Lover Boy's Birthday Weekend

As I mentioned in my last post, it was Lover Boy’s birthday this past weekend. Birthdays around here are a big deal and we always try to do something extra special for each one of them. This year was kind of an extra special one because this is the last twenty-something birthday Lover Boy will have. That’s right, he turned 29. Yikes! (just kidding…kind of 😉 )

Anyway, we (the kids, dogs and I 🙂 )decided to surprise him with a weekend camping get-a-way in the mountains. I found Jones Gap State Park and knew immediately this was the perfect place!

1. You had to hike in to your camp…meaning your car is far far away from you!

2. Our campsite was right on the water of the Middle Saluda River

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

3. The River was a great place for fly fishing

4. There are 50 miles of hiking trails that you can venture on right from our campsite

5. They had one site left when I called for reservations!

Here are some panoramic shots from our tent (which the kids bought for Father’s Day, we have outgrown our other one and it’s not always convenient to take our pop-up camper).

Hanging out at camp
Middle Saluda River
Nothing around
This is the path leading down to our campsite from one of the main hiking trails

Not a soul in sight! Really neat, yet kind of freaky at night! Since we were in Black Bear Country we were not able to leave any food, toiletries, diapers, etc in or around the tent at night. After we would cook our meals, we had to hike all of the food and cookware back to the car (OK, Lover Boy did. I stayed in the tent with the kids!) One of my last minute throw into the car items was this turtle that Lover Boy’s brother bought for Laughing Coyote for his 1st birthday. Let me tell you, I made sure Mr. Turtle was glowing all night long! It was perfect! I recommend everyone and anyone buy one of these before you go on a tent camping trip! A great night light! Amazing! Thanks Uncle Rob!

Our first hike we went on was to Rainbow Falls. It is a 5.3 mile, 1,000 foot incline hike. I carried Laughing Coyote in my new Boba Carrier front/back carrier (which by the way is AWESOME!! Perfect for my size and is sooo comfortable, highly recommend!) as well as held on to Harley and Bella Rose. Lover Boy had Little Finch on his back in his Kelty Carrier and Lovie, who by the way did great! She walked a ton but was carried when we were crossing big rocks or deep water. She’s such a determined teeny tiny 7 pound Miniature Daschund!

Trail to get to the falls...crazy, huh?
Go on! You can do it, hike up this last bit and then you'll get to that beautiful waterfall in the distance!
This one makes me laugh...we had just gotten to the top, the dogs were tired as evidenced by their sloppy tongues and the kids look dead...they were passed out sleeping. Great family photo, I think I will have it blown up and hung in the family room! 😉
Top of Rainbow Falls - Lover Boy, Little Finch, Harley, Bella Rose & Lovie
Laughing Coyote, me and the doggies

We did this whole hike top to bottom, 5.3 miles in just under 2.5 hours. We were cruising because of our fast pace setter, Harley. He was just soooo excited! We spent a good amount of time at the top chatting, snacking and taking pictures with fellow hikers. On the way down I snapped over 100 pictures.

The next day we chose to hike Jones Gap Falls Trail which was 3 miles. Here are some shots from that hike:

Jones Gap Falls
Typical daddy...
Just a little closer...
All worth it!
My loves!
All 7 of us!

Lover Boy also spent a little bit of time Fly Fishing!

Two sweet kiddos in the trunk while we load up (yes Little Finch's hair naturally curled like that...soooo jealous!)
Goof ball with a mouth full of tootsie rolls and her groovy head light! haha

We had such a great time and definitely recommend going to Jones Gap State Park if ever in the area! We loved it!

Camping recipes to come tomorrow! 🙂


*Little Sparrow


  1. Jennifer Ward-Pelar says:

    Your camping spot looked like heaven. I cannot believe you two hike with those babies on your back! That is so hard-core! I love it!
    I also can’t believe he hiked all the way back to the car to leave the cooking/food stuff. What a great man!
    I want to be like that when we have a kid!

  2. Looks like a wonderful trip! beautiful pictures! We really want to do a hiking/camping trip with Lily and the dogs- Do the dogs sleep in the tent with you? How far did you have to hike/carry everything to get to your site? I need to figure out the logistics of making this happen. 🙂

    1. Hey Nicki! Yes the dogs sleep in the tent with us! They do great! Our site was about 250-300 meters (sorry I can only relate things to track distances!) So it wasn’t too bad, but definitely a challenge when you have two little kids and three dogs! Since we had to bring our own table and chairs, etc we had to bring quite a lot of stuff. So we had the bag roof top carrier full and Clayton just carried that so it cut down on trips. Plus we had our rear hitch rack full with 4 rubbermaid bins. That really helped on getting things there as well. ….With all of that said not a whole lot stayed at the tent with us though because of bear precautions.
      You should definitely go! It’s soo much fun!
      p.s. while going through the boxes I have put off since the move I found some Indian Princess stuff and found a newsletter called “Tamaroa Smoke Signals” …so cute!

  3. Laura Ingalls Gunn says:

    This was probably the best gift you could give him! Love some of those trails. Thank you so much for linking up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.