November 27 thru 29- Sloppy Floyd State Park
After eating Thanksgiving lunch with the extended
Richardson Family, the Tribe headed for
James (Sloppy) Floyd State Park near
Summerville, Georgia. Friday was beautiful, but Lainey had gotten sick
during the night, and Mommy had to take her to the doctor. The rest of
the kids played at the campground while we waited for Mommy and Lainey to
return. Our campsite was great! We had a nice long driveway back
to our site located just behind the playground. We could literally sit
by the fire and watch the little guys play. The park is located on the
West side of Taylors Ridge which is rich in geological and natural history.
The ground is covered with agate, and a variety of fossils and geodes can
also be found. We spent the afternoon
picking up fossils on a nearby
fire service road with Pamba, Calbert, and Parker Jon (also camping with
us). We bagged hundreds of specimens between us. That evening we
had a wonderful "left-over" Thanksgiving supper (better the second time
around). We prepared our ham in our biggest Dutch oven, and it smelled
great at the campsite! We watched "Meet Dave" on the big TV outside
the camper (under the awning) and turned-in as the rain began. It
rained all night, but we decided to try to stick it out.
Saturday morning we took a drive up to Mentone,
Alabama, then over to Desoto State Park
near Fort Payne. They are in
process of renovating the campground, and it looks like it's going to be
awesome! Full hookups with cable. Man, we like to rough it eh?
On the way back to our camp site, we stopped in Mentone and had coffee, hot
cocoa, and cake at the Wildflower Cafe. A very talented man was pickin'
and singing mostly 70's ballads, very well I might add. I noticed a
framed photo on the wall, then noticed lots more, all by Paul Shoffner, a
very (very) old friend that Daddy used to play in a band with. Daddy
had to call Paul and let him know we saw his work.
The rain continued, so we decided to pack-up and
head home Saturday evening. That was ok, because we'd had a very
fulfilling trip, and we really needed to decorate for Christmas.
November 21 thru 24- Enota Mountain Retreat -
We heard about Enota from one of Mommy's friends at work,
so we decided to check it out. It's located near Hiawassee, Georgia,
home of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds
(and some more great camping
sites). Enota is a privately owned non-profit preserve, formerly a
Scout camp and YMCA camp, Overall, this was an awesome place. Some of
the old abandoned buildings, cars, and campers need to be removed, and some
of its features need to be updated, but otherwise, we give it a 10.
The RV sites are on a beautiful little creek and feature full hookups (no
cable) and a private deck. It was around
10 degrees when we woke-up on Saturday morning, so the edges of the creek
and surrounding vegetation were all icy. We put on our long-johns
and layers and went to the lodge for a hot breakfast. The lodge was a
little chilly, but the breakfast was yummy! We were one of just a
small number of families camping this weekend, so we got a lot of personal
attention. There are a number of rescued animals, including a couple
of squirrels that the owner showed the kids. The retreat grows its own
organic veggies in the summer, and the milk you drink in the lodge comes
from their cows. For the kids, there are ground-level trampolines and
a play set. All need some maintenance, but the kids didn't care.
We drove into Hiawassee for some supplies, an extra space heater, and to
check out the Georgia
Mountain Fair campgrounds. They look great! When we got back
to camp we hiked to a beautiful waterfall. See the pictures of the
falls with ice...beautiful!
On Sunday, we
drove to the top of
then headed for Helen for supper at
Paul's Restaurant. The service was awesome, the food was ok, but
two steaks, tea, and kids food shouldn't have cost $100.00. We paid $10.00
just for the kid's drinks. At any rate, we really enjoyed
walking through Helen for a change. It looks like a lot of remodeling
has happened recently, and the tacky little town is actually getting kind of
nice. The architecture enhanced by the Christmas lights was a very
Note: If you're used to staying in "RV parks",
this place may seem primitive. It can handle a big rig, but barely.
The inner roads are dirt and rock, so bikes for little kids are tough.
If you like good hikes, clean air, good company, convenient location, and a
"Tree Hugger" (no offense) atmosphere, this is the place for you and your VW
bus, or 40' Gulf Stream.
November 1 thru 2- (See October 31) Halloween Camping at Fort Mountain State
Park - Chatsworth, GA
Well, as usual, we had a wonderful weekend of camping,
hiking, eating, and generally decompressing at
Fort Mountain. The
weather was clear and sunny with the days peaking around 67 degrees and the
nights dropping to the 30s (prefect for a rip-roaring fire). Pamba,
Calbert, and Parker Jon joined the Tribe for camping and Halloween fun on
this fine weekend, and Aunt 'Net, Eleanor, Mother Goose, Nanny, and Paw Paw
came to visit on Saturday, just in time to enjoy our first Dutch Oven desert
(apple crisp). The kids Trick-or-Treated in the campground which
resulted in a lot of candy consumption. We went on a couple of nice
walks, and hiked a trail we've never been on; Big Rock Nature Trail.
It was a relatively short, but brisk hike with lots of great views.
There is a 400' cascading waterfall (in non-drought situations). Daddy
noted that the cracks and crevices in the ancient creek bed may have some
gold lodged down in them, so next time...