Relax, Recreate and Rejunvenate
We are getting brownie points with the wives because the guys are taking the kids to the Uwharries for some fun, relaxation, recreation and rejuvenation for us and for the wives back home! (This itinerary also works with the wives going.)
9am - 10am
We are old college buddies coming from various places like Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston Salem and Raleigh, so we don’t have to leave too early to get to the Uwharrie area by 9am. Like everyone else, we choose to meet at the Eldorado Outpost on Highway 109. www.eldoradooutpost.com It is very visible, has tons of parking and has virtually every item anyone could need if you forgot something. We’ll grab breakfast and supplies there before heading on.
The campsites are just down the road and plentiful to choose from. They range from primitive tent camping (virtually anywhere in the Uwharries) to full service campsites with RV hook ups showers, electricity, grills and water spigots to campsites in between. www.recreation.gov or 877 444-6777 There are even some really nice campsites for those with horses and trailers! This weekend with the kids, we opted for tent camping near showers and bathrooms. Heck, there are even cabins and lodges right in the forest for to rent! www.uwharriecabins.com or 800 516-2309
Tents are up and supplies are secured. Rather than the direct route, we take a little scenic nature hike along a waterway back to the vehicles. www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-uwharrie-national-forest-hiking-sidwcmdev_066372.html Once there, we unload the mountain bikes and choose one of the easier trails. There are more than 22 miles of dedicated biking trails for all skill levels. www.uwharrietrails.org/trails.cfm The kids are having a blast and the guys are too. We take a break to eat a snack and grab some drinks before mounting up to ride a bit more.
We are back at the campsite. The nature walk and bike ride were great. We’re going to eat some sandwiches and rest in the hammocks for a bit and then head out to pan for gold! That’s right. More than 30 gold mines were active in Montgomery County in the 1890’s producing gold that at today’s prices would be worth more than $65 million. The Outpost sells the tools for panning and a worker even showed us the technique for panning along the Uwharrie River.
2:30 - 4:30pm
We walk down to the river and pan. We found some really neat rocks and frogs and turtles. No quitting our day jobs as we didn’t find a gold nugget on this trip, but we had lots of fun. We skipped some rocks and we brought the fishing poles which proved to be more fruitful. Almost everyone caught something and some were big enough to have for dinner!
The kids brought back some neat rocks they found and played with those while bragging about catching the fish that we are going to cook for supper. They are already telling fish stories while we clean and cook the fish and the rest of supper on one of the campsite grills.
8pm - 9pm
After dinner we roast marsh mellows and make s’mores. The tall tales about the size of the fish are getting bigger. Who knew Moby Dick was in the Uwharries? We just thought it was Bigfoot. As we settle in for the night after some ghost stories, we heard something amazing. No, not the sound of silence or crickets. It was one of the kids. She said, “I just realized I don’t have my ipad and I don’t miss it a bit!” Now that was music to our ears. What a peaceful easy feeling!
9am - 1pm
After breakfast, the kids thought we would ride bikes and then head home. We had a surprise for them. We did take a short bike ride, but once at the car, we drove to a nearby place that rents kayaks and canoes. www.uwharriehoofandpaddle.com/location.html or www.bluewayoutfitters.com What a blast rowing on Badin Lake. The grownups did most of the rowing, but the kids took some turns and we all had fun. We took a cooler so when we saw a little island, we rowed to it and had our lunch there. The small island was like a book coming to life for the kids. It was as if they had discovered America.
The worst part of the trip is saying goodbye. It is great catching up with my friends and I’m so glad that our children of varying ages can be friends too. Knowing that my children have some good solid people as friends is important. It is also nice going on a trip and not having to drive so long. We are back before supper!
Looking forward to next month when the wives come. When they hear these stories, they’ll know they will enjoy it too!