For us northerners, camping is a fun and wonderful thing! (At least, if you're a camper it is. Each to their own.) George and I are such camp-lovers. I had been dying to get into the great outdoors and connect with nature again since, well, we moved here. So, with the help of some of our awesome friends, we made it to Lake Sinclare, GA with high smore hopes and camping dreams.
I stepped out of my tent to see the lake maybe eight yards away, birds chirping in the early morning, fog rolling off the lake. Everything was so green. I couldn't wait to see what the day would bring.
Well, Georgia had something else in mind for us spoiled northerners.
We woke up in our tent, the smell of dirt and plants and lake water prevalent in our nostrils. Daydreams of fire pit french toast in the air. We only had a day to explore, so we were bound and determined to do so regardless of what came our way.
I saw this recipe on pinterest for fire pit french toast. I followed the directions and did as I saw fit. But, we definitely labeled this one a pinterest-fail and ended up peeling the soggy, eggy, bread apart from each other and attempting to cook it in a skillet over the butane stove. Haha. Yeah. There's one for the books.
After breakfast, we explored around the campground, the lake, and Preston and The Babe fished for a while. Kaycie and I went on a wild goose chase to look for a hike that apparently did not exist even though it was clearly labeled on the map that was posted at the campsite entrance. We happened to stumble upon this trail marker and decided, eh, what the heck? We went back to camp, got the boys, and off we went!!
After about 10 lovely minutes of hiking and sweating like pigs in the Georgia heat, we stopped for a drink. Kaycie pointed at The Babes shoe and said, "There's a tiny spider crawling on your shoe." We all bent down to look and my big mouth said, "No, that's a tick." Well folks, that's when all heck broke loose. The fact that we spotted another one on his shoe shortly after didn't help. We followed each other calmly singing Kumbaya and sniffing flowers.
Yeah, who am I kidding. We turned and ran as fast as we could through the brush, hopping that our speed and loud screaming and flailing limbs would scare the little demon ticks away. But, it didn't. Throughout the rest of the trip and even after we got home, we found a total of ten ticks on all of us. Well, everyone but me. For some reason they just don't like me. But, hey, it's all good.
Before we got in the car after the "hike" we even did a quick examination of each other, finding one more on The Babe. But as we drove back to camp, The Babe examined his socks and shoes, finding more ticks on one of his socks. He was so over it, he impulsively opened the car door and threw his sock out the window. Dying with laughter, we drove back just to get a picture.
Southerners (at least the ones who have heard this story) have said that we are silly northerners and ticks are no big deal. But, lets get one thing right. Anything that wants to burrow its disease-filled head into my body and suck my blood is looking for WWIII.
After that sweaty and traumatizing experience we decided to head to the beach area and go swimming in the lake. Which, by the way was incredibly discussing. You couldn't see your hand when it was an inch under water and it smelled like dead fish. But, it was refreshing and put us all in better spirits, so we were thankful.
The showers were dead bolted shut, though, so we dried off the best we could and pretended to ignore the fact that we all smelled. We tried our darndest to make tinfoil dinners (which did turn out rather delicious), but a Georgia thunderstorm decided to grace us with its sudden presence. If you've never been in the south when it rains . . . Well, let's just say tropical rainstorms and camping = WET. We tried our best to relish in it and laugh, but I was hungry. And when I'm hungry . . . But, Kaycie and I ran out to the dock anyway and danced in the rain regardless.
We ran for the cover of the nasty bathrooms, hiding our tinfoil dinners under our shirts for protection from the rain. George and I decided to head back to the tent to dry off and eat. But, when we got inside, the tent we borrowed had a leaky rain-fly. Literally puddles everywhere. Everything was wet. Nothing was saved from the monsoon.
So, camping dreams crushed, and soaking wet, we quickly packed up the car and said goodbye to our surroundings. Squished in the back seat, we made the soggy and smelly three hour drive back home with our two friends. The storm was so bad we found ourselves praying that we'd make it home alive. Little did we know, there were more ticks hiding in the car with us.
We arrived home at 1:00 AM, we laughed at it all, and vowed to never go camping in the south again. Been there done that. Memories made. The end.
One thing is for sure. Despite all the bugs, the heat, and the humidity, Georgia is its own kid of beautiful.