I sneaked off to Portland, Oregon for ten days, sorry no photos because nobody would lend me their camera.  Well, the four-year-old offered me her Crayola camera, but I politely declined.  Yes, I am the only human member of my family who does not own a camera.  I never need one, because how often do I go someplace with out one of my photographers in tow?  Not often.

Jon stayed home with four kids (yes!), and they did this for six of the ten days:

three girls tubing on the river at Palmetto Cove

Because he would rather camp with four children and a dog at Palmetto Cove, than have to keep the house clean while I’m gone.  (And the house WAS clean when I returned.  Yay Palmetto Cove.)

You can see the water level is down considerably from the raging torrent earlier this spring.  At the usual summer water levels, there is a great kid-friendly tubing circuit around the rocks in the swimming area.  Children can do endless loops down the chute and then scamble back up the rock, down the chute, over . . . and over . . . and over . . . and over.  Pays to have a big kid who can help the littles, so adults can settle into a quiet spot and just lifeguard.

If you want a shady beach in still waters, from the bridge walk downstream on the footpath another four or five yards.  There is beach in the trees just below the rocks.


A few more notes on summer camping at the Cove.

  • Yes, it gets hot.  About 90 – 95 would be a typical high.  (Usually not much higher).
  • Down in the camping area, you will want to to have AC for your unit.  Tropical-types could just plan to be elsewhere during the day and plug in a fan at night, it does cool down a bit in the evenings.  But the camping sites get sun most or all of the day, so they do warm up.
  • The shelter STAYS COOL!!  Yes.  Outside.  The big picnic pavillion with all the rocking chairs sits up on a hill in the shade and is open on three sides, so you get a marvelous breeze.  Plenty of picnic tables (and grills) so you can take all your meals up to the shelter.
  • Of course the river is the place to be.
  • Not bad hiking up in the mountains, either, if you are a hiker.  Trails are all shaded, which means that there isn’t a view unless the ranger tells you there is a view (Table Rock has a great view at the top).  But the shade + elevation keeps things comfortable in a summery, not-afraid-to-sweat-a-little outdoorsy way.  Lots of beautiful sweeping panoramas of the forest floor to be had as you come around bends in the trail.
  • Pickens County Museum is a nice daytime trip if you want something more civilized and air-conditioned.  Highly recommended.  (FYI closed on Sun. & Mon.  FREE Admission, but cash donations accepted and needed.)
  • If you are hosting a rally at the Cove, yes both the meeting hall and the clubhouse have A/C.

Happy Summer!

Three Girls Tubing in a light Whitewater, Smiling