Edit: Somehow I never got around to finishing and posting this. So here it is several months later 🙁
Kate and I started our inaugural camping trip with me taking Friday off to do packing and loading of the “stuff” you need when you go camping. Thinks like tools (far too many), firewood, all the dog “stuff”, food, cooler and the like.
I didn’t spend the whole day doing this, but a few hours at least. The other hours were spent doing other things to prepare.
When Kate got home I started loading the food into the refrigerator in the camper as well loading the final things. While Kate and I were doing this our dogs Millie and Tucker were in the back yard burning off some energy before taking off.
Sadly, Millie seems to have torn or ruptured her rear ACL. Kate was able to get a last minute appointment with our vet’s office at 5:30pm on a Friday. (If you ever need a vet in the Johns Creek / Alpharetta area, I highly recommend the nice folks at Jones Bridge Animal Hospital) It was determined that her leg was not broken and she was prescribed some medications and rest. This would prove to be somewhat difficult to do while camping. So we got on the road a little bit later than we wanted, but we also missed a good bit of traffic doing so, which worked out.
For our first camping trip we made reservations at Georgia’s Don Carter State Park. This park is one of the newest in Georgia and has good reviews online. Our drive to the park was thankfully, uneventful. I prefer to use the Waze navigation app on my phone, but sometimes find that Waze “navigates” some unneeded back roads and this was the case for part of this trip. We did get to the park, but it was dark by the time we did. This meant we didn’t really see much of the park entrance or the area leading up to the park.
While en route to the park, Katey received a phone call from one of the park rangers. They kindly made sure we were still coming and provided us the gate code to get into the campground. This was really nice of them. Once we arrived at the park, following the instructions the ranger provided got us into the camping area with no problems.
We drove the whole campground area looking for a site to call ours and found that the campground was nearly full already! We also drove through what we learned later was a pack of 40 Girl Scouts and parents while trying to find a site. We ended up in a nice pull through site with one of the camp hosts trailing us. Tony the camp host provided some helpful guidance on the site amenities (water, power, grey water, etc) and then left us be to start our setup.
I had decided a couple of days prior to leaving to buy Katey and I both headlamps. These turned out to be super helpful for the whole weekend. Setting up the camper for real took longer than we expected, close to 2 hours in total. We had some issues getting the tent poles locked into place. Turns out we should put these in place before we tie down all the other sections with zippers and velcro.
All in all we learned a lot about our camper on this first trip. Everything worked out well and we had a nice picnic lunch on the other end of the park on our way home Sunday.
I think our next trip has already been planned!