Rock Island 2017

Rock Island is a Tennessee State Park located southeast of Nashville. It’s about a 2-hour drive from downtown. Alex and I have made a couple trips to local waterfalls so far and each has been a blast. It’s incredible to me that Tennessee features so many waterfalls. According to (a geological study from the University of Tennessee), there are 659 waterfalls in the state. Not all of these are State Parks, but it speaks to the landscape of Tennessee.

We knew ahead of time maintenance was being done on the river. This would mean that some of the better trails would be closed, we decided to make the trip anyway. We started with an overlook at great falls. Even though we couldn’t venture into the gorge, it was incredible to see the great falls with the Dam wide open.

From there we ventured to the opposite side of the river to the downstream trail. We were hopeful that we might get some good scenery from there; not to mention, we had promised Ian he could throw rocks into the waterfall. Once we started down the trailhead, we found a small path that led to the river. We decided to venture down rather than hike the entire downstream trail. The hike was only about 1/5 mile, however, it was very rocky and steep. This makes hikes a little difficult with a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old. We let Ian do much of the hiking on his own, he was a champion. We captured a few good pictures while on this path. Luckily we ran into a few others to take our picture.

From here, we had to do some actual climbing to get to the river. It’s difficult to tell in the picture above, but we were still about 20ft above the water line. Luckily we were able to find a series of rocks that shaped stairs (of sorts). Ian finally got to throw his rocks!

While throwing rocks, Alex spotted a snake right beside her and Ian! I happened to be taking a video at the time. If you look just to the left of Alex when I’m moving the camera, you can barely make out the snake. She was very close to it!

We didn’t get a good look so we assumed the worst (something poisonous), we decided to get Ian and Clara as far away as quickly as possible. We hiked back up the trail. Ian was a rock star, he got all the way out with little to no help at all!

Overall it was a fun trip. Short, but fun. We plan on making another trip out once the better trails are opened back up.

Growing up

Our neighborhood features a small family pool not far from our house. While we’ve talked about going, we’d never made the commitment until this past weekend. Ian has a new fascination with water; partly due to a small pool Alex set up for him. It’s a fun way to be outside and cool off during the summer. The water is only about 7 inches deep which means the only thing Ian can do is splash around, usually on Clara.
On Saturday we finally decided to make a trip to the pool and see how both kids liked it. I’m surprised to report that Ian is terrified of water. This is interesting to me because we’ve never warned him about water. Other things (such as fire or knives) we stress how dangerous they are. If you’ve ever been around Ian, you’ve likely heard him say “fire hot!” “fire hot!” or ask “knife super very dangerous?” at least once. He understands that these things are dangerous because of how often we remind him.
His fear of water is interesting to me because he’s never displayed a fear of anything we didn’t warn him about. In other words, we have taught him what he should be afraid of up to this point in his life. This fear of water (a healthy fear, I might add) has been deduced by him completely. He alone came to the outcome that water can be dangerous. I’ve pondered this a bit since Saturday, the conclusion I’ve come to is that Ian is growing up. It’s funny how what I thought of “growing up” and what it actually ends up being are two different things.
After a lot of encouragement and support, I was able to convince Ian to get in the big pool with me. After he got used to it, he enjoyed it. He even let me hold him out, by his arms only for a bit! I’m planning to make a few extra trips to the pool this summer. With a bit of luck, I’ll get him to try going underwater!