Camping Catch-Up

Just a little photo dump for all three-ish of you who read the things! I did successfully take four camping trips this season and only made significant mistakes on two of them. Learned lessons on each and streamlined the process and placement of things. One might say, I now have some glamping girl power!

A real good glamper would be booking sites for next season, and we’ll get to that, but first ~ some super brief highlights of this season’s trips! I only took one picture of me leaving the driveway, and zero more of an entire weekend at Fall Creek Falls. I lifted a few from my friend, though. We made some great hiking memories, visited friends of mine who were camping nearby and lazily enjoyed the rainy pace of the weekend.

The kindness of strangers may have been one of the top five moments on that trip!

A little slope, ok, a lot. My foot was trying to catch the door that gravity wanted to close!
Such fun to show off the renovated parts of Maisy Grace.

When it comes to camper hauling, turns out I’m better at backing it than I thought I’d be ~ but much, much worse at remembering the details about trailer connections, like not leaving slack in any cables that connect vehicle to trailer.

In this case, the slope of the site was a little stronger than I was ready for. The couple camping at a neighboring site saw me struggling and happily pitched in to help and make everything safe. I think that was the third trip of the season.

Last trip, favorite site! Bledsoe Creek State Park

Perfect spot, great lighting (or lack thereof in my case). Bath facilities nearby were so clean and climate controlled! Friendly camp hosts, a great hiking trail, easy access to lake and I decided I could totally live there. Quickly realized that it was easy when the days were in the low 80’s and evenings dipping down to maybe 60’s. It was weather nirvana.

One of the most amazing sunrises ever! No filter, no special anything ~ just glory and majesty. Cypress trees along the water’s edge. Had a fantastic campsite! Too many deer and squirrels to keep a four-legged friend calm. Bledsoe Creek State Park has so much to offer, right outside of Nashville!

This was packing up at sunrise and making it to work on time!

The best and easiest hook-ups of the season were at Little River Campground, a privately owned little spot right on the river in Townsend. Great hook-ups, yes but also the closest together and most expensive site I had all season. This place really only suited the trip well since it was more about hiking and spending time with friends in another campground! Elkmont Campground is fantastic, but totally primitive. Trade-offs ~ I envied the dark, quiet site. She envied the full hookups. But all of us had a really great time! Have you ever had a shrimp boil done on campfire? I have now, and yes, you should be jealous.

All smiles at a quarter mile in. We were huffing it 8 miles later.
Indian Flats Falls at the end of Middle Prong Trail in GSMNP! A gorgeous, nine mile day.
Camp hosts? Or dinner?
Dogs need no captions.
The sign matches #maisygrace a bit ~ if she had cattle heads

The first trip of the season!

Center Hill Lake, Floating Mill Marina. I’m not a fan of their site setups and the camp hosts megawatt floodlamp at night. You’re supposed to camp by fire and moonlight, lanterns and such. My inner vampire was so offended!

However, the lake there gets me past a whole of lot of annoyances. First one came as soon as I got there and realized my brakes were weird. Oh, that’s because the seven-pin connection had been shredded two-thirds of the way through. Dragging the interstate for eighty miles will do that. Thank God for southern hospitality and campsite regulars. It was fixed within four hours for less than fifty bucks! BONUS: the guy had to cut so much out of it to reconnect that it cannot happen again!

Center Hill may have been my favorite destination for all the paddling I managed, but would try one of the State Park sites next time instead.

It was the dog days, no lie. Heat advisories in effect 3 of my 7 days there. This was his favorite spot during the day ~ that’s where the AC blew hardest.
Friends visited! A great assortment of ski club buddies met up with me and paddled to Burgess Falls
Interesting ~ the water lowers pretty rapidly after mid-July. We paddled through trees that one of our group had not seen at all when she paddled it three weeks earlier!

There were times I felt I didn’t have any adventures this past summer, because time has just been moving so rapidly. Actual summer months were a total blur for me and fall had been just as chaotic. It’s a constant learning, but I’m striving to embrace the world’s chaos, find joy in it and pray through the evil. Because there is still so much good.

So very much!

It was a big thing I did. Hauling around something that weighs about the same as what you’re driving is freaky! I gave myself grace for the mistakes and gratitude for those who helped me fix them, or double checked my work. Total strangers who have a common bond ~ it’s a great community! It’s helped to open my eyes wider to the friendliness springing up in people. It seems it had been lost for a while, but is back. Despite the yuck and evil and what level of low some people will stoop to today ~ there is still ALL kinds of good in this world. Stand strong in that. Stand really, really strong and firm in both seeing and being the good in the world.

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