Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Le voyage de camping

Don't you just love it that "camping" is the same in almost every language? Apparently, it's the one thing that's common to us all . . . or maybe it's just a highly assimilate-able word.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, we met some friends in Tennessee for a wonderful camping trip, with great times had by all. Unfortunately for you, we were having so much fun that we left the camera out of the equation most of the time, which means that we have no photos of our dear friends, or of the catastrophic but delicious "spicy sausage and scout bread on a stick" recipe we tried. Let's just say that, if you really want to cook a whole bunch of things together on a stick, go ahead. But wrap it with foil first to save yourself the trouble of it falling apart before you even get it on the stick. Nor do we have a photographic record of the glorious campfires, and of course there's no way to capture just how crisp and comfortable the weather was.

The best moments are never caught on film. Why would they be? When you're really, really happy, why would you want a camera between you and your loved ones?

But here are a couple of shots.

In their element

We went hiking. Not as much as we would have liked--and not nearly enough for our rock-climbing puppy--but it was good to be out there, tackling mountains. We were in Roan Mountain State Park--quite posh by our state park standards, by the way--which boasts an interesting assortment of "balds"; that is, mountains that have clearings or gaps on top. There are lots of theories as to why they are the way they are, of course, but none as interesting as those concerning dinosaurs and aliens.

The state park isn't just a natural haven; it's preserving some interesting remnants of human civilization, as well. Every time we visit the Smokies and the areas nearby, I'm fascinated with how people lived and traveled there. Getting around isn't easy now, and it was hundreds of times more difficult 100 years ago. This is a photo of a mill inside the state park, as well as some flowers planted outside an unbelievably isolated (but beautiful) farmhouse that's no longer inhabited, but still standing today.

Posted outside the campground bathrooms and ranger stations. Except to give it context, there is little I can add to this image; it is truly a work of genius.



Patrick George McCullough said...

That's just discriminatory against Barbie dolls. I'm appalled that they would call Barbie's tent a "mockery of a camping unit." We're going to have to notify the folks over at about this outrage.

brannabee said...

i LOVE the #4 rule of the campground. wow.