Friday, June 22, 2012

Unexpected Beauty

Dear One and I, have finally graduated to camping solo.  Last summer some friends of ours invited us up to the Smoky Mountains to visit them in Elkmont Campground.  I had grown up camping but Dear One had not!  Towards the end of that evening, when I came back to the campsite after a little stroll.  Dear One asked me if I would like to come back and stay overnight on the following Saturday.  I responded that if it was up to me we would return that very night!

We did return that Saturday, and we had a marvelous one night camp out, all we had to bring was a borrowed tent and bedding, our friends provided the rest.  If fact we had so much fun, we were back again the next month to a group camping adventure.  Same campground, a few more friends, and a different borrowed tent.  We had to borrow a bigger tent because I had made my first camping purchase, a queen size camping cot with attached air mattress.  ( I am too old to sleep on the floor!)  On top of the air mattress I added two egg crates, and a quilt, then our own sheets and blankets.  We were hooked!

We got a tent on sale last December, and I have slowly added the necessaries.  We were finally ready to fly solo!  And fly we did!  I tried to get a 3 night stay, but the campground is so packed that 2 nights was all I could get.   (Even thought the campground was pretty full, it was surprisingly quiet and restful!)

On our way up to the Smokies, we noticed that the Rhododendrons were in full bloom!  We have been saying for years that we wanted to get up to the Smokies to see them, and here we were seeing them, even though we had forgotten that they were  in bloom!

We got to our campsite in the early afternoon, made camp in just a short time, and went to explore the area a little bit.  We got back to the campsite, and even though we didn't need the little stove we had been given for dinner, I pulled it out to see how it worked.  Some friends had just borrowed it last week and they said it worked great.

 They must know something we don't know, because we couldn't get the thing to work at all.  It has a tank you fill with the fuel, and you pump this knob 35-50 times and turn this lever up, then you light the match and turn this other knob and let the burner burn for 1 minute, then you can turn the lever down.  The only problem was that we couldn't keep the burner going even one minute.

We looked at each other, looked at the stove, looked at the clock, and high tailed it to Walmart to buy a stove that uses those cute little propane canisters!  We got back, and were relieved to find that it worked wonderfully!  (We are going to gift that other stove to our young camping friends that thought it worked just fine!)  I whipped together the Chef Salad I had mostly pre-prepared at home, and we went to bed full, happy, and confidant that we could make coffee in the morning!

The next morning we were up early, and after a quick breakfast that included Cheerios with frozen milk on top, we hit the road to trek up to Charlie's Bunion.  It is an 8.8 mile (round trip), moderately strenuous hike, with a fantastic view at the top!    We saw oodles of mountain Azaleas along the trail close to the top.

We lunched at the top, and high tailed it home to the campsite to enjoy the afternoon, doing crafty stuff by the river that runs through the campground.  Dear One was drawing and I spent some time getting better acquainted with my favorite spindle.  I am learning to manage Silk Hankies on a Supported spindle.  I am getting ready for the Tuesday Weavers Spinning Retreat, the last Saturday in June.  So I have been watching videos, and brushing up on drop Spindling too.

We dined on pasta that night, the sauce I had made and frozen the week before at home, so it was quick and easy.  It was still light out so we were able to spend the evening with our crafty stuff, Dear One again drawing and I was finishing a pair of socks.  The end of another perfect day!

This morning, after breakfast, we broke camp and headed for home.  We were home and totally unpacked by 2:00pm.  We have made our reservations for July!  This time with grandkids for one of the nights!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina


Maggie said...

That sounds lovely! I would have loaned you my propane stove if I'd known you needed one!

Bonnie said...

Maybe the tank for the little stove was emptied by your friends during use. Sounds like a wonderful relaxing time.

LA said...

I'm so glad you had such a good escape!!! It sounds heavenly!

Theresa said...

What great fun! Would love to see some of the Dear One's sketching too. I bet those mountains are beautiful at almost any time but how lucky you got to see the rhodies and azaleas this time! What no S'mores?????