Last week we drove up on the spur of the moment towards the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. We have talked for a few years about going camping and hiking up there and decided that this was the perfect time. We wanted to get up there before the holiday because we thought it would only get more crowded after the holiday. On the way up there, I called the Charit Creek Lodge to see if we could get reservations for the next day and they had openings.
I’ve been a little apprehensive about staying at the lodge because I had never been there before and I knew that we would have to share a cabin with strangers. But my hubby really wanted to do this so I went along with it (the things you do for love!).
We arrive at the Big South Fork Bandy Visitor Center. W e met the nicest guys there at the visitor center who told us about the park and also about the animals there. They had a great educational display with skulls and pelts of different animals. We ended up spending the night at the Bandy Creek Campground (site 13A) which was up on a hill overlooking a nice field. We had hoped to see some deer but we never saw any. But, we did get to see a bear on the road as we returned to the campground after dinner. Thankfully we had our new tent because a thunderstorm arrived and we were able to sit in our tent with a glass of wine as the thunderstorm passed by.
The next day we packed up the tent and headed to the lo dge. Since we were early, we hiked in Pickett State Park to the natural bridge and Hazard cave. Then we had to drive along a gravel road to the trailhead and then hike 2 miles in to the lodge. When we arrived, we were told that we had the cabin all to ourselves for the night which was a relief. We ate some lunch and then hiked around the area before returning to our cabin. The mosquitoes were really bad and kept attacking Don so we spent time out on the screened in porch until dinner.
At dinner we met 2 other couples from southern Indian a and so there were just six of us for dinner. It was really cozy and we enjoyed visiting with these people and exchanging stories. They had the cabin next to us. After dinner we returned to our cabin and enjoyed our bottle of wine before heading to bed. During the night Don got cold and had to get another blanket but I didn’t.
The next morning, I was up early and got to watch the sun rise. Then we had breakfast at 8am with the other two couples. It was really nice meeting them and hope our paths cross again someday. After breakfast we headed back to our car and drove around but then headed towards Blue Heron Mining Community. There was a nice mining museum and hike in that area. After leaving there, we headed towards Cumberland Gap and hoped that we could hike there the next day but the road was closed. So, we decided to head for home.
As every day turns out, this whole trip was a wonderful learning experience. Here are some things that I learned:
1. Not everything has to be planned.
2. People like to tell the good things about where they live.
3. Wild animals may be all around us and we just have to stop and take time to look.
4. Thunderstorms can be scary and exciting.
5. Sometimes we dread things because we worry that it will be a bad experience and then it turns out alright.
6. Worrying about what might happen can sometimes be a waste of time.
7. It is fun to meet new people.
8. Plans need to be flexible in case things don’t go the way you expect.
What have you learned today?
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).