Impromptu field trip – Boone’s Cave Park

We woke up one Monday morning and went through our regular morning routine. As we sat down to do school I opened up our history binder to quickly glance over what we’d be learning about throughout the week. (If it were the beginning of the school year I would have already prepped and read through all the material over the weekend. That’s too much effort at this point. . .)

Daniel Boone. Hmm… I remembered that he was a pioneer but not much else. We started reading a brief biography on him and learned that he spent much of his life in North Carolina. North Carolina? IN OUR BACKYARD?!

Well, not technically our backyard. Metaphorically in our backyard, which could be the Carolinas and southern Virginia.

We Google Mapped the location and a crazy idea came upon all three of us at the same time.

We should drive there! TODAY! N-O-W!

I briefly balked at the idea since the first site we would want to visit was 2.5 hours away. The next site was an hour past that, and the third site was maybe an hour past that. Isn’t this flying a little too much by the seat of my pants? Do normal people just do this sort of thing. BUT, then I remembered that I want to do more ROADSCHOOLING. More adventure. More learning by doing and not just sitting in the house. And no one could ever accuse me of being normal. Ahem.

“Get in the car, girls!” (I ran upstairs and quickly put on make up. And appropriate pants.)

The girls did their other schoolwork in the car. And I didn’t mind the drive. I love driving, especially down country roads, and especially when there aren’t slow tractors or elderly drivers who don’t drive above 30MPH. We didn’t see a single tractor or elderly driver.

Our first stop was Boone’s Cave Park.

Boone's Cave Park sign

We’re here!

One of the great things about visiting tourist attractions during the week (or off-season, even) is that there tends to be no one else there. Homeschooling is great for that.

Rock monument for Boone

At the rest area

walking through the woods

Woodsy Walk

Bloodroot sign

Bloodroot grows here. (Bloodroot is also one of my favorite books, written by Amy Greene.)

We walked down a winding path through the woods and could tell we were getting closer to water. ((We could totally survive in the wilderness. Except for the bugs. And the lack of food. And the lack of fresh water.)) We rounded a corner, right along the water, and walked right up on the cave.

Boone's Cave entrance

Boone’s Cave

If the Boones lived in that cave while they were building their house, I feel very sorry for them. It was pretty tiny. On second thought, we would not be able to survive in the wilderness. I guess, when your house is a tiny cave that you can’t even stand up straight in, you spend most of your days outdoors. . . where you learn to hunt and survive in the wild. I’ve always said God knew what He was doing when He placed me in the 20th/21st centuries.

Inside Boone's Cave

She’s so cute stooping.

There aren’t signs posted giving any information about the cave. It looks like they just replaced some of the wooden steps leading back up to the parking lot, so perhaps they’re going to put up some info signs soon. Fortunately, I had cell service and could Google it. We weren’t even sure we were at the right cave, but pictures on the internet confirmed that. Because you can trust everything you read on the internet.

Cactus flower at the rest area

Flowering (back at the rest area)

Our next stop was an hour away at Shallow Ford. It’s a narrow part of the Yadkin River where the Boone’s FORDED the river. What’s so cool, is that it’s also the place of a skirmish (go Whigs!) and where Lord Cornwallis crossed during the Revolutionary War. WHAT. I love history.

Shallow Ford of Yadkin River in NC

Shallow Ford – 600 yds south

So. You can’t actually go to the exact place of the ford. It’s on private property now. You can, however, cross the bridge 600 yards to the north and careen your neck and catch a quick snapshot.

Yadkin River where Cornwallis and Boone crosse

Where Cornwallis and Boone crossed the Yadkin.

Totally worth the 3.5 hour drive to get here.

By this point in the day, none of us was up for driving several hours west to the town of Boone. Kind of disappointing, but I know our limits. We headed back home with new experiences and memories under our belts.

So, if you are hesitant about getting out there and exploring and experiencing what you’re learning in school–stop it! Just get it the car and go already!

    Not So SAHM

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