So today provided much food for thought and a realization that no matter how much you plan for an adventure, something will invariably be left out. The exploration today involved visiting two new places, The Bullhole River Park in Woodleaf NC and Hot Diggity Dogs and Ice Cream in Cooleemee NC and one place we’ve been to before, The Village Point Lake in Clemmons NC. Because of the multiple adventures, this blog will be a tad longer than others…and is split into two postings: one this rendition and one covering Lessons and Attraction Notes.
I had loaded the car the night before and that morning with items I thought we might need on the adventure: bug spray, suntan lotion, fishing rods and tackle, towels, folding chairs, outdoor nature bag (hmmm…will have to details contents at a later time), and iPads.
We headed out for a 30 minute drive to The Bullhole River Park stopping at The Sports Fisherman Center in Clemmons NC to pickup some night crawlers for fishing ($4). The drive was uneventful since I had given permission for the boys to play on the iPads. Was the ride there or back totally quiet? No. Between the “Are we there?” and Are we almost there?” questions which began after 15 minutes of drive time and song selections from the Disney Aladdin movie soundtrack, the time did pass quicker that you can say “The Bulllhole River Park.”
As I mentioned to keep this narrative “simple,” I have lumped a slew of lessons learned in the Lessons Learned section in a separate post. Let me just say here that “Pa” learned to perhaps visit some of the future sites solo (aka sans kids) in order to get a better handle on local logistics and things to bring… ‘nuff said.
Parking the car, making a quick trip to the restroom, and examining the posted map, we made our way down the trail to The Bullhole. As we walked, skipped and ran down the trail, the noise of the water falling over the dam became louder and louder. Exiting the woods we were met with a mound of sand in front of us, the falls to the left and the river coursing through the woods to the right. Seeing one fisherman gave us hope about catching something here.
Dumping our bags and nets, we donned on our ruggedized water. Unfortunately, Isaiah went to the right and Jeremiah went to the left and soon one or both boys were just around the corner and out of sight. Yikes! Isaiah, the Adventurous One, had perambulated (always wanted to use that term!) over to the riverside while Jeremiah, the Curious, went to the small stream. Seeing the rushing water and imagining flailing arms, I managed to convince Isaiah to join his brother at the small stream.
Looking under rocks and digging in the dirt yielded no creatures but they had fun looking for anything moving (except spider…no, definitely notcatching spiders). We climbed in the creek, along the shoreline, and over rocks and boulders, and soon Slip! Bang! Jeremiah was down and wet. I expected it and was only surprised it took as long as it did to occur. He was wet, shook up, and not happy but like all kids was soon digging and seeking again (when do we lose this “get back up on our feet, disregard the injury and get excited about the next thing” trait?). We climbed up large boulders and watched the water falling over the dam. Both boys were amazed at the sight and sound. Isaiah tossed a few sticks in and was shocked how fast they were sucked under and churned out. It was a good, self-taught way of illustrating caution when moving near the rushing water.
Walking along the shoreline our shoes squished through sand and mud and I could see the desire to jump into the water. Seeing how fast the current was moving, however, I made sure the boys stayed within a few feet from the shore especially since the bottom dropped quickly in some areas. I would have felt more comfortable had we brought life vests of some sort with us.
Asking the fisherman if he caught anything, he responded that he had caught a few fish. Isaiah wanted to go to the car and grab the rods right away. The trail to the car was uphill and I knew they would not make it to the car then back down…well, maybe Isaiah would have but not both boys. So they decided to literally dive into the sand pile.
Soon it was time to head back. Sitting on a bench outside the restrooms, we got cleaned up as best as possible considering a wash cloth and water bottles do not really do the job. Some scrapes needed mending, bandaids were applied, and clothes had to be changed.
Hot Diggity Dogs and Ice Cream
Soon we were in the car and headed to Cooleemee NC grab a bite at Hot Diggity Dogs and Ice Cream. Though they professed no hunger, I ordered hotdogs for all of us and was amazed at how fast they vanished and the ice cream consumed.
Village Point Lake
We did stop at the Village Point Lake in Clemmons NC to do a bit of fishing and Isaiah managed to catch 4 small bluegills. Jeremiah and I? We tried but no luck. Jeremiah tossed rocks and examined the night crawlers.
Getting back to the house, it was time for baths and showers to get rid of the remaining fine sand that lingered on….everything. We were exhausted but it was a good day with lots of lessons along the way. I suppose if you try this type of trip (Bullhole and food afterwards), you may want to find a play to hose the sand off (if there was a place at the parking lot/picnic shelter, we missed it).
Bait cost $4 and lunch was $12.50 (hot dogs, drinks and ice cream) so not a very expensive adventure. Of course, there is the unwritten cost of the time to get from here to there and the gasoline used to drive around.
But adventuring with kids and gkids? Priceless…