We camped out at Abrams Creek campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this weekend. We were there when they opened the campground for the season, which was a good thing because the whole campground filled up immediately. Fortunately, we were still able to get one of the spaces on the river.
Sherry, Sarah and I went up early, and my friend Mike and his family did not arrive until supper time, so we spent the day enjoying the campsite and playing in the river.
With hemlock woody adelgid killing hemlocks all over Tennessee, I was pleased to see plenty of new growth on the hemlocks we saw at the campground.
Sike brought his 1965 Dodge camper van, which his parents used to haul him and his two brothers all over the United States when they were kids. It still chugs along pretty good after all these years.
My friend and I don't exactly look lawyerly in this photograph, but lawyers like to get out in the woods every now and then, too. A business suit is not appropriate attire up in the mountains, although there are plenty of photos that show it was several decades ago.
The kids, as you'd expect, viewed the van as a wonderful fort or clubhouse. Sarah said it was luxury compared to our tent camping.
Our plan was to camp at the campground the first night, and then Mike and I were planning to hike our daughters in to the backcountry for their first overnight hiking trip, so I brought two small tents rather than our big family tent. They accommodated us well, but the hike fell through. we did not realize that all backcountry campsites are now rationed. It turned out that when we visited the ranger station to get permits the entire backcountry was filled up, and we couldn't get a site. It was quite disappointing, but at least we had a good night in the woods in the frontcountry.