With the weather warming and the flowers starting to bloom, there was no WAY I was staying home over the weekend-temps in the 80's and only a few hours of rain in the forecast. Matt already had Friday off, so we decided to make the most of it. Matt wanted to geocache and hike, I wanted to hike and see wildflowers and the kids wanted it to not be too boring while we did all of that.

I got in touch with Leighanne and she and her boys were free to meet us to hike on Friday, so off we went! I got us packed and ready Thursday and we went grocery and new-shoe shopping that evening before play rehearsals.

Friday morning we were up early and had the last items loaded, the animals stocked up and the camper hitched up. We arrived at Tim's Ford State Rustic Area around 10 a.m. and got set up in site 31 overlooking the lake. It was just across from the bathhouse and only a few sites away from the trail to the bridge that crossed the inlet we camped at.

A few good points: The park has a nice lake, you can fish sans license if you do so from the shores within the park. There is a marina with a snack bar for ice cream and burgers and such. The campground was packed, but with just a few exceptions, it was not too bad. Most of the sites were around a loop, so there was a little space between them-but not the first 10 or so, they were nearly parking spaces.

A few not-so-good: The quiet hours are not enforced, both nights our neighbors were up until after 1 a.m. chatting freely and shining flashlights right into our camper-which is not any thicker walled than a tent. The first night, some girl started screaming around midnight and did not shut up for 10 minutes. The people in site 32 opened their gray water tank the first night and let it flow across the road and right down the hill under our picnic table. The shower was NASTY, I am talking dirty walls and spider webs and mold and chipped plastic walls, there was no water pressure at all, over half the holes in the shower head were clogged and when anyone flushed-which a little girl did about 10 times while I was showering-the water went scalding hot. There was only one shower.

But, we were hardly there at all, just at night and we had the fan in the camper to drown out the bulk of the noise. Most people did observe quiet hours. Even the ones with flat-screen TV's on stands outside their campers.

As soon as we got set up, we shoveled in some lunch and hit the road to Short Springs Natural Area to meet Leighanne.

We got caught up while the kids played in the water at Busby Falls, then did a 2-mile loop, came back to Busby and wandered over to Machine Falls and the wildflower loop I planned the whole trip around seeing. It needed another week, maybe 2 to be peak, but it was worth the hike anyway. And that's saying something considering the climb out of the valley!

After our hike, we went to Taco Bell for a snack and to sit and chat a little longer. Then back to the camper for the night. Matt and I walked around the lake a little ways while Ben and Chan played at the campground playground with a big group of noisy and happy kids. After sunset we all found our way to the camper and had, well, taco salad for dinner and then off bed!

Wonder falls prey to the tail tree.
Every cat climbs this tree, sees her tail and nearly kills herself trying to grab it.

Mushrooms along the trail to Busby Falls at Short Springs Natural Area outside Tullahoma, TN

Chan cooling her jets in the very backlit and sunny waters!

Frogs!

The boys scoot up the falls.
Machine Falls
Short Springs

Quick dip at the base of the falls!

Yes, she can just flip upside-down at will.

Trail up!

Bloodroot

Toothwart

False Rue Anemone

Matt, me, Ben, Chan, Lucas and his cold, hard stare, Jake, Leighton and Leighanne

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That blue tarp is our camper!

Day Two