As noted in Saturday’s post, I spent the weekend in the woods. Specifically, my girlfriend, her friend, her friend’s husband, and I went camping at Watson Mill Bridge State Park outside of Comer, Georgia.
It was a rejuvenating experience. Last week was borderline hellacious, and by the end of it I was pretty much done with everything (’tis the season; thank goodness for Thanksgiving!). Spending two nights in the forest really cleansed my mind and soul. My body got a good workout on some vigorous woodland trails, though I also polluted it with plenty of s’mores and campfire hot dogs.
We stayed at one of the park’s three “pioneer” campsites, designed for primitive camping—camping without water or electricity (although I discovered a water spigot about one hundred feet from our camp, which I used to keep the dogs hydrated). Everything we cooked was over a fire, and the other couple was kitted out with all the necessities. The wife (you’ll see her in a picture below of me cooking over the fire) has been camping for years, and it is apparently one of her favorite activities, so she had all the gear necessary to cook and live outdoors (at least for a weekend).
Even at the primitive camp, and with a more experienced couple to help out, it was “easy mode” camping: we pulled our cars right up to the campsite, and it was a short walk to restrooms and showers in the main part of the camp. Still, I ended up going without a shower until we got out of the woods Sunday, but surprisingly did not smell like Bigfoot (even if I looked like him a bit).
Regardless, we definitely “roughed it,” as they say. We slept in very cold weather in our tents and sleeping bags (my sleeping bag was very warm), and even with some padding from an air mattress and yoga mats, I could definitely tell I was on the ground. The cold weather was glorious, though—there’s something invigorating about temperatures below fifty degrees Fahrenheit that gets the blood flowing. I woke up before everyone else Sunday morning and managed to get quite a bit of grading done at a picnic table, but not before taking a short walk around the park, during which I saw a white-tail deer prancing in the foliage (during the night, we heard coyotes in the distance; I was thankful not to see any of those).
My girlfriend took quite a few pictures; most of the pictures in this post are hers. I did not include pictures of the two of us mainly to protect her privacy, although I doubt she would mind showing up on my blog. I just know that some of my older posts can get a bit spicy, and God forbid some Internet troll bring his purple-haired ire down upon her because of something I wrote.
We did quite a bit of foraging for campfire wood, although our hosts graciously purchased quite a bit of kiln-dried firewood from the park (don’t worry—we’ll pay them back on the next trip, which I fully intend on hosting). Sunday morning we resolved to get a breakfast fire going without buying any more wood, so we all set to work gathering kindling and other bits of wood. A good bit of the firewood we found was soggy, but we managed to get the fire going (I also contributed some blank US History tests to the fire) and had an amazing breakfast of eggs and sausage. My girlfriend baked biscuits before leaving for the weekend, so we also had delicious biscuits (and, on Saturday morning, gravy cooked over the campfire).
The centerpiece of the park is a beautiful covered bridge, which can be driven over. The river over which the bridge spans ran right past our camp, which also made for some peaceful white noise while camping and sleeping.
Here are some photographs from our hikes:
The husband plays banjo, so I borrowed a banjo from school and he taught me the basic tuning (open G) and finger roll. I’m still learning, but I have a good sense for where to start now.
We’re excited to get back into the woods. My girlfriend and I are looking at going back to Lee State Park in January, shortly after my birthday, which should be a good time. Cold-weather camping in much more enjoyable than sweating it out amid the bugs and humidity in the middle of the summer, when I think we’d both much prefer indoor activities.