It’s Camping Season!

I’m SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED for warm weather.

No, really.

I mean, I hate hate hate being cold. Despise it, in fact. Every winter I threaten to move to Southern California. (Maybe one of these days I should.) So the return of warm weather makes me happy if for no other reason than I don’t have to shiver any more. (Well, that’s not entirely true. I routinely freeze in air-conditioned buildings.)

ANYWAY.

Warm weather means lots of things, but this year I’m most excited about camping season!

Jimmie has tried multiple times to convince me that camping can be done year-round, that cold weather camping is fun. No thanks. We actually tried to camp in early April….in the backyard. It was actually a lot of fun, because we got to have all the dogs with us.

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Luka and I getting ready to blow up the air mattress

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Zoe and Lucy were more than ready for bed….

And then we went to bed, and I froze all night, despite the fact that I was wearing long johns under my sweats, had my hoodie over my head, and was buried under 2 sleeping bags. I stuck it out though…and then as soon as the sun came up, poked Jimmie and asked if we could go inside yet.

I’ve got to be honest. I used to be one of those people whose idea of camping was staying at a 3 star hotel. I was not one bit interested in sleeping outside, having less than fully-functional bathroom facilities, and having to cook over a fire. And no mattress? Forget it. Absolutely forget it.

Then last year, we wanted to take a vacation, but had limited funds and time off work, so we needed to stay close to home. We decided to each plan half of the trip. And you guessed it…Jimmie picked camping. I picked a chalet in Gatlinburg. In case you were wondering, his trip was actually way more fun. And that’s how I got hooked on camping.

Anyway, we finally got a nice warm (not raining!!) weekend, so we packed up Lucy and Luka and our friend Richard and headed down to Indian Boundary. It’s our standby, a great campground in the Cherokee National Forest. It’s the same place we went in August. It’s clean, the sites are nice, and there’s a great fishing spot close by, Citico Creek. There’s also a nice 3.1 mile loop around the campground lake, which is super nice for wearing out the pups.

I really needed to get away…work has been rough lately, so here’s my “thank the stars I’m not in the office” face.

0425141359The first day we walked the loop, and I took pictures of random flowers.

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Think it’s Purple Phacelia?

I believe this is a Fiddlehead Fern that just hasn’t unfurled yet. Pretty cool!

0425141632bI also learned how to use the panoramic setting on my phone….

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0425141634And then that night, we made the COOLEST FIRE EVER. Richard and I bought this packet of stuff in the campground store that turns your fire colors. When Jimmie wasn’t looking, Richard threw it in…..let’s just say that for a few minutes, we had Jimmie convinced Richard was a wizard. He didn’t find it anywhere near as amusing as we did, but it was definitely worth it. So worth it, in fact, that we bought 4 more packets the next day.

It didn’t photograph well, so you’ll have to take my word for it. But it was blue and green and gorgeous. We talked about how cool it was for probably 20 minutes. I can never have a normal fire again.

0223140243In case you want to make your own gorgeous blue and green fire, just know that you probably shouldn’t roast marshmallows after you throw the packet in. (No, we didn’t try.) That might be a health hazard.

I should also mention that we were annoyed by a Cub Scout pack the entire weekend. Poor leadership allowed the kids to run around screaming all night. And then they started singing “Let It Go” (from Frozen?!) at the top of their lungs, and things got even weirder. So parents, please control your children. Thank you.

The next day we headed over to the creek so the boys could fish, and the pups and I could soak up some sun.

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My view of Citico Creek

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This is trillium, but not sure which one, since it had already bloomed.

This is trillium, but not sure which one, since it had already bloomed.

Jimmie caught two trout, and I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of them. I’m weird…I can’t handle seeing the fish in it’s full fish form. Or alive. Either one of those, and there’s no way I can eat it. So I didn’t get a picture.

We had them for dinner, cooked in foil with orange slices, and they were absolutely delicious. There’s nothing like fresh fish. And yes, I’m that person who meticulously picks the meat off every single bone. Don’t judge me.

I caught up on some reading, too.

You can't really see it here, but I have blue hair. Rock.

You can’t really see it here, but I have blue hair. Yes, on purpose.

After fishing, we went over to the lake and caught a little more sun….it was absolutely gorgeous.

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0222142253And that was pretty much it. Lots of time outside, lots of fun catching up, lots of yummy food. We came home tired and refreshed, and ready to go again.

In other news, I really want this t-shirt….because I’m a major nerd and think it’s hilarious.

2007hgr-w484h484z1-29040-camping-is-intentsWe’re headed back to Indian Boundary for Memorial Day, and I want to try Big South Fork next. Where’s your favorite camping spot? Where should we go this summer?

 

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