1. The Beautiful Winding Roads.
If you read my blog, yes both of you, you have heard me wax poetic about the meditative qualities of a remote country road winding its way through a never-ending display of scenic beauty (and the occasional meth lab trailer). So it will come as no surprise when I tell you that roads that lead you to great camping are always a treat.
2. Road Food
(Deep breath, here we go!) BBQ, Meat and three, homemade biscuits, pecan pies, hot chicken, mustard greens, cornbread, home grown tomatoes and last but not least the blessed charms of locally brewed beer, all await you on the open road.
I love the feeling when you have set up your gear, opened a beverage, and begin to feel time slow down. Feel the breeze and look around and just “be” for a while. It’s a decompression that I have to have from time to time in order to keep life’s aggravations at bay and maintain my charming Buddha-like disposition. (No, there is no need to check to see if that’s true. It is. Don’t make me slap you.)
Quick tip, check online to see if the park has photos of campsites. If not, call and ask a ranger for the best spot. Also, if you’re like me and sleep in a hammock, ask if there are trees on the site you can snooze under.
4. Explore Nature
Everywhere I’ve stayed I’m surprised by something the park has to offer. A short hike to an overlook or waterfall. A long wooden bridge allowing visitors to walk across a narrow section of lake. Or, as I found on my last trip, a craft and local music festival. I found a bench in the shade where I sipped tea and had a private concert by a great bluegrass band. They were warming up before taking the stage. Whatever it is, you will find them, those little moments that will make you glad you came.
Sure sometimes you sleep through it, but once in a while you look out of your hammock or tent and the sky is on fire. The crisp still air somehow makes you feel more alive. Then you can saddle up for a morning ride in the first golden light of day. Gliding through morning mist while all the cars are still asleep.