Malachite rock. It ROCKS!

Malachite is the 3rd rock in my collection.  It is pronounced “mel- a- kite”.  This rock has green color from very dark to very light and black streaks.  This is the first rock I’ve listed that was down low on the hardness scale.  It ranks a 3.5 to 4.  The chemical code for Malachite is Cu2Co3(OH)2.  The green comes from copper that is in the semi-precious gem stone. Malachite is a semi-precious stone and that means that it is not as rare as something like a jasper, or as popular as a diamond.

Malachite is soft and can be damaged by scraping it or hitting it hard.  It can also get ‘burnt’ if it is heated.  That will mess up the color inside the gemstone. Even washing it can make it lose its protective coating.

The name ‘malachite’ may come from two different words.  One theory is that is comes from a Greek word, “malakos” that means ‘soft’.  It could also come from the Greek word, “malhe” which means “Grass”.

In ancient times, the Egyptians, Romans and the Greeks, used Malachite for eye shadow in their make up.   They also made jewelery out of it.  Even in ancient times, Malachite was worn as necklaces or other jewelery on babies and children to ward off evil.  That continues today.  Malachite is the rock for the children. It is said to keep children safe from accidents and illness.  Some people hang this rock from their baby’s beds.  The parents sometimes hang malachite in the child’s bedroom to ward off bad dreams.

Today, this rock is used near computers and other electronics to stop problems with electromagnetic fields.






Some interesting facts I learned about Malachite:

It is soft and can be damaged.

The most important mine for Malachite is in the Democratic Republic of Congo.   It can also be found in Ural, Siberia, France, South Australia, Namibia, and Arizona.

*I just learned that the Democratic Republic of Congo used to be called Zaire.

The Malachite is the stone of the 13th year of marriage.  It is not a birthstone.

My last interesting fact that I learned about Malachite (other than how to spell it) is that there is a Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, called the Hermitage Palace Museum that has a room that is made nearly 100% of Malachite.  The room is called, “The Malachite Room”!







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Citrine, our orange-yellow gem

These are citrine rocks or gems.  We found ours at the Hiddenite Gem Mine in Hiddenite, NC.  When we visited the rock museum in Goldston, called “The Ernest Shirley Fossil Museum”, Mr. David did not have any citrine in his collection, so we donated one of our rocks to the museum.  Now he has a tiny citrine rock/gem about 2″ long.

Since there is not a lot of yellow gemstones in the world,  people can easily get topaz and citrine mixed up.  It has the hardness of “7” and is lighter than topaz.  Sometimes, people who sell gems will sell citrine as topaz, which is very dishonest!

My interesting facts about citrine:

It is the gemstone for November.

The name means “the yellow of a lemon”.

This citrine gem is the gem for the 13th or the 17th year of marriage.  The amethyst was also for the 17th year.

Citrine is a variety of quartz ranging in colors of yellow, yellow-brown, orange, dark orange-brown, reddish-brown.  Today, a lot of citrine is made by burning amethyst to make it turn more yellow.

Most citrine comes from Brazil which is mostly heated treated amethyst.  The natural citrine can be found in the Ural Mountains of Russia, in Dauphine, France, and Madagascar.   (I just saw a lemur last Sunday that came from Madagascar!).







In ancient days and even now, citrine is used for healing and success.  It’s nic-name is called the ‘success stone’ because it is said to attract good things to people, like more money or good health!

It is also suppose to help stop nightmares and help you sleep better.  It is said that the stone will help improve allergies and help keep bad diseases away from you.

Today, this gem is turned into a mineral for makeup.  It is put in eye pencils, eye shadows, powders and mineral powders.




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Learning about rocks – Amethyst

The Ernest Shirley Fossil Museum

David Denson- Curator

West Goldbar Ave, Goldston, NC 2725


Today, I visited Mr. David’s Fossil Museum.  I took my seven bags of rocks that I found at Hiddenite and he and I sat in the floor and went through each one.  He told me what the rock was and I labeled them in bags.

The best part of the day was that I was able to donate two rocks that Mr. David did not have in his museum collection!  He gave me four rocks that I didn’t have.  One (you won’t believe this) is dinosaur doodoo.. as in POOP!).  He also gave me petrified wood,  selenite, and a summer field geo rock.  The coolest rock he gave me was a pumice that floats in fresh water.  I think it is the only rock that floats in fresh water.

The first rock I’m going to learn about is called the amethyst crystal.

An amethyst crystal is transparent, which means:  allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen. It is also coarse-grained and the purple kind (which I have).  I can not really see through mine, but I can see light when I look through it.

The chemical formula for it is:  SiO2. This purple crystal is the most important quartz used in jewelry.  (hey, My mom’s name is Crystal). The hardness of the rock is a 7.0.  The range goes from 1-10.  I believe the only 10 is a diamond.

All amethyst are suppose to be purple.  They can be all shades of different purples.  (we saw one that looked green on line.  We aren’t sure if that really is a amethyst, though).  The purple amethyst is sometimes called, “Rose de France”.   The most valuable amethyst is the ones that have deep purple with rose flashes.

Amethyst is found in lots of places.  Some places are in Europe, Russia, India, Sri Lanka, East Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguary, Bolivia, USA, and Canada. In America, it is found in North Carolina, Maine, Pennsylvania and Colorado.

Some Facts about Amethyst that I find interesting are:

The Greeks carved wine glasses (called goblets) out of amethyst because they believed that if they drank wine from that goblet, it would not let them get drunk.  (I don’t think I believe that!).

Amethyst was used in the British Crown.  It was a favorite of Catherine the Great and the Bishops from the Catholic Church uses amethyst on his ring.  It is thought to encourage celibacy and symbolizes piety.  Some rosary’s are made from amethyst.

The emblem for Matthew, one of the twelve apostles, is amethyst.

It is also mentioned in the Bible as a stone used in the breastplate of judgment.

In Tibet, amethyst is sacred to the Buddha monks.

It has been used for jewelery for thousands of years.

The amethyst is the birthstone for people born in February.  It is also the gem that symbolizes the 17th year of marriage.

Leonardo Da Vinci  (I read about him in the Magic Tree House Book), believed that the amethyst took away evil thoughts and made a person a quicker thinker.

In Egypt, they made beads and good luck charms called, amulets.

Today and long ago, people are still using amethyst for many health reasons.  Here are a few reasons to use them:

To cure addictions, like drinking, smoking or other addictions.

To put under your pillow for better dreams and more clear thoughts.

To help relax or focus.

I’m going to put one under my pillow to see if I have wonderful dreams tonight.  I will let you know what happens!

If you have any more thoughts and comments to add to my blog, please feel free to teach me more about amethyst.  Also add me as a follower, because I will be learning about all the other rocks I have, one by one!














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Visiting Gross Farms in Sanford, NC

Gross Farms

1606 Pickett Road
Sanford, NC 27332-8506

Our class went on a field trip to Gross Farms.  As soon as I got to school, we put our water in the cooler and carried our lunch with us on the bus.  We went back to our classroom and did “calendar”.  Calendar is where we sit on the floor and go through money, dates, months, time and the weather.

Finally, we got on the bus.  I sat got to sit with Jacob and Joesph.  It seem like it took a long time to get there.  I think it took about an hour.  We thought the bus was driving about 30 m/p/h!

When we got there, mom wasn’t there yet, but Savannah’s dad was there waiting for Savannah and me.  First, we were allowed to go to the playground to play.  I played with my friends from my classroom.

There was also a wooden train, a wooden castle  and a wooden ship to play on.

There was a great big hay bale and some people tried to climb on it but it was TOO big!

On one part of the playground, we rode tricycles that were in a hay track.  It was fun and silly trying to ride tricycles at 7 years old.

  I rode on the tricycles a little and raced my friends around the track.

We played for about an thirty minutes,  then we went to start the corn maze.  Before we went into the maze, the staff talked to us about checkpoints in the field.  There was fifteen checkpoints.  Checkpoints are points where you are suppose to find them all before you come out of the maze.  We were told not to touch the corn and to look at the map if you needed help.

Mom showed up a little later at the farm.  She found us in the corn maze!  We were with Savannah’s dad.

The corn maze is a15 acre labyrinth.   The maze consist of 3 puzzles within 5 miles of winding pathways.  The map showed an bird’s eye view of what the maze looks like from the sky.  Here is a picture of the three puzzles from the sky.  

We found two checkpoints and came back out of the maze accidentally.  Since it was hot, we decided not to go back in.

Mom took my picture with some of the wooden art that was around the farm.  Here are a couple of them.   Don’t I look happy???

The staff let Savannah and I go to the playground while our class was still roaming around the corn maze.

When they got back, it was our turn to bounce on the jumping air bounce, called the “Pumpkin Bounce” (I think).

Anyway, they asked all the parents who would come and bounce with the children and my mom was the only bravest one to let herself be embarrassed to bounce with us.  My friends were calling her ‘big momma’ and asked her to pop corn them on the bouncy pumpkin.  Mom accidentally busted my lip when she jumped in the air and I was too close and her elbow hit me right in the mouth!

After all the bouncing, we were all starving, but we had to go discuss plants with a staff member.  She talked about how corn grows, and how sun can sneak through the clouds with UBA and UBB rays.  She also said that the corn needs sun and carbon dioxide to grow.  (carbon dioxide is toxin to humans), but the corn turns it into oxygen that we need!  It also gives us food.  She said that the corn gets sent to a processing plant and then to Food Lion, where people buy it in the store.

Mom and I picked our OWN corn this year and canned it, so we didn’t have to buy ours at Food Lion.

Next, (still haven’t gotten to eat lunch) but we get to go on a hay ride.  I was STARVING!  (we are used to eating at 1030am).   The hay ride took us around the farm and told us (on speakers) about the history of the farm.  It has been in the family for lots of generations.  The farm grows strawberries, asparagus, and pumpkins and other things.  It has a store to buy home made ice cream (I had some pumpkin ice-cream today for the first time).  They sell jellies, bread and lots of pumpkins!

Finally, after the hay ride, we got to eat lunch!  Mom bought some drinks and ice-cream at the concession stand and I ate my lunch that I brought.

My class hurried up and ate their lunch and raced back to the playground!  The moms and dads hung around the picnic area and talked (too much!).

We got to pick out our own pumpkin and then Mom and I went over to the pumpkin patch to buy one for the boy scout camp-out.  I have to carve a pumpkin there.  The free one was too small for me.

I had a lot of fun at Gross Farms.  There was a lot to do and I really had fun getting to play with my friends (and my mom) on the farm.

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Camping in Hiddenite, NC

Hiddenite Campground


Hiddenite Campground, Hiddenite, NC

I got out of school about 230pm to start my adventure to Hiddenite, NC.  It took over 2 hours to get there!

When we got there, we picked a campsite behind the pavilion of the campground, which was behind the farm animals (pigs, goats, rabbits and miniature horses).   There is even a famous pig there that saved a family from a house fire.  He was in the house and woke everyone up before the flames took over the house.  He now lives like a king at Hiddenite Campground!

Our campsite sat right on the bank of the Yadkin River.  It wasn’t the BIG river, but a vein that forked off through Hiddenite area.

Here is our campsite.  This is a shot of the river behind our tent.

Mom and I put up the tent.  (it was not easy this time for some reason).  To make things a little harder, Mom’s window in her truck, came off track and was stuck.  We hoped it wouldn’t rain that night.

I explored the area on my bike.  I found an arch bridge, the bathrooms – which was a pool area.  I also checked out the farm animals while riding my bike.

   Some of the farm animals in the campsite.

For supper, we grilled potatoes.  Mom wrapped them up in foil and threw them in the fire (not on top of the grill.. IN the fire) while we unpacked and put up the tent.  Then, we cooked our steaks on a refrigerator grill.  That is all they had for us to use as a grill over the fire pit.  It worked well.  We sat the table, and could NOT find the knife, only plastic forks and spoons.  Here’s what that looked like!

            finger lickin’ good.. WHERE is our Knife???

Where are our napkins????

The campsite was sponsoring “Camp FEAR” for Halloween.  So, at dark, we went to the pavilion and had some hot coco and apple cider and sat by the bon fire.  There was a hearse there with a sign that said:

I didn’t get this until AFTER the haunted trail!

At dark, we went on a hayride-nothing scary there!  We could hear the river running along the trail.  The hayride dropped us off at the beginning of the haunted trail.  There was a lady there (WEIRD) that told us a story about her son, Daniel — HEY.. that’s my name!–.

Daniel was like me that he got picked on at school.  But, not like me, they tied him up to a tree and let bugs and snakes crawl on him.  (so the story goes).  His daddy was a dentist and tried to fix his mangled face but it was never pretty and kids picked on him about his face.  Then, she called Daniel to come out and we saw him.  He wanted to make friends with us.  The girl that was with us in our group was scared of him and wouldn’t look at him.

Daniel took us into a house (and disappeared, leaving us) that was NASTY!!!! There was poop all over the toilet and when we walked by it skirted ‘pee’ on you.. (it was really just water, but got mom’s camera all wet).

Then, we walked through the woods and people jumped out at us.  They were afraid of my glo stick, which was my protection since I was just a kid!  We saw the dentist and he tried to fix our teeth with his drill and we RAN out of there.. We went through a corn maze and people were sticking their hands through the corn trying to grab us.  We went through a rock maze and asked the chain man what way to get out and MOM trusted him and I kept trying to pull her arm to go the other way (which was the right way) and of course, we came to a dead end..  ( 2 times!)… we finally got out of there and went through a wall that squeezed us so hard that we could barely fit through.  There was a mental hospital with white walls and weird people,  strobe light room with spooky girls, and there was a 3-d clown room.  The clown kept asking me if I wanted to play.  I asked, ‘play what?”  Then, she ran off, bouncing a ball, where I couldn’t see her.  She was saying, ‘come on slow poke’ and we kept seeing gross toys with bloody stuff hanging off of them.  There were a lot of different rooms, but the last one was my favorite.. the vortex.  It was spinning and it looked like I was spinning, instead.

When I came back through it the 2nd time, it was the same as the first time.  Then, we went to a picnic table to rest our legs because this took over an hour.  My dad called on the phone and mom talked to him and I went to the vortex to take a picture of it.  A monster jumped out and scared me to death!  I did get his picture though before I ran away!

me in the vortex.. I’m in white.


After the excitement, we went back to our campsite and started our fire.  We had collected sticks to get it started before we left.  So, it was all ready to begin.  It got cold really fast!

We lit our fire and put the grill over the logs and cooked hot chocolate with marshmallows.  It was perfect temperature and warmed us up a little.

Here’s a picture of our little fire.

Since it was such a scary night, we pushed our mattresses together in the middle of the tent… just in case.  There was that skeleton man running around, pretending not to be real AND we could hear screaming coming from the haunted trail till 12am.   So, mom’s mattress decides to deflate during the night, putting her on the cold ground and mine stayed hard and I was toasty warm!  (just to mention.. I am the one that blew up the mattresses this time.. just sayin’)

Chapter II

In the freezing morning, we put on our shoes and rushed down to the bathroom.  Then, we made another little fire.  We had cereal and milk for breakfast.  We went to take our HOT showers and came back to take down our tent.  That’s when Mom noticed we had a flat tire.  I suggested that we pump it up with my bicycle pump and guess what… it worked!

We took one last ride (mom walked and I rode my bike) around the trail.  There was a cross and a bench within a view of the Yadkin River.  I can understand why someone built that there, to have a peaceful place to pray.  I told mom that they must be Christians there.

As we were leaving, we drove toward Alexander.  That is the city we were suppose to be exploring on our trip.  We found out it was 2 MORE hours away, the opposite way to home… so that was a big, fat  NO!  Instead, we chose to explore Hiddenite.

We went to the Emerald Hollow Mine.  It was featured on National Geographic.  It is a real mine.  We sloshed 3 buckets.  One big one and 2 small ones.  We found lots of pretty gems and rocks.  Mom found a geo!

There was a mascovy momma duck there with her 2 baby ducklings… wanna see?

Here are some pictures of the sloshing.  We did not go to the creek and do ‘creekin’ because we were starving!

  at the Emerald Mine!

Finally, it was time to go home and find something for lunch! But on the way to find lunch, we ran across a Hiddenite Musuem.  We had to stop!

The name was Hiddenite Center and it was a four story house.  We look at all of the floors and I took pictures of the dolls for Grandma to see.. Here are the pictures of some of the dolls.  Grandma, you may like these!

Dolls at the museum.

We stopped close to Statesville and ate at Boxcar Grill.  It was really good.  Mom had San Jose Fajitas and I had cheese Quesadilla.  Here is the picture of the place we found to eat.

That is the end of our adventure in Hiddenite.  I hope you will go and check it out for yourself!  It’s worth the trip!  Go in October so you never miss the haunted trail.. (Friday and Saturday till midnight).

Things I learned;

Hiddenite is the name of the city but it used to be called White Plains before a man named Tom Hidden came and found gems in this area.

Hiddenite is used to make jewelry.

I learned what a hearse was and what it does.

I got to see the Yadkin River up close.  We camped on the bank of it.

I learned a lot about gems and rocks at the gem mine.  I learned what a Geo rock was and want to cut ours.

How to bake potatoes in a fire and how to make hot chocolate.

I learn that rose bushes had thorns and look before you step in.

That you HAVE to put the screw top on the mattress hard if you don’t want it to leak air.

I learned about the history of Hiddenite and lots of facts at the museum.  The man that owned the house, cut the house 2nd floor off, LIFTED it and then added a 2nd floor, making the old 2nd floor the 3rd floor.  He was a diamond dealer.

I went to my first haunted trail and learned that it was scarier than I thought it could be.

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Camping at Whippoorwill Campground, Beulaville, NC

My mom picked me up at 1pm from school and we went home to get the camera and the GPS cord that she forgot.  Then, we drove 2 hours and 30 minutes to Whippoorwill Campground, WHEW!!  I read about 5 books on the way to pass the time.

When we got there, we picked a tent site on the wood-line.  It had about a million ant beds everywhere.  I rode my bike around then I came back to the campsite and helped mom blow up the mattresses.  We found rocks in the woods to make a fire ring pit and collected twigs to make a tee-pee of wood in the fire pit for when we start the fire.

After all the work was done, Mom and I explored the campground.  She walked and I rode my bike.  We met one of the staff, Peggy, at the beginning of the campsite.   We also walked down the Bridle Trail and came to a fork.  We were going to go on when mosquitoes started coming out (and swarming MOM) and then we rushed back to our tent and played ‘Family Farm’ board game IN the tent where there were no mosquitoes!

We started the fire, after dark, and all the mosquitoes seem to be gone.  We ate ham and Colby cheese sandwiches with chips and sour cream and a Pepsi!  (yum).. Our fire was about 3 feet high at the beginning when it first started.  It was a perfect fire UNTIL the wind started blowing.  Then, we heard thunder and saw lightning coming.  Our fire was getting out of the circle, so Mom dumped all of the ice water in the cooler on the fire, THEN she poured out each water bottle to stop the fire, but it did not stop the fire.

We hurried to the bathrooms and came back before the rain.  The cowboy’s bathroom had very bad floors and they were sticking up so much, you could BARELY shut the door!

JUST as we entered the tent, it started raining “tap tap tap”.. It was so loud we could barely hear each other talking.  The thunder and lightning came across the sky and was very loud too.  The fire… it kept on burning.

I called Grandpa to tell him about the lightning and rain.  He said there was a severe weather storm coming over our area.  We kept our shoes on in case we had to dash out of the tent and run for the truck, but we didn’t.  The tent didn’t leak… MUCH… it did  little drops here and there.

We went to bed and slept as it got colder and colder AND COLDER outside.  It was our first cold night this year.  This was  our first camping trip during a thunderstorm too.

When we got up, we ate donuts and Pepsi for breakfast!  YUM YUM.. Since everything was wet, we decided to go for a walk on the trails after mom put it all out in the sun to dry.  I rode my bike.

We hiked on Spur Trail to Mid-Spur Trail to Quarter Horse Loop Trail 1 and Quarter horse loop trail 2.. then we turned left on Rodeo and went about 15 feet and turned around and went about 20 feet.  We went back to Quarter Horse Loop 2 to Q.H. Loop trail 1.  We got on Mid-Spur Trail and then we took a unknown trail to the right to see if it would take us back.  We were following the sounds of a dog barking and it was getting closer.  We ended up at the field right behind our tent.

We went to our tent and had a snack.  Then, we packed everything up that had dried out a little.  We cleaned up our fire ring and started the 2 + hour home.  On the way home, we visited Albertson, but the only thing in that town was a MHP – which I  found out means Mobile Home Park and a gas station.  Albertson was our town that we took the trip to visit.  We are going down the “A” cities in NC.  We stopped at Billy Bob’s Bar and Grill on the way home which was in Seven Springs.

I got a chicken filet with tomatoes and bacon.  We took pictures outside on the sign.  FYI:  They do not sell batteries, in case you stop in for some!

Here they are.

Things I learned on this trip:

I learned how to use hand signals on my bike.  (right, left and stop).

I learned how to listen to sounds (dog barking) to find my way back home on a trail.

I learned to NEVER touch the tent while it is raining.  It WILL leak!  (Mom’s mattress touched the tent and it leaked water on her sheets).

I learned to never go on a trail without a map, when possible.

I tried to learn ‘game ethnics’ during the monopoly game we played in the tent.

I learned horses can turn just by their owner telling them which way to turn.  Horses are very smart.  They can stand there through a storm.

I learned that wind makes a fire burn faster and harder.  Rain doesn’t ALWAYS put out the fire.  I learned how to find and make a fire ring.

I learned that there is only a MHP (and what those initials mean) and a gas station in Albertson.  REALLY! Honest!


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Camping near Alamance, NC

We went camping on August 10th, 2011 at Cane Creek Campground near Alamance, NC.

When we first got there, I got to pick out a site for the tent. We put up the tarp and then the tent on the tarp so the water wouldn’t come in the tent. It started raining RIGHT when we got the tent up for about 3 minutes.

I started riding my bicycle around the loops of the campsites and had a wreck because my tires were flat. Mom found Natalie, the owner, who pumped up the tires for me… Actually, it was her husband that cranked the pump to get it started, so we could pump up the tires.

Then, we took pictures of all the signs and nice picture taking places. I was in most of the pictures. I did take some pictures of mom too.

We checked out the bath house and the bathrooms. The men’s said “BULL” and the women’s said, “Heifers”! I didn’t know what a heifer was!

We walked down to the pond at sunset and watched the bats catch bugs. We listened to the bull frogs croaking.

I rode my bike around for awhile and mom started a fire. We had a nice camp fire. I tried to cook a banana on a stick over the fire. It didn’t taste too bad. Mom promised to bring smore’s the next time!

There was no grill there, so we had plan ‘b’. Lunchables and fruit. (don’t forget the chips and spicy salsa!).

We took a ride into Alamance, the next morning to see it. People had told us it was only as big as a Wal-mart parking lot. We found it was a little bigger.

We went to Alamance Musuem of History and took a tour of the Holt’s homestead. We’ll have pictures soon. It was very interesting!

Then, we went to the Alamance Battleground. It didn’t smell so good in there! But, we watched a movie about what happened on that battlefield. We also got a tour of the James Adam’s house. It was the original house that was moved there in one piece.

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Camping near Ahoskie, NC

My mom and I started camping in the “A” cities of NC. Since we could not find a camp ground in Aberdeen, we just visited it and spent the day hiking around the town.
Our next town was Ahoskie. Again, there was not exactly a campsite in Ahoskie, but very close. We chose to stay in Rocky Hock Camp Ground. The address is, Rocky Hock Campground, Edenton, NC. Here is some information about the campsite:

Basic Tent Sites (no water or electricity) are $12.00 per day for 2 people, each additional person is $2.00 per day.
Located on 25 acres of high, sandy land Rocky Hock Campground provides its customers with a quiet, secure camping experience in the beautiful Rocky Hock area.

They day we went there, it was cold and windy. We decided to pitch our tent on the stage, since we were the only ones there. This would help in case it rained. We tied the tent down extra strong with ropes on the stage boards. The wind was so strong that it broke the tin roof and flapped ALL night. We hardly could sleep through that.

It also had a game room area that had a little heat in it. We watched some TV, ate our supper there, which was peanut butter, jelly and chocolate chips sandwiches.

I rode my bike around the campsite. It was really sandy and the wind was blowing the sand in my eyes. It was hard to see. I had to chase down some of the tent bags for mom, because the wind blew them away. It almost blew in the woods by a big ditch! It probably would have gotten stuck in a tree if I hadn’t caught it.

Here are some pictures of the trip:

This is the sign to get into Rocky Hock Campground.

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