Nest!

Last week was Spring Break for my son. He’s 13 and this was the first year we were celebrating without my daughter, who joined the military last fall. He usually tries to spend the week with his dad, but that wasn’t able to happen this year. So, what to do with a teenage son for an entire week out of school?

I decided to take a trip back in time. (Well, for me anyway!)

As a teenager, I took several trips up to the mountains of north Georgia to Unicoi State Park. They have an interesting camping area there known as the Squirrel’s Nest. It is every bit as adventurous¬†as it sounds. I remembered how much I used to enjoy those trips as a youth and thought it would be a great opportunity for some good mother-son bonding time.

In some ways, the place is exactly the same as I remembered from all those years ago. The bathrooms and showers are every bit as (ahem) charmingly rustic as I remember. And the platforms themselves were exactly the same.

However, I noticed some changes that I hadn’t expected. There was now a huge fire pit in the small canyon that hadn’t been there years before. The stairs had been improved over the years. And, there seemed to be more camping areas in the surrounding vicinity which generated more foot traffic. These were changes anyone would have noticed.

But, there were other changes as well. For instance, I didn’t remember the parking lot being five miles away up a painfully steep hill. I didn’t remember the wood flooring of the platform being that hard and unforgiving. I didn’t remember wanting to fall over from exhaustion after unloading the truck. I realized very quickly that I should spend less time thinking about exercise and more time increasing my stamina.

John and I at the base of Anna Ruby Falls.

John and I at the base of Anna Ruby Falls.

I also realized how much I missed the tranquility of nature. She definitely offers a healing power like none other. There is something inherently calming about ditching your computer and trekking through the mountain trails for a few days. We’ve already made a list of things to do when we return during the summer. (10 mile Smith Creek Trail at Anna Ruby Falls here we come!)

But the greatest thing of all was spending a few days with my favorite guy. Nothing on earth is better than that!

Wishing everyone a wonderful day,

Cheers!