The last few days of last week, I toyed with the idea of going camping Friday night. When it rained all day Friday, I decided not to go. But, around 16:00, I decided, what the heck, I’ll go anyway. It’ll guarantee that I have the campsite to myself, right?
Cyklopz3 recommended Turkey Foot, and, armed with several maps and a GPS, I started out for Mckee, Kentucky. It was 6 by the time I pulled out, and nearly 7 when I got to Richmond, due to traffic, so it was getting somewhat dark. I went through such delightful places as Sand Gap, Clover Bottom, Waneta and other places along 421 that are rather too small to be on the map that I have. While I’m sure that there is a faster way to go, I’m not sure there could be a more interesting one.
I’m always fascinated by small towns, wondering what the people do in those towns to, as Dickens puts it, “keep soul and body together.” There don’t appear to be any businesses that employ anyone, but there are plenty of nice houses, and evidence that the people there do well for themselves.
I arrived in McKee when it was completely dark. One of the things that I enjoy about camping in the Daniel Boone is that it does indeed get dark. There are some places in this country that never get dark. When the power went out in New York City a few years back, some of those people saw darkness for the first time in their entire lives. Fascinating.
Anyways, I missed the turn for Turkey Foot, somehow, and arrived at the S-Tree campground, which seems to be nearby. I’m not entirely sure where I missed a turn, or if I didn’t go far enough, or what. But the S-Tree campground was totally full. Lots of 4-wheelers, who are, according to the signs there, the main denizens of the campground.
By that time it was maybe 8, and very very dark. I drove for a little bit further, and found an elderly picnic area that appears to have had campers there in the recent past.
Once I turned off the Jeep headlights, all I had for light was a little hiking/caving light that I wear on my head. This illuminates a very small area, and so I had to try to figure out in small pieces what sort of terrain I was dealing with. And, it had started raining lightly.
I picked a spot and got the tent up just as it started to rain a little harder. I put the tent under trees. I vaguely remember from Boy Scouts that you’re not supposed to do that. Something about falling branches. Well, there were falling nuts most of the night, but no falling branches.
It was very quiet – another fascinating thing about being far away from civilization. For a long time, I listened to the rain. I could hear it coming, in the leaves of the trees, getting nearer, and then it would start hitting the tent, then move on. The steady on-off rain continued througout the night, and occasionally it would “rain” under the trees by virtue of the wind picking up and shaking down the water from the leaves.
Having an evening away from electricity and internet is good for the soul. Really. I feel much more relaxed than I have been in a long time. And I have been extremely motivated today to get useful things done. I’ve replaced the spray hose thingy on the kitchen sink, installed some new light switches, done some laundry, and cut down nasty trees and bushes that are threatening to push down my back fence. Now, I’m off to cut the grass, and maybe I’ll actually get some of that laundry put away. Perhaps I’ll finally get my hair cut, too.