Monday, June 21, 2010

Fishing Rodeo at Cave Spring

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. ~John Buchan

My husband flew back home from Texas Friday night too late to eat out, especially since we had plans for leaving early Saturday morning for the children's fishing rodeo at Cave Spring. We have gone to this event for a few years that is always the day before Father's Day even though the Princess has yet to catch a fish there—still she loves it!

The rodeo has the younger children fish first for 45 minutes and then there is a 15 minute break before the next group. There are four groupings of ages: 3 and 4; 5 and 6; 7, 8, and 9; and 10, 11, and 12.

It sounds like a fair arrangement, but it is really sad when you see that the adults are the ones who take the fun out of it. People were advised for only one parent to be inside the roped off area for each child and they could cast out for the child, but then the child was to do the fishing, mostly. The first groups being so young, of course, have to be helped a great deal more, but when the children don't even touch the pole...? There was a five fish limit and one, obviously, well-experienced fisherman had his limit in a few minutes and left with his wife and his three or four year old, who look as clueless as to why they were leaving as to why they where there in the first place. Although the only one to snag his limit for the day, he was not the only culprit to break the rules, so most of the bigger and easier fish to catch were cleared out in the first two hours. We had a very tasty, eye-catching bait that the trout attacked well, but what was left in the third hour was small enough and my daughter a bit inexperienced enough that the fish were fed but not caught.

This year our pastor came to the event with his six-year-old grandson. His grandson caught a small fish which they threw back in. He did not catch another and was rather disappointed. Later on we met up again at the stream where we waded a bit and let the children play. Eventually, my husband and the children decided to rebuild the small dam. At some point, my daughter slipped coming down the bank and assured us she was all right even as the mud thickly covered her bottom. Not to worry, as Mama was prepared for such things with an extra set of clothes.

As things were winding down, the Princess suddenly was in tears...and we later found out she had found a snail shell, which was flipped out of her hand by the pastor's grandson, just being a typical boy. The Princess, as you may recall, has a thing for snails, since they were her first pets, but the children all thought they were just the shells. Another boy collected six shells just to give to her. When she showed them to me, I showed her that the shells were occupied by living snails that needed to be in the water to survive, so she happily put them back quickly. However, that was not the end of it.... It being that age old struggle between boys and girls just because they are of differing genders.

Clouds were rolling in and it looked as if we would get our regular scheduled afternoon rain as has been common for the last two weeks. As we called to them to come out of the water and get ready to go, the pastor's grandson and my daughter argued intensely. As we were drying them off, both were snapping at each other as if we were not there. Just when we thought we had them calmed down, one would say something and the other would go back into the argument. It was like trying to stop two cats from tearing at each other without being scratched yourself, accept it was only in words. It actually got to the point it was just funny, especially when the boy called her "Mister Nine-Year-Old" several times with that I just dare you to say something else back to me attitude. The last time our pastor said, "That's Miss Nine-Year-Old." Sarcasm always gets me and with that one I really had to hold in my laughters, as the Princes would say, and I was busy enough right then putting my hand over the Princess' mouth to stop her from saying anything back...again.

The pastor took his grandson to the car to dry off some more. After the quarrelsome duo were apart for a few minutes, we talked briefly with the Princess about how she was the older of the two, although they were nearly the same size, we suggested that she should go over to apologize, which she did and then he did as well. Today they were happy to see each other in church. Sigh...things with children are so simple!

Back to Cave Spring
Cave Spring is a very small town with a population of about a thousand people and is known for being the location of the Georgia School for the Deaf. It is just about everything I could possibly want in a small town: friendly people, a gazebo on the square, family owned and operated restaurants and other business, antique shops, a bank, a public library, churches, even two shops on the square selling fudge (with a little recent history of some rivalry), a stream of cool, clear water (when I say "cool" I actually mean brrrr!), and a park within a block of downtown. In that park is an Bed and Breakfast Inn, a swimming pool (in the shape of Georgia, no less), a pond stocked with rainbow trout that is allowed to be fished only for the annual children's rodeo, and a rather small cave that was carved out by a cold water spring.

It is this spring for which the town is named. It is cold, clear, mineral water that has been tested for its purity and it has a temperature of around 56 degrees as does the cave itself. For just one dollar, a person can tour the cave, but if you would like a drink of the cool water...that is free! In fact, people bring empty jugs to fill with it as it flows out to the pond. This spring is the town's water supply, but has to be chlorinated by law...sadly. However, residents also come to get the water as provided by nature without the chemical additive and some people claim they believe that is why they are thriving in their eighties and nineties.

Cave Spring is just a bit more than an hour from our home (in the opposite direction of all the other things we do an hour from our home, of course) and we try to go there at least once a year, but we did not make it at all last year. I love stopping by to sample fudge and, on our way out of town with a $5 budget, we stopped in choosing Amaretto Chocolate and a smaller piece of Creamsicle--both yummy!--but I was looking forward to the Key-Lime that they did not have this time. Oh, well! It was still a lovely day. I love sitting under the shade of the trees in the park and wading in the creek on a hot summer day. I love talking with the townsfolk and hearing their stories. I love going to the shops; we did not do that this trip, but there will be another. I just love Cave Spring. It seems I always leave a piece of my heart there with each visit.

~ Thank you, my Lord, for one more lovely memory for all of us. If I may ask for a special blessing for the town of Cave Spring, then I would also ask that we can visit it again soon. ~


  1. What lovely memories you've made. I just love your description, I felt like I was there with you. Your post remined me much of my home, with the nice cool creek that runs through the woods that surround the house. I wish there were nice places like that to visit around here.

  2. How lovely! Though one can only wonder about some parents. How I should have like to spend the day with you. Trout fishing is so peaceful. ☺

  3. Birbitt: I am just love small towns in general but this one is really special to me. It also reminds me a bit of a town in Ohio where we used to have family reunions (my mother's father's side) on Father's Day.

    Ganeida: The rodeo itself is not that peaceful, just too crowded for that, but afterward the children can fish more in the creek with an eight fish limit for the day. Of course, with a few children cooling off in the creek, there are usually no fish around.


Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.