Went camping this past weekend and had a lot of fun, although as usual it was pretty exhausting.
We went to Unicoi State Park up near Helen, Ga. They were having an Outdoor Adventure Day on Saturday but we (thankfully) decided to go up early on Thursday and spend a couple extra days there.
We camped in their tent camping area. A bit different from the usual "pitch a tent on an RV site" camping as per usual. Only thing is with the RV site camping where you park is where you sleep. In a tent camping area you have to haul all your gear up the side of a mountain in order to get everything to the campsite. We brought two coolers, four bins and a trailer full of firewood. I was plumb tuckered by the time we got it all up.
I didn’t do much of the firewood. The kids did a great job hauling the firewood around. One of our pack had brought a wagon and the kids used that to deliver wood to all the different sites. I had bought a half a cord, but only half of that fit on the trailer so I had brought a quarter of a cord with us and it turned out to be a fairly good amount of wood. The last night there I was making particularly large fires in order to enjoy it.
We used the firewood for cooking as well as for night-time warmth although it really didn’t get all that bad. We ended up taking sleeping bags off our bed and letting others use them since it wasn’t cold enough to need them.
Amanda and Derrick brought Teresa’s brother Dean’s tent up to us because it’s fairly large. It’s a two-room tent with a breezeway in between… very nice tent but we had a couple things going against us… the first was that it was dark when it arrived, and I’d never put it up before. No problem, most tents are self-explanatory… but not this one. I think the ‘catch’ was that you were supposed to stake it down first, and then put up the poles and I’m used to tents that you don’t really need to stake. The second thing was that it was too big for the site! It never did get quite put up correctly and sagged a little bit. The third thing was that I was still exhausted from hauling all the gear up to the tent site.
Wrestling with that is when I put down my glasses… never to be seen again.
Didn’t really see much of the kids except once it got dark. There was a playground just down the hill and creeks for them to play in and around.
Friday we tried to go to the Oktoberfest early but they didn’t open until 6pm so we had an adventure in cuisine at a bar near there that also happened to serve food. Afterwards it was billed by the group something similar to "worst restaurant ever" but I don’t think it was THAT bad… Just because we sat on the deck in the rain, and they had rotten oranges and soggy fries really doesn’t make it the worst ever.
Beth, Tom, Teresa and I went back to Oktoberfest later and enjoyed some German singing and beer. Teresa even did the chicken dance.
Saturday was Outdoor Adventure Day and the boys and I went skeet shooting, shot archery, saw poisonous snakes (including a diamondback rattler) LIVE and not in a cage, saw trained dogs and canoed. The canoeing was fun but Cameron wanted to move around in the canoe and switch places with Tyler so he could row, too, and well… canoes aren’t as steady as I remember them. Maybe it has something to do with inertia and that I have a bit more mass than I did the last time I went canoeing. Which was probably when I was in Boy Scouts. It was another exhausting day. David came up to visit us, too.
Sunday we got to pack it all up, lug it back down to the van and repack. We went into Helen, ate German food and shopped for a while. The boys and girls played in the river, and then Amanda and Derrick took them on a carriage ride. Teresa and I waited in a bar with a deck that was very popular with the motorcycle enthusiasts (I think the name is ‘biker bar’) and had live music.
We made it home and the camping gear actually got stowed in the proper place in the garage in record time. Usually I’m too tired to do it after driving but Teresa drove and I took a nap on the way home.