Red Bud Valley Adventure

Well we had planned to go to the fair again today.  But then I realized the tickets the kids got at school didn't work on Saturday.  So we expected big tears when we asked the kids about going on a hike instead.  To our surprise we got big cheers so we went with it.

It had been a little over two years since we had hiked the cliffs of Red Bud Nature Center so we headed back.  It was slightly muddy since it rained last night but not too bad.  The kids (and we grownups) had so much fun climbing over rocks and looking into tiny caves.  We only saw one snake but that put an end to exploring the caves.

The area around there reminds me of north Arkansas and it is just beautiful!  There is really no other place like this (that I know of) around this part of Oklahoma.  If you haven't ventured out here then you should!

And just for fun let's please take a moment to notice how much these kids have grown!
Take a trip down memory lane...Caroline had only been home 2 months (and I'm sure had no idea what we were doing or why!?!) and Luke was only 2!

A Dove Limit

It was totally spur of the moment decision that turned into what Grant will call one of his best dove hunts in years.  We had nothing going on Saturday evening and a house full of energetic kids.  It's dove season and Grant took the boys last weekend and had a great time.  Knowing that I thought maybe we could all go and if nothing happens it wouldn't be so bad.  You couldn't beat the weather that night and Caroline had never gone hunting of any type (actually neither had I).
 I've been to deer camp a number of times when I just had Savannah and Jack but I had never seen Grant actually shoot anything so I thought it would be fun to go.  Grant told me we didn't have to be super still or quiet so that confirmed our decision to load up.

We drove a few hours down the turnpike to Praque, OK where Grant's dad grew up.  I love to hear the stories of Grant as a boy running wild around there fishing in the ponds, driving tractors and trucks, and just being all boy out there in the wild.  We didn't get much past the gate when Grant and Jack spotted some doves.

We set up near some tall grass and sunflowers me with my camera and Grant with his gun.  We weren't even really settled when a few flew overhead and Grant got busy shooting.  Savannah talked Grant into moving a little ways down the gravel driveway so we could all see and he could shoot over both pastures.  It turned out to be a great choice!

After the gun stops firing the kids started running!  Who could find the dove first.  Not one of them was scared to touch it. All of them were proud to bring it back to what Luke was now calling "the pile"!

After Grant thought he shot the limit the kids ran off to climb on the hay bales.  After questioning the limit number we looked online and saw that it was 15 so even with the kids walking on hay bales in the distance in one pasture Grant still managed to shoot 5 more.

The kids lined them up and counted them.  We were there 3 hours but there was so much action it went by so quickly.  A beautiful sunset and we were packed up and headed back to Tulsa.

As Luke says in the video we will eat them for our food!  Sometime this week we will have dove poppers!  So so good!

All in all I think we will do this again....maybe we will try a family duck hunt one day.  But I'm going to need some serious winter gear to do that!

2017 Dawkins Vacation Day One

Well we survived the trek out to Colorado!  Yay!  

We woke up to Father's Day 2017 gave some sweet gifts to their Daddy then headed to the Museum of Natural History.  And they talked about it for days...  the boys loved the bones!

Smokey Valley Campground (Spring Creek)

Yesterday we went and played in the creek.  When we packed up we had lots of tears and threats of "get in this car now"!  The kids just didn't want to leave.

The fun of the creek is that there truly is an adventure around every corner which makes you want to keep going but at some point you have to go back to where you left your stuff.  Which is when the tears and attitudes started.  But we were out of food so those attitudes weren't going to get any better with more time no matter how much they begged.

The things needed for a great day at the creek are intertubes, googles (to see the fish below), nets (catching fish), and a bucket to collect your fish/crawfish, and the most important would be water shoes.  The bottom of this creek is rocky but also can be slippery and shoes help.

After lots of fishing and a picnic lunch we started down the creek. For most of the creek the kids could touch even Luke (our 4 year old). For quite a bit it was only ankle deep.

We found a great log to jump off of.  The water below had carved out a deep hole.  All the kids put on their brave faces and jumped.

A round the next bend we found the "roaring rapids" the water was only calf deep but it went fairly fast.  The "ride" was awesome even Mama rode down much to the delightful laughter of the kids!

All in all a great afternoon in 100 degree heat!  The water comes from a spring and it is COLD.  So it felt great in the heat of the day.

The campground is priced a little high but it does provide safe and legal access to the creek so we paid it.  $5 for adults $3 for kids.  Everyone else there was very family friendly and there to enjoy the creek so we appreciated that atmosphere.
A good ride home.  Our middle kids.  Love this!

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