Monday, August 13, 2012

Julian Price Campground - Relaxing Weekend

     Decided that I needed a little R&R in the woods.  It's been a while since I've been out with nature and seeing that I can't get out and hike significant distances a camping trip was in order.  I have really forgotten how relaxing and enjoyable a peaceful weekend car camping could be.  With my major directives of always trying to complete some hiking accomplishment I had forgotten the simple pleasures that drew me into the woods to begin with.
     I got out pretty early from work on Friday Afternoon and was excited to head out to the mountains for a relaxing weekend without all the distractions that society provides.  I already had my gear lined up in the garage at home so my touch and go would be swift. Pack the van, get the dog and off we go!!!

     Got on the road about 2:30 and couldn't have been more ready.  I knew the weather forecast was sketchy, but I really didn't care if I had to spend the whole weekend tucked in the tent.  I was going out to the woods no matter!!  As I drove north on 321 the sky began to dim.  Looking as if the darker perceptions of my weekend may come true I just thought of how serene it would be to just hear birds and crickets chirping rather than medical bells, whistles and sirens all the time.  I can't begin to state how much I miss the sounds of nature over those of society since I have been back home from the AT.
     We arrived at the campground around 5:00 and checked in at the Rangers Station.  The weather was holding out so far so I tried to get camp setup as quickly as possible.  I was surprised as how easily my Taj-ma-tent setup with only one person.  The thing truly is a house and made me feel like a spoiled pig.  I could justify it since I had my dog with me and it was all to make him more comfortable :).
     I had a little trouble finding wood, but through some guidance from the local ranger we found a local general/camp store close buy that sold bundles (at a costly price).  I purchased 3 for the weekend and headed back to camp to get a fire going before the weather moved in.
     Luke and I were able to enjoy a few luxuries before retiring for the night.  I was able to get a fire going and have a few beers before the rain started.  The thunder cracked around us for about 30-40 minutes before the drizzle drove us into the confines of the tent.  We spent a few minutes enjoying the sounds of the rain patting on the roof of the tent before drifting off to sleep.

Day 2

     The rain must have done the trick over the night as I slept like a baby.  I stayed in the tent until a little after 11am.  It was nice just to lay there listening to the birds chirping and the breeze blowing leaves over the top of the tent.
     It was a little late for breakfast by the time I actually got myself organized, but the bacon was calling my name.  A full half pound of pork fat was just too irresistible.  I started by brewing coffee the old fashioned way (in a percolator) and then got the bacon and eggs going. Breakfast was good no matter how late in the day it was.
     After some time spent around the fire, reading and relaxing I decided to take Luke for a walk around the Lakeside Trail.  This 2.7 mile loop trail around Julian Price lake is a nice little walk.  There are numerous outlooks across the lake as well as a few benches with nice views.  The grade is flat making it very easy on my feet.  There were several muddy areas from the previous nights rain that the dog loved trudging through.
     The walk only took a little over an hour getting us back to camp early for dinner.  Steak was on the menu and the "man" weekend was is full swing :). Now I love a good steak and ribeye are my favorite, but my dog was in heaven when I gave him the bone to gnaw on.  He got every last piece of meat, fat and gristle off of it.
     The rest of the evening was spent hanging around the campfire, reading and tossing back a few cold ones.  Turned in around 10:00 to get a good nights sleep before heading back home after checkout.

Day 3

     I actually got another good night sleep!!  I felt back at home sleeping under the stars with the sounds of crickets chirping and the wind blowing through the trees.  I get a total sense of relaxation when I'm in the woods and it was hard dragging myself off the air mattress to get things packed up. 
     Making the last of the bacon and eggs didn't take long and even less time to eat.  It was going to be the last of my "cheat" meals for a while so I really enjoyed it.
     Surprisingly enough I managed to get everything taken down, put away and the garbage hauled to the dumpster in less than an hour.  I figured the ultra-large tent that I had taken with me would have been harder to set up and pack away, but it actually went pretty smooth on my own.
     Another great weekend has come and gone.  I already have plans to head back out next weekend for some tubing and a short hike with overnight stay in the Smokey's.  Can't wait!!!

Until the next adventure!!

Happy Trails,


1 comment:

  1. Now that looks like a relaxing weekend. Even Luke seems to be well rested. The only downside to this adventure was you ate more than you hiked. Hope it did not put on too much extra ounces that your INSANITY will have to take off.
    Ha, Ha,

    Great writeup. Cheers Dad