Monday, February 21, 2011

What goes up, must come down.

The kids were off of school for President's day, so of course we had to make the most of it!  We went to our favorite Atlanta hot spot- Stone Mountain!  Not much was open today, since it is actually a Monday in February and it isn't really a busy day for them.  We decided that the best use of our time would be to hike to the top!
It is about 1.3 miles, and most of the way up is a gentle, easy slope.  It does get steep right at the end, just to make you feel like you are going to die getting a good workout.  It really is such a unique place to go. 

The kids loved it.  Abigail made me promise to never do this again.  Jack told me he wished he could quit and just give up forever.  Aidan was all for it, except that he really would have rather been in his bed sleeping.  At least I picked an activity we would all enjoy!  Makes me feel really successful...

We did actually make it to the top!  I love this picture!  It has all of us except my Dad, who was snapping the photo, 2 year old Aaron who was not sitting for a picture, and if you look carefully you can see Carter crouched down behind the bench! 
Once at the top we tried a new activity- letterboxing!  I heard about it from a friend of mine.  Basically, people hide little boxes with a stamp and a notebook inside.  They leave the clues on letterboxing.org, and you can look them up to find some in your area.  Apparently Stone Mountain has the highest concentration of letterboxes anywhere! 

First we followed the fence for a while, then found a "fence hallway", counted fence posts, walked 25 paces... and figured out the rest of the clues pretty easy!

It was super exciting when we found where one was hidden!  I wasn't quite sure it would actually work!

We stamped their book, and used their stamp for our papers... had to prove we were there!  The funniest part was telling the kids to try and be secretive.. not gonna happen with that crew!  Luckily my niece thought of a secret identity for us- we were posing as tourists from D.C., so I'm pretty sure no one caught on!  ;)

The next one was a little disappointing.  We found the spot pretty easily, but the actual box was gone.  I'm sure we were in the right space, because we found a geocache that the instructions said was in the same hole, but our letter box was no where to be found.
The third one took us around the back of the mountain- we had never been over there before, so that was interesting.  And, this one was easy to find and was still there... can you see it in the hidey hole?
All in all, it made for a pretty fun adventure at the top of our beloved Stone Mountain. 

The hike down was much easier, especially when we stopped for lunch.  I love this shot- it shows so clearly the big chunk of granite that you walk on, along with the views.  If you look closely, you can see the Atlanta skyline in the view. 
At the very bottom, we looked for one last letterbox.  We did find it, but it was no longer intact- it was just an empty box with no lid, stamp or book to be found.  At least we know we were in the right spot!  We will definately be letterboxing again, and the kids were talking about making one that we could hide, so we might try that as well!

2 comments:

the Villamor's said...

isn't it so disappointing when you find the hiding spot and the box is gone!!! you can post a message on letterboxing.org and the owner of the box should replace it! next time we will look for the ones on top of the mtn-there are so many in SM it was hard to choose which ones to do!

Cecilee said...

Sounds really fun!