As we gear up for the big football game (the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal) between our alma mater UW (The University of Washington) and BAMA (Alabama), my husband reminded me of how we stopped in for a short visit to the U.W. campus last summer (2015) to show the kids what used to be our old stomping grounds for several years as we got our college degrees.
We arrived on a three-day holiday week-end and made a quick stop at the columns and borrowed the bus lane for a few quick moments— the campus police were nice to us that day as no Joe Metro (city bus) was running through there at that time. We wanted to dash across the street to show the kids the beautiful columns that once stood at the original University of Washington campus. Visiting on the holiday was a good thing in that it made it less congested to drive through the campus with our travel trailer. It also made it easy to park on campus as we took up several spaces. (We really don’t recommend coming thru campus with a big RV set up unless it’s on a holiday or day where classes are not in session.) I remember us drawing a lot of attention from the students who were on campus that day and thinking to myself, who would have thought all those years ago that we’d be driving thru campus with an RV loaded with kayaks and five kids on our way from Georgia!?! Crazy!
I had the original U.W. four pillars (shown above) on my graduation announcement. Funny how now, these four sons of ours represent what’s really important to me… they are the true pillars for the future…our best work.
The University of Washington has a gorgeous campus and it was fun to explore the places we once roamed. It was a bit surreal to take our children to places that existed in our lives before they were born, but I’m glad we did it. (Will have to take them again as the amazing Suzzallo Library’s Graduate Reading Room — one of the top 10 most beautiful libraries architecturally in the US — was closed the day we visited.)
It reminded me that it’s good to have roots. I know a lot of readers following us on this blog are drawn to the idea of freedom traveling and the open road — don’t get me wrong, there is a a lot of good that comes from traveling, but I’ve also found that roots are just as important. When we came home after being gone for 101 days, it felt WONDERFUL to have a home to come back to and rest. It felt WONDERFUL to have people say, “We missed you” and for that feeling to echo resonating in our own hearts. Yes, it’s great to explore and travel, but I have found that the people and friendships we have at home are the ones that carry us along as we go. Share your roots with your children and also be sure to give them roots for their future as well. I am thankful for those loved ones in both Seattle and Atlanta… we are doubly-blessed to have two places we can feel at home. Where do you call home?
Guntersville, Alabama (or Bass Capital as some call it) known for the pristine Lake Guntersville that frequently hosts the Bass Master Classic. It’s mid-November and our visit is a four-day stay. Lake Guntersville State Park is located along the banks of the Tennessee River in NE Alabama. The park overlooks the majestic 69,000-acre Guntersville Lake and ranges over more than 6,000 acres of natural woodlands and touts an 18-hole championship golf course. The Main Campground includes 321 improved campsites, a primitive camping area, bathhouse, playground and recreation area, and country store. All improved campsites have water and electrical hookups, picnic table, grill, and fire ring; some sections also have sewer hookups.
The moment we unhook, the boys grab their rods and hit the lake in hopes of getting something on their line. This is the second time we’ve camped at Lake Guntersville State Park. The last time was three years ago and we visited during the month of May. That trip was great, but only days after we broke camp and headed home a tornado hit the area and caused severe damage, closing the RV camp until restorations could be completed this year in May of 2013. It was a little sad to see the trees that once stood in this area are no longer around — it looks like a completely different park in some ways. If you do stay at this park in the spring months (April thru June), be sure to have a weather radio that automatically turns on and tune it to the area as tornadoes are not uncommon with spring storms. We prefer to visit late summer or fall for that reason.
I particularly love how I can look out my window and check on the boys fishing on the shoreline or dock. The sites are fairly close together which I am not too crazy about. They do include a fire pit, picnic table, and are a gravel parking surface. Our chosen space was not very level and required effort on our part to get it right. We have two doors on our travel trailer and the back door by the bathroom was a little high off the ground but more level by the main door. We did have full hook-up and that was convenient. Our nightly rate was $19 for full hook up + a 12% lodging tax surcharge. Sites are first come, but it is helpful to reserve in advance in case it fills during busier times of the year. The conference center is situated on the bluff and overlooks the Lake and RV park (see photo below). Some young trees have been planted, but none to offer shade or beauty yet.
We did some geocaching within the park. The first one was easy access, but the second one was a bit more intense and I wouldn’t advise it with little ones and no path. I feel a bit uncomfortable with four boys enthusiastically clamoring thru the woods — it puts my mama safety-senses into overdrive. The kids, of course, are oblivious to my silent concerns over poisonous snakes, falls that could cause a broken limb (of a child, not tree), or hunters that aren’t paying attention … and they climb over rocks and logs in the heat of the hunt for new-found treasure — the cache did not disappoint them. 😉