Category Archives: Pictures of the Adventure

Photos of our travels and stops along the way

Geocaching – the great treasure hunt

So, what do the following pictures have in common?

Guard 24 Little Joe geocache

Twilight zone Red Gate Geocache

Cummins Mills 3 Witces Castle Geo

Yep, these are the sites of some of our first geocaches. I know I mentioned geocaching before – it’s like a treasure hunt using a hand held GPS unit. Thanks to a lovely Father’s Day present, we have become officially addicted. We had such a good time tracking down some caches near McMinnville (location of our last project), we jumped right in once we got settled here in Livingston. We’re getting better at using the GPS, and we’re getting better at deciphering the clues that are given with each “hide”. Friday and Saturday we hung close to home – found the one behind the cannon on the square, found a “mini” in a birdhouse at an old cemetery, and discovered two local waterfall-swimming spots and the caches hidden in the nearby forest. (Plus we discovered a fabric store that was having a wonderful one day sale – ½ off all fabric and notions! Now that’s a find!) (We did one waterfall both Friday and Saturday, since we were unsuccessful on our first try. But it was such a beautiful location, it didn’t bother us in the least!)

So today after church in Cookeville (pronounced Cook-vul by the locals) we headed off to find what we could find. We were 10 for 12 for the day. Not bad for a couple of newbies! We started at a Verizon Wireless Store, and among other things, stopped by at a huge pink elephant, checked out a Walmart parking lot, pulled behind Nick’s Lounge, walked through Ensor Sink Natural Area, walked along the lake (and picked some yummy blackberries) at Cane Creek Park and found a teeny tiny cache in an electrical box outside of a music supply store. Here are some shots of the day – we had a really fun time!
The Big Pink Elephant
One of the cool trees at the Ensor Sink Natural Area. We were really tromping through the woods on this one!
Ensor Sink Natural Area
This is our smallest (and last of the day) find. (It’s that small cylinder at the bottom of the box) It was stuck behind this electrical box. I had Gary do the reaching!
Teenytiny cache
One of the perks of our Cane Creek Park cache was the bounty of black raspberries along the path. Yum!
And somewhere on this train is a 35mm film canister WITHOUT our name on the log. We haven’t given up – we’ll try again next weekend!

If you’d like more information about geocaching, check out their website at
If this sounds fun, but you don’t have a GPS, there is a website called which is the same kind of treasure hunt, but with clues instead of GPS coordinates. We’ve done both – and they’re both fun!
Check it out!

Oh – back in McMinnville, there was one cache called “Bobcat’s Cave” that we just couldn’t find. We knew we were close – but just couldn’t find the prize. We didn’t bring a flashlight and there were several nooks and crannies in the cliffs, so we tried using the camera flash to “see” inside the dark areas. We didn’t find the cache – but we took this pretty cool picture. Just not sure what it’s a picture of!

Man, I’m really getting behind….

OK – First of all, we have arrived at our July location- Cedar Lake Camp in Livingston, TN. It’s farther north than our June location, but something tells me that it will still be in the 90’s most days. Gary has a pretty good list of chores, but I’m not sure what exactly I’ll be doing. I do know that Monday morning we’re leaving at 5:30AM to drive campers up to Dale Hollow Lake for “Canoe Week”. They don’t actually need us to drive there – they just need folks to bring the vans back. After that early morning chore, it looks like I’ll be learning the ins and outs of pool cleaning. After that – who knows! Maybe I’ll get to be Gary’s helper again :-).

So, about the pictures from our little get-away…..
Here is a selection – but there are several more here…..

Sam Davis ………View of Falls Mill

samdavis fallmills4-1

An Angel from the cemetery


stillhouse2 TNthistle2

Stillhouse Falls and a Thistle at Tims Ford Reservior

This area was very hard hit by that Easter hard freeze (that did such a number on all the nurseries back down in McMinnville – did I mention that that is the “Nursery Capital of the World”? Who knew!). Anyway, to compond the freeze, they have now been in a severe drought. I’m happy to report that both Thursday and Friday there was heavy rain here. Yippee! The down side was that it was just at dinner time and it made for a lot of soaking wet campers (and Sowers!). But the rain is a very good thing. Here is a view of some very pretty falls we discovered on Friday…..
Waterloo Friday 1
And here it is today (Saturday) when we returned….Waterloo Saturday
It’s amazing what a good old fashioned thunderstorm can do!
More on why we were at those falls two days in a row later…. 😉

So much to tell….

Wow – I can’t believe all the things I’ve wanted to write about, but somehow haven’t made the time. Here’s a brief catch-up!
Life quieted down at Camp Overton. After the Junior Campers (and crew – about 140 total) left on Thursday, we all took a deep breath and relaxed. We had a nice adults only dinner on the deck that evening and posed for our group picture. Since Gary & I were the only Sowers on the project, we decided that Reba and kids were really our “group” – so here we all are (shadows and all!)
overtongang It was wonderful working (and playing) with these folks. After dinner we played some wild dominoes – here are some silly shots from that….

DSCF1346 DSCF1365

The more we got to know each other, the goofier we got!

And remember the deck that Gary was building?
New Deck Beginning
Pretty sweet, eh?

Saturday we saw the sights of McMinnville. Ok, so it included a fabric store and Lowes, it still was a day out. We checked out Falcon Rest, “the Biltmore of Tennessee” (that was kind of a stretch), took a long detour around a factory that was burning (pretty drive – just wish I knew where we were!), and played with our new toy (a handheld GPS) and our new hobby – Geo Caching. “Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and “treasure,” usually toys or trinkets of little monetary value.” More on the geocaching later – we had fun getting started with it and I can just hope that we get better the more we do it. I have some great pictures that I haven’t had a chance to up load yet, but I’ll get to that soon (promise).

Right now we are at the Highland Inn in Pulaski, TN (south central TN). We’ve taken a couple days “off” and are driving around this beautiful state seeing what there is to see. Mostly we have been reminded that lots of local points of interested are CLOSED ON MONDAYS!!! Grrrrrr…… But tomorrow is Tuesday, so I trust we’ll have better luck. Why, right here in Pulaski is the Sam Davis Monument, doncha know! (I’ll figure out who he is tomorrow too!) But I am enjoying the free WiFi!!!

I took lots of pictures today – but I’ll leave you with just one. It’s from Falls Mill in Belvidere, TN (they’re closed on Wednesdays!).
Falls Mills 1

It was a good day.

Bob The Builder

So, did you have a good week? I started the week off with making a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies – any time a cookie recipe calls for 8 eggs, you know it’s gonna make oodles! They’re in the freezer waiting for the 100 8-12 year old campers that arrive tomorrow! Now that promises to be a busy week!

Gary finished up his basement projects – the storage room and additional closet under stairs – to rave reviews. We’ve named the storage room Libby’s Hideaway – and believe me she’s been busy filling it up! Here are a couple of pictures of the finished product –

room1 room2

closet1 closet2

By Thursday afternoon he was making a materials list for a deck he’s now building on one of the cabins. And by Saturday afternoon he had the “bones” done. Since we’re the only Sowers on this project, he’s been putting in extra time (like all day Friday and Saturday!). Not because he needs to, but because he enjoys this type of work. Here’s the beginning of the deck…..
New Deck Beginning

(There was a little excitement when the two snakes that he killed when he was preparing the area for the deck turned out to be Copperheads (yikes!), but other than that, it’s been pretty routine!)

Aside from being an occasional helper to Gary, I’ve mostly been helping out in the kitchen. There is one other family here helping out, so we’re having a good time. In fact, Libby has managed to get us passes for Curves in town, so we girls are making daily trips in for our 30 minute workouts. I don’t think it’s quite making up for the yummy food they’re feeding us, but still, it must be helping a little?!

Here’s a picture of the Collins River that runs around the camp (though we’re high on the bluff, so there’s no real “waterfront”).
view for DR deck
Check out other shots of the camp here.

Next week will be full of feeding the hungry masses and finishing up the deck. Our “official” time here is done on Thursday, but we’re planning on hanging around until sometime the following week. There’s even a rumor going around that we might take a little overnight trip the following week to see the sights on the other side of Nashville. 😉

A Week in the life…..

So just what do we do on a “Sower Project”? This project is a little different since we’re here alone, but we’ve had a good and productive week!
Monday –
Since Gary had actually worked on the previous Friday (he pressure washed the Welcome Center deck), he knew his next project was repairing the horse corral. So we headed there first things on Monday. Several of the boards needed to be replaced and the rest just needed to be tightened and reinforced. We (and I use the term loosely) had the job done by the end of the day. (I’m a great board holder and carrier!)
Tuesday –
More fence, but this time it was more “official” fencing along the road, and three sections that actually needed to be replaced. It involved setting the new posts in concrete and then building the three new sections. I continue to be amazed how much Gary knows about this stuff, and I was especially amazed at how patient he was with his helper.
From Start to Finish –

fence start fence2

(Thankfully someone else gets to do the painting!)

Gary moved to the basement of the Welcome center – where Libby wanted some sort of storage closet built for all of the “stuff” that was accumulating in the basement. She really didn’t have a plan, but before we knew it the closet had become the entire corner of the basement. The supplies were purchased and by the end of the day Gary had made a good start. (His helper was moved for the day to help in the kitchen – I’m sure he missed me terribly!)
The Beginning –
room start
We were both back in the basement. I was moving a palate worth of floor tiles to the new bottom shelf (a lot easier to do it then than after the walls go up) while Gary continued on with construction. One good thing about this basement work – it was in the 90’s outside, so the working conditions were way better where we were!
Well, Friday is not a Sower work day, but Gary headed back to the basement to try and finish up everything but the outside walls. I popped over to bring him snacks and water, but mostly I stayed home and tried to catch up on cleaning and post-Vermont unpacking/organizing.
By the end of the day….
Can you see Libby is already beginning to fill up the shelves?

But of course our lives here are not all work and no play. We’ve been taking lovely walks in the evenings and then enjoying sitting outside for a spell before darkness settles on the camp. And we have been kept company by this little new friend and his mate….
hummingbird visitor

And so went our week. It was good – and I hope yours was as well. I often think of my friends that I have left at home – each with their own busy lives. And I sometimes miss not being able to share in the excitement of a new baby or an upcoming wedding or being able to just sit down and gab with good friends, but I am content knowing that God has us where He wants us to be. We continue to be amazed at where the Lord had placed us and the work he has enabled us to do!

Oh, and Saturday? Well that was pretty fun too! We hit the tourist road and went to Fall Creek Falls State Park and Cumberland Caverns. Both were very beautiful – and you can see some of our pictures here. (This falls were a little disappointing due to the drought here, but the park has everything from camping to hiking to horseback riding to cabins and a lovely restaurant!.)
I have been so very surprised at the mountains in Tennessee. Who Knew?
Falls River Falls State Park 1

…oh right, Davy Crockett…
Born on a mountain top in Tennessee,
Greenest state in the land of the free.
Raised in the woods so’s he knew every tree,
Killed him a bear when he was only three.

Davy, Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier.

I guess someone did know!