Sunday, September 7, 2008

Camping in Boone

I mentioned that we went camping over Labor Day Weekend. It was rather last minute, but Mark decided he NEEDED a weekend away from work, and we love the mountains, and two of our kids just happen to be in college out in the mountains! One of the problems with spontaneity like that is that campsites are hard to come by on a holiday weekend. The two campgrounds we normally visit, Boone KOA and Flintlock, were already booked solid, and a couple of others I contacted nearby were also full. But someone suggested that we try Julian Price State Park, which is located in Boone right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Probably half their sites are first-come-first-served, but the others may be reserved. We didn't want to travel 4 hours with the camper and arrive late at night HOPING that a site would be available, so we got online to see if any of the reservation sites were left, and we got the last one!

Now, we love camping, but we don't really "rough it". Modern bathrooms are a must, and we have come to enjoy electric hook up, camp stores with game rooms for the kids, pools, laundry rooms, wireless internet... Well, this campground had flush toilets, but no showers, no hot water, and no electricity. It was pretty heavily wooded and was DARK at night - can't-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face dark! But even without electric hook up, we were able to run the interior camper lights off of the battery, so that was helpful. There was a water spigot on a path in the woods about 10 yards behind our campsite, so we filled our 2.5-gallon container every morning with water for cooking and washing dishes. The bathrooms were tiled and very clean, but the lights ran off of a solar panel, and the bathhouse nearest to us was too much in the shade for that to work very well! So a flashlight was necessary when using that facility

Well, although it seems like we had to "rough it", we actually visited Sarah's dorm at Appalachian every day for showers. Ah!!!

Because of Co-op commitment in the morning and early afternoon, we left home around dinnertime and arrived at the campground at around 11:30 PM, after swinging by the college campus and picking up Eric. Sarah had RA duty and could only spend Sunday night with us, but she did spend the days with us. Eric's friend, Ryan, also spent the weekend with us.

On Saturday we drove down the road to Valle Crucis, where we stopped at Mast General Store for some old-fashioned candy, and then went to a town park for our traditional whiffle ball game, followed by some wading in a mountain stream

On Sunday we went on a pretty easy 2.5 mile hike around Price Lake. Later we went to the college rec field to play frisbee - pretty funny when you have two forty-somethings, 2 college kids, a couple of high schoolers, and a 10-yr-old.

We also played another traditional Herbert camping game - homerun derby - and Ryan ( who claimed this was her first time ever playing whiffle ball) was the champion! We made a trip or two to WalMart, celebrated Dad's birthday on Sunday, ate dinner at Golden Corral, walked around downtown Boone, and enjoyed being together. Our campfire / s'mores plans were washed out by some heavy showers in the evening, but otherwise the weather was great and the weekend was a lot of fun.


Eric Herbert said...

haha, my "friend" ryan :p

GrammaJelly said...

So great to see so many wonderful favorite is the last of the pasture, rail fence, and mountain...ahhhhhH! Sounds like everyone had lots of fun and made lots of memories...lots of love, mom/Gram