Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

We had such a great time this weekend - started camping on Thursday at Vogel State Park and didn't come home till Monday.

Our favorite campsite is at a secluded area of the park, at the end of a 4-campsite cul-de-sac with Direct Trail Access.

After grocery shopping and packing the car on Thursday morning, we finally got started on the 2.5 hour drive to the North Georgia Mountains.  After arrival, we had our pick of campsites - people didn't really start pouring in until Friday so it was a blessedly quiet Thursday afternoon and evening.

On Thursday night, we did have a bit of a mis-hap.  I had to pee in the middle of the night (of course).  One of the reasons I like our secluded spot is it allows for NOT walking down the hill to the bathrooms (ie, peeing outside).  However, I did not remember there was such a STEEP DROP OFF behind the tent...I put my leg down to step and all I got was air. 

By that time I was already off-balance and tumbled down the hill (NO, we do NOT have a picture of that)...but not before twisting my ankle, bruising my leg, and landing on my knee (it swelled up big time). 

But - I was not SO injured as we couldn't do our planned actvities on Friday.  Which included hiking the Bear Hair Trail. 
Let me explain to you the premise behind Bear Hair: it goes up, then it comes down.  Two and a half miles up, two and a half miles down.  Simple, right?

Except I had BAD BAD BAD memories of it from last year. 

This was the first trail I ever hiked.  Now, being a kid from the farmland prairie, I thought hiking was akin to walking down a gravel road.  Flat-ish, straight, not too hard.  So last year my prairie naivete strapped on my Asics and said, "Yeah, let's try it!"

In short, I was ill-prepared.  I had to take like a thousand breaks and my freaking feet hurt so bad because tennies are not made for hiking on rocks and oh my god I hated it and it sucked so bad and it was hot and I got bit by a million mosquitos and I was not having any fun at ALL.

But after many hiking miles behind me, months of training, and 50 lbs lighter on my feet...look how much fun I'm having!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I KICKED IT'S BUTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Actually, after later reflection - and time for my muscles to stiffen up - I would call it a draw.)
In any case, we still had energy to go swimming in the lake on Friday afternoon, and had a huge fire on Friday night. 

We did have the worst camping neighbors next door though.  A huge group with 15+ kids came in and were noisy until after midnight and began clanging pots at 6am.  I was SO NOT IMPRESSED.  It's the first and only time we have ever complained to a campground host about reinforcing the quiet hours. 
And then my air mattress got a hole in it.  I woke up on the ground.  We did not have a repair kit.  Nor an extra.  Jeff fixed it with duct tape and it kind of worked till around 5AM. 
Since Friday night's sleep was not super long or restful we nixed our hike for Saturday morning...and went to Wal-Mart instead for a new air mattress.  On the way there was a really cute arts & crafts fair (Mom, they had those bears you've been eyeballing) that we just had to swing by.
Our busy morning was followed by an afternoon of swimming!!!  The lake was super busy but it was fun...except Jeff and I BOTH got nipped by a FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday we had more hiking - did almost 3 miles into the Coosa Backcountry Trail and came across this PRIMO photo spot. 

Jeff rigged up a set of hiking poles to serve as a camera tripod so we actually got a photo together!!!!!!  Then we had to hike almost 3 miles back out.  (Our "after" shot was not so cute.)

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

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