Thursday, July 10, 2008

Camping Extravaganza

We went on a three day camping trip this week and discovered a beautiful area practically in our back yard (less than 2 hours away). We had intended to go to Cumberland Gap National Park (3 hours away) but decided at the last minute that we didn't want to waste the money on gas when we had just been there a few months ago. Instead we decided to go to Carter Caves State Resort Park (about an hour east of us). When we arrived on Monday morning we realized that we'd never be able to handle that campground - rows of campsites intended for RVers that like to socialize. Ugh! We camp for the peace, quiet, seclusion and beauty of being in nature. That campground was NOT going to work for us. We took a drive through Tygarts State Forest and then visited the park's Visitor's Center (ahhh, so many memories from numerous trips I've taken there since I was a little girl). At the store Haley used her money to buy a huge lollipop. She left the building and immediately crashed to the ground (I think she missed a step - she has very poor depth perception). The lollipop was shattered beyond recognition. After ascertaining that Haley was not really hurt, her soft hearted daddy made another trip to the store for another red and white lollipop. Tears dried and lollipop licked, we tried to convince Haley to go spelunking with us. Haley was terrified of going into a cave because bears live in caves but we finally convinced her to trust us and spent an enjoyable hour or so playing in Laurel Cave and the waterfall inside an adjoining cave.

Still in search of a campsite, we decided to drive to another state park about 20 minutes away. Same problem. A campground built for social RVers. We were now almost and hour and a half from home and had nowhere to stay for the night. We knew we could drive back to Cave Run Lake and stay in one of their campgrounds but we were already planning a trip there in September so we really wanted to branch out. In desperation, I pulled out my map and noticed that right across the Ohio River was a national forest with lots of camping. Once we had cell service I called my sister to have her look up the phone number for the campground closest to us. When we called they had openings with electricity (a necessity for Jason's CPAP). We started heading in that direction. At this point I have to add that I am a compulsive and obsessive planner. Flying by the seat of my pants on vacation is nerve-wracking for me. And Haley? She was pretty hysterical about the fact that we weren't camping yet and were never going to find a place. She's pretty obsessive and compulsive about a lot of things! We crossed the river (on a poorly marked bridge) and arrived at our campground within 25 minutes of our initial call. It was GORGEOUS!!!! This was definitely a wonderful surprise! We spent the next three days cooking in dutch ovens, playing rummy, making S'mores, swimming at the beach, walking on the boardwalk at the lake, reading, playing with caterpillars, listening to the birds, trying to stay dry with huge thunderstorms rumbling all around us and just enjoying being away from everything. All three of us had a great time! In fact, we'd gladly return to the same spot next year. Here's a link to the area where we were: Haley says her favorite parts of our trip were playing in the waterfalls, eating BBQ chicken and roasted corn on the cob, swimming at the beach and playing with bugs. I can't wait for our next camping trip!

1 comment:

Kris and Kally said...

OH i am so jealous! That place looks so fun! I'm glad you guys had a great time! We missed you! Oh...and I think that picture of you is lovely! :-)