Explore KY {Daniel Boone National Forest}

After a million hours in the car, we arrived in Kentucky last week for a vacation with friends. Technically, it wasn’t a million miles, but with 5 kids it sure felt like it. Not much tests my patience and endurance like being stuck in a car for 14 hours with kids that need lots of potty stops and fight interventions.

Nonetheless, it was totally worth it. Last April, my youngest daughter and I flew to PA to meet the Weldons. Our family stories are interwoven in a beautiful way. (click here to read a post about that). This year we decided to get together the whole families and meet in between OK and PA….which landed us in the Daniel Boone National Forest of Kentucky. We stayed together in a little cabin by a lake.

It was awesome.

Our kids became instant friends. The 8 kids are all almost exactly a year apart…from 10 years old to 2 years old. I’m so grateful for crazy things like social media and how two families can become cherished friends as a result.

The boys did a little dock jumping. Don’t let the pictures fool you. It snowed over this pond 2 days before they jumped in. Little boys are awesome.
4.14KY-14.14KY-3We did a lot of hiking and exploring. A wild, wonderful adventure was had by all.4.14KY-5


Angie made all the kids these PVC bow & arrows. The kids spent hours playing with them. If they weren’t fishing, they were shooting their arrows.4.14KY-74.14KY-94.14KY-104.14KY-12

While the girls sweetly posed for a picture together, my son found a rock that looked like petrified animal droppings…to the delight and laughter of the boys. Little boys are awesome.4.14KY-144.14KY-15

We hiked up to Natural Bridge. It was such an incredible sight. After taking some pictures on the bridge, we hiked over to another spot to get a better view of the bridge. Both locations were incredibly high with no railings of any type. It was a beautiful (and dangerous adventure). Walking across that bridge I was in full protective mom mode.4.14KY-16

This is on on the middle of Natural Bridge, the lookout point is behind us.4.14KY-18

This is us on the lookout point with the Natural Bridge behind us. If you look closely you can see people on the bridge.4.14KY-19

And all of our fun crew. We were having a bit of a shoe battle with Little One…4.14KY-20

What a gift friendship is…especially when it spans beyond adults to the kids. I really wish Pennsylvania was next door to Oklahoma.

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  • Kari Signe - Looks like you guys had a great time! Do you think your friend could give a tutorial on how to make those bows? Pretty please!

  • Anastasia - Wonderful time!!!! Its a shame that PA & OK are so far apart, but true friendship is always tested by time and distance. On the positive side, all these obstacles will make every meeting more special & memorable :))))

  • kimberly oyler - isn’t kentucky beautiful? looks like you guys had fun!

  • Molly - I often wish that Pennsylvania was right next to Kansas, so we just need to rearrange some states. We could put it right in between Kansas and Oklahoma.

  • Elizabeth - You were about 20 minutes from my house!

  • Jody - Yes!! Please ask friend to give tutorial on bows & arrows!!! Please!!! Perfect for this coming summer for my 4 boys!!!!

  • Allison - Well, I grew up in KY (and have been to natural bridge many times) and lived in PA for over 10 years, before recently moving to Nebraska. So for many of the same reasons, I wish these states were all closer as well! I sure do miss the mountains and forests too.

  • Amy D - Thankful for you. We have best friends that “get it” who live far away too. They are “aunt, uncle, and cousins” to our kids, so we make annual long trips to meet them at the beach each year. One of the highlights of our year!

  • alix - i thought the same thing about the bow and arrow. How fun is that. I love Boys and all the fun adventures with them. I found this tutorial. it looks similar

    thank you ashley for sharing your life

  • ruth rosie - Hi ashley, I have been reading your blog since your blog was featuring in parents mag. And I am so glad I found you, you’ve been an inspiration to me since then. And as crazy as it sounds, last nite I dream that we met and the thing that I kept thinking about this morning when I woke up is that you were just as friendly and cool as I pictured you whenever I read your blog. Oh how I wish that could happen in real life. 🙂

  • Linda - I often wish Louisiana was next to South Carolina—where my daughter and her husband live. I’m going to wish it even more when they begin having grandbabies!!!

  • Tracy - My family has gone there many times. My husband and I are climbers and we have gone there for climb. We have two little ones so we are often renting cabins out there too! If you ate pizza from Miguel’s then you definitely found a good place to eat…however I totally understand if you made your meals too, because we almost always do that!

  • Taylor - This trip looks like a blast! I am so in love with that picture of Little One on Chris’ shoulders. Absolutely stunning and heartwarming picture.


  • amy cornwell - I love everything about this. I love the two families interwoven. I love the PVC bow & arrows (so stinking clever). I love that you know how to be goofy. I love how you cherish the moments. Thank you for sharing life with us and making us smile!

  • danielle - Looks like fun! I need to bring my boys there one day!

  • courtney - What a neat adventure! Would love to see how your friend made the bows and arrows. Do you think she would share?

  • Kristin S - As always, your photos tell the story.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - That is so awesome. Can you believe that God even uses social media to bring His family together? Love it.

  • Tanya - Gorgeous pictures and gorgeous story! Thanks for sharing.

  • Jeni - I love this because last summer we met up with our friends in the exact location! (We are from N. Alabama, they live in Ohio 🙂 Great memories , indeed.