My friend Jinda can remember a conversation years ago when I declared I would never go camping. Well, I guess this post confirms the old adage, "Never say never."
Last summer we began our family's camping adventures (gently with a campout in the backyard and then weekends in Elkmont and Cosby). We continued the adventure this weekend with a Father's Day trip to Cades Cove.
The highlight of our weekend was riding the 11-mile loop of Cades Cove on our bicycles. We left our campsite at 7:30 on Saturday morning to begin the ride, and we finished around 10:30. Cars are not allowed onto the loop until 10 a.m., so we enjoyed the entire ride without seeing a single car.
We did see wild turkey and deer - plenty of them. At one point, we came upon a deer grazing on the side of the road. We stopped our bikes to watch, and she contentedly kept munching. It was a wonderful morning. The one-lane road was recently paved, so it was a smooth and scenic ride.
Another highlight of our camping trip was welcoming guests to our campsite on Saturday afternoon: my parents surprised us, and friends Joe and Amy Coker, with their sons Layton and Conner, paid us a visit. It was a pleasure to visit under the canopy of trees and along the creekbed. Our next camping adventure in July will push me even further, as we extend it by one additional night - three nights in the woods...without a shower. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm looking forward to it.