We were supposed to go to the beach with the Kruegers over the weekend and the beginning part of this week, but we opted instead for a day trip to Sliding Rock. I am so glad we did. It ended up being my favorite Summer Bucket List item so far! Sliding Rock is a natural waterfall you are allowed to slide down and land in 7 to 8 foot deep water. All of us went down it, even Molly. Though Molly and Ryan decided once was more than enough. (I have videos of them going down, and will post them later). I even went down holding hands with Chad...though I probably should have held my nose closed instead.
Although Andrew can swim, the current at the bottom is very strong, so we made him wear his life jacket...much to his dismay.
But it didn't stop him from going down the slide for 2 hours straight. He definitely went down way more than anyone else.
And he loved it!
After their traumatic plunge into the icy cold water, Molly and Ryan chose to wade in the stream below and collect rocks.
Andrew and Rachel had a water fight.
Molly played pretend with her Aunt Emily.
We left the sliding rock area to have a cookout. We found a nice picnic area very close by. What we did not know when we chose this place to eat was that it was also next to part of the river we could wade in.
We changed back into our swimsuits and let the children wade in the water. Then we heard people laughing and splashing right over the hill. We waded across the stream and over the hill to find a hidden deep pool of water in the middle of the river, deep enough to swim in and deep enough to DIVE IN!
Andrew and Chad climbed up the side of the cliff.
They stood on top, and my heart skipped a beat when my 45 pound 7 year old plunged feet first off the cliff. It was somewhere between 8-10 feet high.
Then he did it again.
And again...and again...over and over, he couldn't get enough of the thrill.
Then...my little 5 year old climbed up the cliff with his daddy and wanted to jump in.
And he did it! And I am pretty sure my heart skipped more than one beat.
And then he wanted to do it again. (And somehow, both times I caught Chad's feet right on top of the water. It is actually over 7 feet deep where they were jumping in, but it looks like they are just hopping across the water, the way I snapped the pictures). I was really proud of Ryan. He was very scared once he got to the top and saw how far down it was. He wanted to back out. But he jumped in and then was willing to try again. Way to go Ry-guy!
Aunt Rachel and Emily jumped multiple times, too. I have video of both of them, but only pictures of Rachel. Not sure how that happened, sorry Emily.
Andrew wanted to jump with his dad and Rachel all holding hands. I told him I didn't think that was a safe idea, so he just held his dad's hand. As they jumped, Andrew fell backwards and ended up landing very awkwardly and painfully in the water.
Through my camera lens and perspective it looked as if his head had hit the rock, I am pretty sure my heart stopped then. Luckily they had cleared the rock. It took a little while for him to catch his breath and want to try again.
But he did. And I was so proud of him for doing something that he was scared to do, after he had been hurt. Andrew is one tenacious kid who never gives up!
Molly asked to jump off the cliff, but I said no. So she happily splashed and swam in the river until time to go home.
There are not very many destinations that I feel worthy of 7 hours in the car in one day, but this was well worth it! I cannot wait to go back again, although I hope next time we camp and stay a little longer.