Thursday, October 18, 2018

Monday, October 8, 2018

Fall Break In The Mountains

Helen and I headed up to the mountains during the fall school break

Checking out Jaemor Farms on the way

Never would have planned on going through Helen during Oktoberfest, but that's where the GPS took us. Thankfully it wasn't too crowded during the middle of the week. 

We talked about stopping in Helen. It kind of looked fun, but also contrived and touristy. We decided to keep on driving. 

Anna Ruby Falls

Unicoi State Park

Spending the night in Moccasin Creek State Park

We didn't realize until we arrived that "the park" is really just a campground on Lake Burton that was turned over to the state parks department to manage.

Trying out our new 2 person tent for the first time

Me: I don't think our queen size air mattress will fit. I'm sure we'll be fine with just a tarp and some padding.
Helen: Okay...I guess?

I'm kind of rolling with this minimalism thing. Helen's wondering what the heck happened. We're figuring out that, while she appreciates some merits of frugality, minimalism is not the same thing and that there are some big differences between the two concepts.

The sleep wasn't very good, but I think we just need more practice

We remembered the ear plugs, but Helen pulled them out when she got tired of hearing her pounding heartbeat. I left one in, but pulled the other out in order to hear some natural sounds.

Our little Honda Fit and tent

We were surrounded by big trucks, campground rigs, outdoor tv's, satellites, smokers, college football team displays, and other elaborate accommodations.

We also noticed how much campground people love their dogs. Many people have multiple dogs and some even have elaborate enclosures. It seems escaping to the great outdoors doesn't free you from having to hear other people's dogs bark.

I know there are lots of crazy cat owners out there as well, but at least they're home bodies who mostly keep their pet obsession to themselves (and maybe social media).  

Hemlock Falls Trailhead across the street from Moccasin Creek State Park

We did the wilderness trail next to the falls trail beforehand and on the way back heard a loud rustling about 50 feet up the trail. It was louder and more violent than deer. We were afraid it was a bear and then saw about 15 wild hogs running across the trail and then through the creek. At first we were happy it wasn't a bear and then came to realize death by wild hogs would probably be worse. 

Campground store decorated for the season

We drove back to Unicoi State Park with the idea of taking one of the trails into Helen, but decided on a shorter hike

We drove back through Helen and talked about stopping again, but the crowds and the unseasonable heat sapped our will

Smithgall Woods State Park