The Joys – and Dangers – of ‘Sploring

I’m going ‘sploring today.

That’s what we’d call it when the kids were little. Their dad and I would gather them up, grab a few snacks, toss some drinks in a cooler, and head out the door to go Who Knows Where, just to see what we could find.

We could spend anywhere from a couple of hours to an entire day just driving. Usually we’d head towards the Smokies, but not always! Sometimes we’d explore back roads around Knoxville. Sometimes we’d wander over the mountains to North Carolina.

Sometimes we’d end up on some skinny country road that petered out into someone’s back yard.


And on those trips we discovered all kinds of things. Cool tucked away campgrounds that we didn’t know existed. Beautiful lakes and rivers that we’d never noticed on the maps. Funny little towns with funny names. Scenic little country churches that looked – really – like something off a post card.

And when the kids would ask, “Where are we goin’, Mama?” I’d just say, “We’re going ‘sploring”.

When was the last time you took off with no idea where you were going?

Giving yourself permission to wander freely, with a map in your hand (remember those?) and only a hint of an agenda – is one of the best ways to de-stress, reconnect with your self or your family, and find new things in your own backyard.

And that’s what I’m up to this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

My daughter and I are heading out with a good friend to explore the area we’ll be visiting on my upcoming NOT-SO-Secret Weekend Adventure for Courageous Women. I’ve told you all I’m going to take you camping. And I’ve told you all that the highlight of the weekend – for those who want to try it – will be an opportunity to experience hang gliding. Ahhh… Flight. Wow.

But where will we stay? And what else might we do while we’re there? Well, some of that I’ve already got figured out. Some of it, I’m still figuring. Hence, today’s trip.

So, Nancy, Maiah and I are loading up the car with just enough gear and goodies to spend a quick night camping, and we’re going in search of Just The Right Spot to spend our June weekend together.

Some of my Courageous sisters will want me to make sure we find a campground with the Best Bathrooms. Others won’t care about that too much, but will want to have plenty of shade, or peace and quiet. One of my Courageous friends has asked me to look for a spot with a creek where we could skip a few rocks. Isn’t that a lovely thought?

And by golly, I’ll do my best.

Of course, there’s a real possibility that we won’t be able to find a place to stay tonight, in the middle of our Secret Adventure Exploration Expedition; it being Memorial Day weekend and all.

That, of course, is one of the Dangers of ‘Sploring. You could get lost. Or you could have a little trouble finding a place to stay.

What the heck. I grew up in a family where wandering was quite the norm. And, as my mom would always say, if worse came to worse we could always sleep in the car. Yep!

How ’bout you? Have you been wandering lately?

What did you find?



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