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After two days of hard work with eldest son, as a family we decided that today was going to be a fun day before they caught a 3 p.m. bus back to Vienna, VA, leaving their son, our eldest grandson, now 9 years old to spend most of the summer with us.  Summer care for him was both expensive and hard to come by but also difficult to fit with their schedule as our daughter in law leaves for her Art Camp teaching gig at 6:50 a.m. and returns to the house at about 5 p.m., our son leaves on his bicycle to ride to campus at 7 a.m. so that he can make the 45 minute bike commute and get a shower at the Aquatic Center to be at his desk by 8:30 and he doesn’t get off until 5 p.m. and has to make the 45 minute bike commute home.  We adore having grand-kids with us and love that we are trusted to keep him until mid August when the Art Camps are over and he and his mom will travel to Virginia Beach to spend a week or so with the other grandparents prior to school resuming for everyone.

For our fun day, we decided to hike to the Cascade Falls, a 2 mile uphill hike to a beautiful view followed by the return 2 mile hike back down to the car.  The hike included a swim in the icy water by son and grandson and an extensive trash pick up by all of us that we carried back down in my bag.  There were about 45 incoming freshmen from a local university that had hiked up and they seemed to be mostly responsibly for the trash.  I gently confronted the group about what we had collected and was met with denial that it wasn’t them, but when they got up and left, they failed to pick up several GatorAde bottles, a gallon water bottle and 25 zip lock bags along with granola bar wrappers, candy wrappers and other debris.  We collected all of that also and hauled it back down the trail to the trash cans at the parking lot, collecting additional wrappers on the way down.  It baffles me that they could be so inconsiderate and wonder where they thought their plastic, cellophane, and mylar was going to go.

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Rhododendron season, these are traditional pink, but most of the ones we saw today were white.

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The pile of debris we hauled down from that beautiful falls and stream.

While hiking down, I got a call from our neighbor asking if we saw his big brown dog, the chicken killer down here again.  Fortunately, I was a bad chicken keeper today and had left them cooped up when we left for our hike.  He apparently walked down looking for the dog and couldn’t find him.  Later he texted that the dog was in the house and we let the chickens out.

This afternoon, we put our son and his wife on a bus home and we brought our grandson home with us.  He helped me extend the 4 foot fence up to 6 feet by putting a lighter weight garden fence secured with fiberglass poles to the top.  This will prevent the youngs from flying out and hopefully will discourage Brown Dog from getting in.

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