Archive for the 'Camping' Category

The Sweet Sleep of Camping

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

RT and I went camping Friday night. We camped at the building site for our new house – which is less than three miles from where we’re living now.

The air was crisp, the fire was warm, and the mood was relaxing. There is something about relaxing by a campfire and listening to the night sounds around me that makes me chill out. I could feel anxieties and worries literally draining away.

We have a routine for setting up camp. I set up the tent – a quick and easy job – while RT gathered firewood and got the campfire going. Friday night, since we didn’t have a hammer with us, RT came around to give the tent stakes a final boot-shove to make sure they were deep enough. Once the fire burned long enough to have a good bed of coals, we started dinner.

Dinner Friday night was hoppin’ john (black-eyed peas, mild Ro-tel, sliced turkey sausage). Hoppin’ john traditionally includes rice, but I forgot the rice and it was great without it. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten any camp food that wasn’t delicious. There’s just something about food that’s been cooked over a campfire that makes it wonderful.

After dinner we heated water so RT could have some hot chocolate and I could have my camomile tea. Then we just sat by the campfire talking, sipping our drinks and enjoying the peace and quiet. Comfortable. . . relaxing . . . soothing.

We’ve got our camping “sleep system” figured out. We have two twin-sized inflatable mattresses and a cordless pump. It takes me about a minute to inflate both mattresses. I’m careful not to inflate them too much so that they will be cushiony rather than hard. That’s the secret! The tent is small – and both mattresses side-by-side completely fill up the width of the tent. There’s still a foot or so of space at the foot of the mattresses for our other stuff. We put our sleeping bags and pillows on top of the air mattresses, and we’re good to go.

As it got later, the air got colder, but we were warm and snug and slept wonderfully. There is something about sleeping outside on a cold night in a tent. As long as the bed is comfortable, the sleep is deep and restoring.

Breakfast Saturday morning was bacon, eggs and biscuits. The bottom of the biscuits were burned black, but the tops were perfect.

Another fun camping trip in the books.

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Going Camping

Friday, October 6th, 2006

(Note: Two weeks ago I wrote the following post and posted it. However, we ended up having to change our plans. TONIGHT we will finally go camping. No rain is forecast – but that’s okay. So I’m changing the date stamp on this post so it’ll show up for today! he he he I guess that’s the easy way to get a post in today – plus let my thousands of loyal readers – he he – know what I’m doing.)

(Originally posted on 9/22/06 – date changed and reposted on 10/6/06)

RT and I have decided to go camping tonight. It’s supposed to rain, but as RT said this morning, that just adds to the fun of it. Amazingly enough, I agree with him. And I can’t believe that I truly agree with him. However, I’m looking forward to camping tonight and I hope it rains.

Here’s a photo from last fall when RT and I camped near the Ocoee River which is near Chattanooga. We stayed at a state campground then. Tonight we’ll be camping at the site where we plan to build our home. So tonight’s camping will be a little more rustic than this photo.

Camping on our land is decidedly easier now than it was last year. Since last year RT has built a road that will take us right to the place where we will camp. We also put a picnic table up there which will make things a little easier. I’m looking forward to it. Food tastes so good cooked over a campfire, and the sleep is so sweet.

If you’re curious about my other camping adventures, follow some of these links:
Traveling the Backroads of Middle Tennessee – Camping?
Satellite dishes next to the tent
Tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, camp stoves
Preparation for camping – putting up a tent
The Camping Trip
Another Camping Trip & Another Birthday Party
Camping With PawPaw
Ocoee Camping
The Camping Trip – Lightning, Thunder and Rain, OH MY!
Winter Camping and Weekend Fun

LATER NOTE: Change of plans. No camping this weekend – will try again soon, though.

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Trailer Trash Wannabe

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

RT and I are discussing selling his house, buying an RV, trailer or motor home to put on the land to live in while we build the house.  Hmmmmm.  It’ll be spring before the new house is built.  As I write this, there is a crew over there digging the 4-foot deep trenches for the water and electricity lines.

If we follow that plan, we’d put most of our stuff in yet another storage unit (that would make THREE full storage units of our stuff), take just what we need to get us until spring, and then put the motor home/RV/trailer on the land and live there while the house is being built.  That would free up the money to pay for the house rather than having to take out a loan.  And the building site is a long way off the road – at the end of a 1/3 mile winding driveway that RT built.  So there wouldn’t be any danger of neighbors complaining – because no one could see it unless they drove to the end of the driveway.

I think it could be considered an adventure since there would be definite parameters of time.  i.e. You can handle most anything as long as you know there will be an end to it.  It would be nice to be over there because it is such a beautiful place.

So today I’m looking online at campers and RVs and motor homes and trailers – and thinking about being real-life trailer trash!  Yea!

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Winter Camping and Weekend Fun

Saturday, March 4th, 2006

PawPaw and I went camping last night on our land out in the country. The difference this time is that there is now a road through the property and right up to the campsite. The last time we camped there we had to carry our camping supplies down a hill and then up another. That included carrying firewood. We didn’t get there last night until it was dark, but since we were in PawPaw’s jeep, it didn’t matter. We got the fire started and just enjoyed sitting there on the hill breathing in the fresh air and looking out at the countryside all around us. We listened to a pack of coyotes bark and howl. If you’ve never heard the sound of coyotes, it’s kinda spooky sounding at times. This morning we listened to what sounded like dozens of wild turkeys gobbling and clucking.

Dinner was delicious. I had gone by Publix and bought stew beef, onions, potatoes and carrots. So I made beef stew. I brought my large cast iron skillet, and we cooked the stew directly on the fire. Yum! We wrapped a couple rolls in aluminum foil and placed them next to the fire to warm. Cooking out over a fire make food taste so good. We had brought all the ingredients for s’mores just in case either of the kids and their families could come visit for awhile. However, Scalawag is sick again, and Stinkeroo needed to get the kids to bed early. So I now had graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey bars stashed away for the next camping trip.

After dinner we set up the tent and got everything ready for bed. Then we just sat out by the fire and talked for a long time. We boiled water and made hot chocolate for PawPaw and herbal tea for me. Soooo relaxing. Then we went to bed. The temperature was in the mid-twenties last night — and I felt it. I’ve never slept with a hat on, but last night I did. Not only did I sleep with a hat on, but I pulled it down so it entirely covered my face – but my nose was still cold! My sleeping bag is supposedly a 20 degree bag, and PawPaw’s is a 15-degree bag. But we both were cold. However, it wasn’t an unbearable cold.

For the first couple hours I was warm except for my butt. I could NOT get my rear warm! I finally decided that the only explanation is that my last minute necessary visit behind a tree before bed cooled it off and it took awhile for it to regain some heat. Does that even make sense? But why else would that be the only part of me that was cold? Finally the cold shifted to my feet, and I was warm except for my feet. So the night was filled with restless sleep. But the sun dawned beautifully, and we both felt great despite a less than perfect night’s sleep.

We got out the cast iron skillet again for breakfast – bacon with onions and green peppers and hash brown potatoes. I tried canned biscuits again — and out of the ten biscuits, we were able to salvage four that were not burned to a crisp or still doughy. So breakfast was wonderful, too. And the coffee we made over the fire — absolutely perfect. After walking around the land for awhile, we packed everything up again.

We spent all morning and early afternoon burning brush piles on the land. PawPaw was able to get a burn permit for today but not for tomorrow. So he’s trying to get all of it burned today. It doesn’t SOUND like a big job, but it is. He’s still out there burning right now.

Another successful and fun camping trip is over. Tonight we’re babysitting Sweet Stuff and Sunshine for a couple hours so their parents can go out to dinner. I’m looking forward to that.

I think we’re joining Hillsboro UMC tomorrow morning. I really like the small church and country atmosphere of that church. Last Sunday they had an old-fashioned community songfest, and it was so enjoyable. There’s just nothing like those old hymns.

I LIVE for the weekends. This one has been wonderful so far.

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Ocoee Camping

Sunday, November 6th, 2005


This was the sunset Saturday night. Beautiful, huh? 




This is me enjoying my morning cup of coffee Sunday morning. 


Notice the really cool blue percolator on the fire grate.



That’s my lovely tent in the photo. 




PawPaw took this picture Sunday afternoon as we were leaving. It’s the Ocoee River. 


They had just opened the dam – supposedly for the last time until after winter – and there were hundreds of kayakers in the water. 




This is PawPaw this morning — sucking in his gut (his words, not mine) for the photo. 


The scenery was incredible. 


PawPaw and I drove northeast of Chattanooga yesterday and camped on top of a mountain above the Ocoee River. Most of the camping areas were closed for the winter, but the overflow camping area was open — and there was only one other family camping there. It was dark by the time we got there, and we were concerned that we might have waited too late to get our camp set up. We didn’t have time to scope out the area before it was too dark to see. It was remote – and we had to shine the car headlights at the campsite to get things settled. However, we were quite a team in getting everything set up. PawPaw started the fire and helped me set up the tent. By the time the fire was burning well, we were ready to cook our dinner. It turned out to be a wonderful camping trip! During the night there was some ferocious wind — so much so that PawPaw already had in mind where we would go if it got any worse (a ditch a short distance from our tent). Although the wind blew strongly off and on throughout the night, there was only a little while that it seemed so intense. It rained for about five minutes, and then we woke to a beautiful sunrise. The only significant problem was that the tent held in the heat so well that it was too warm inside. We’ve decided that the next pretty weekend with COLD weather, we’ll make another camping trip. 


We saw the most spectacular fall foliage I can remember seeing in years. It was simply breathtaking. I took some photos of the scenery and of our campsite. The photos are above. 


This morning we went on a bike ride along the Ocoee River. Not a long bike ride — just about 2 1/2 miles. It was beautiful.

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