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Monday, July 29th, 2013. Heavy rains prevented us from going to Floydfest on Saturday, but we were able to go on Sunday and had a great time.  I really enjoyed the Jim Lauderdale and North Mississippi Allstars set at the front porch stage.  I think Amy really liked the Old Crow Medicine Show set and enjoyed running into friends Erin and Colleen.  Ben enjoyed playing and hearing Wagon Wheel.  Jackson enjoyed hanging out with his cousin Caleb.  All in all it was a pretty good day, with special thanks to Deana, Martin, Melanie and Anita.  We could not have done it without the help with tickets and shuttles.
 

Sunday, July 28th, 2013. Big, busy month.  The family enjoyed getting to join me again this year at BB&T Ballpark for a Dash game following a work seminar.  Earlier in the month the boys joined their cousins Maddi and Seth at Hama's house to play in the creek. Hama has made a couple of visits to the hospital lately for congestive heart failure and fluid on her lungs, so it has been a tough summer for her so far. 

Magic has been a big theme lateley.  Jackson loved Now You See Me and watched it twice at the theater.  We also watched The Prestige and The Illusionist at home.  We invited fellow magic fan Connor, along with the rest of his family, over for a night of dinner and magic.  Ben and I joined Steve and Hunter at the pond afterwards.  Ben had a great time and caught 4 fish.

There has been lots of time spent in the water.  Ben and I joined Troop 538 for a Thursday evening float down the Ararat.  We then returned two days later to kayak the same stretch of river.  This was a big milestone for Ben as it was his first real river-running kayak trip.  There has been time spent at the pool, on the slip-n-slide at Deana's pond and Jackson spent 8 days at the beach with his friend Hunter. 

We went to birthday parties for my Seth, Sammi and Steve.  And we got to play with our friends Brett, Nolan and Joe.

Sunday, July 7th, 2013.  Saturday morning, while Amy and the boys were helping with Sandwich Saturday at church, I paddled with friends in Kibler Valley.  This was my second chance this week to catch a rare natural-flow in the valley.  On the way home I decided that it would be a great day to hike at Hanging Rock, which is one of the bullets on or Summer Bucket List.  The boys on the other hand wanted to stay home and play basketball.  We compromised by playing a game of 2 on 1 to see who got to pick our plans.  I won and we were off to the hills.  We hiked to the top of Hanging Rock Trail first.  Ben wasn't happy about the danger factor with us being on top of the mountain.  Jackson on the other hand wanted to go out to every ledge.  I didn't think that was a good idea, so we headed back down.  Jackson said I was acting like Nemo's dad in "Finding Nemo."  We were pretty hot and tired after reaching the parking lot and it was getting late, so we took the short trail to Upper Cascade Falls.  It was awesome.  The water was refreshing and the view was phenomenal.  We met a very friendly couple from Florida that offered repeatedly to take a photo of our family, so we finally excepted and I am glad we did.  As soon as we left the park, the bottom fell out of the sky and we drove through what I like to call Car Sick County (Stokes Co.) in a heavy downpour.  When we reached Pilot Mt we found ourselves stuck in a traffic jam as the monthly car show was just ending.  It was close to 8pm and we were starving, so we stopped at Aunt Bea's for dinner and ice cream.  As another nice part of the day, I ran into Sam Gunter, an old friend from high school.  When we got home, we put in the first Jimmy Neutron movie, just for old times sakes.  We had been talking about old times on the way home.  Everyone promptly fell asleep, except for Jackson who stayed up to watch the whole thing.  All the way around, it was a really nice day. 

Saturday, July 6th, 2013. We have had a very unusual weather pattern this year.   It has been an unseasonably wet year, but over the past week an exceptional amount of rain has fallen.  As a result of that, in combination of the hydro-station in Kibler not being able to generate electricity, I was able to paddle a rare high-water natural flow in Kibler Valley.  It was an excellent adventure and a great way to start my July 4th holiday.  We returned later that evening for fireworks, fried chicken and Apples to Apples with the extended family.