We began to partnership with Project 143 soon after arriving back home. This organization pairs families with orphans from the Ukraine, Latvia and now China. We spent part of the summer and this December hosting a young girl from Latvia. We met her through another hosting family in December of 2012. Our first meeting with her was not all that smooth. She was very reserved and did not want to speak with us or communicate in any meaningful way.
After a few more visits, she began to communicate a slight bit more than she previously did. So we decided to host her in the summer of 2012. We all had a great time and enjoyed having her as a part of our family.
This past December, she returned for another visit and we got to celebrate her birthday with her. For many of us here in the U.S.A., a birthday party of some sort is a regular occurrence. However for an orphan, it does not happen. So we were really excited to give her this gift of celebration. She really enjoyed the attention and the gifts.
Over the past several months we have been gathering equipment to begin traveling again. However this time, it will not be in an RV, but a tent. It has been quite a transition from the luxuries of our 37 foot motorhome, but the girls really like camping again, minus the bathroom situation.
This past weekend, we headed to the mountains of north Georgia for a few days of camping near Blairsville at Vogel State Park. The weather was not ideal for the first night, but the other two days were very pleasant.
Our first night we experienced a heavy rain with thundershowers.The winds were very strong and really whipped through the mountain trees. Our tent is a Cabela's Alaskan Guide Tent. This tent is made for this type of weather. The tent held its ground beautifully and did not budge in the high winds.
Overall, we really like the tent and look forward to more camping in the coming weeks and months ahead. We still need to invest in some good all weather sleeping bags, our cheap sleeping bags did not keep us warm enough in the 20 degree temperatures. Also, I am instructed to find a better solution for the bathroom situation. We have a small shower tent that we used when we owned a folding camper, so I think that will be the answer. I just don't like having to haul around more equipment than is necessary. But I am told this issue is a priority.
We ate breakfast in the cold morning air and got an early start to a forest road in the mountains for some off-road trail riding. We have had a 2001 Jeep Wrangler TJ for about 6 years. The girls and I have done some light off-road travels, but this trail would be a much greater challenge due to the rains that soaked the trail the night before.
The ride was great fun and rattled the teeth out of everyone. The mud was not as challenging as I had imagined, but nevertheless the Jeep was covered with mud.
The girls got in some target practice with their air rifle and I got schooled in marksmanship. I suppose I could take credit for instructing them in the fine points of handling and shooting a firearm:)
We visited Helen a small town on the way to and from our off-roading adventure. The town is nice but isn't our style. We much prefer Dahlonega just 30 miles from our campground. We spent Saturday afternoon visiting the small town square and ate some delicious BBQ for lunch. There are many small boutique type stores and quite a few small cafes and restaurants.
We look forward to our upcoming trips. One of the trips on our bucket list is a trip to Alaska. We are working on the logistics, however that won't be for another year.
|Project 143 December 2013|
|Vogel State Park 2013|
|Alaskan Guide Tent|
|Bailey waking up 2013|
|Sisters still having fun|
|Trey Mountain Rd 2013|
|small stream crossing 2013|
|Heading up Trey Mountain Rd 2013|
|Having fun on Trey Mountain 2013|
|Posing with her "bullseye"|
|Dad giving instructions|
|Another great shooter|
|Vogel State Park 2013|
|Hiking in Vogel State Park|
|Dog treat from Dahlonega GA|