Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee, Last day of Summer/First day of fall 2012
Hey, remember that time we were so scared for our lives that we couldn’t sleep!!?
I had a fun camping trip… it was COLORFUL.
First, I of course had no money. I tried to get it postponed but that wasn’t happening. So, I had to move some funds around, and I worked up just enough to get there and get back.
I set out on Friday afternoon….Of course, my tire blows out about 45 minutes outside of Louisville. Luckily, I have roadside assistance. I was on a really dangerous stretch of highway, miles away from the next exit. So, when the roadside assistance lady asked me if I was in a safe area… I was like NO! She sent out the state trooper as well as someone to change the tire.
The state trooper shows up…. I get out the car, and I don’t know what he was prepared to do, but………………….. let me say this, I expected him to park behind my car and flash his lights so that people would move over into the other 2 lanes and I wouldn’t have to worry about being side swiped or just completely ran into. The huge trucks were already shaking my car back and fourth every time they passed by.
What he actually did was absolutely nothing… he came and left me there.
Eventually the tire man shows up and changes the tire. He was really nice. Usually, I go about 80mph when I’m travelling over the highways for long distances (speed limit usually being 70mph). With the spare tire though, I had to go 65mph the entire way there. -____- It hurt.
So, with the flat tire which took about an hour out of the trip, the backroads iphone google maps took me through to avoid Nashville, and only being able to go 65 mph…. by the time I got to Fall Creek Falls, it was already dark, and Kristen and I were the ones who were supposed to go set-up camp first.
Cellular phone reception is unreliable up there, but luckily, Kristen is a procrastinator. We were both behind schedule, and we arrived at around the exact same time in the dark of night.
We were initially slick lost, but we figured out the map and tried to secure one of the nine, secluded walk-in campsites. Even though the woman on the phone told Kristen she didn’t need to make a reservation and that there would be plenty of campsites, every single campsite was taken. And the RV/Camping areas that are close to other people were packed. There were little kids running EVERYWHERE. Kristen and I didn’t think we had a choice but camp near the snotty nose lil kids but when Sarah and Malia showed up and somehow, we still ended up camping in the walk-in camping area……….
Sarah picked out a spot that seemed secluded… it wasn’t a designated spot, but it seemed decent.
We set up our tent… eat some Wal-Mart rotisserie chicken… drink some beer. Chill…………..
THEN, WE SEE FLASHLIGHTS COMING ALONG A PATH…! The people in the closest tent to ours returned. THEN, one light starts coming towards us.
Sarah’s ass gone say “Hey, are you lost?”
YOU KNOW HE AIN’T LOST SARAH! Like, that gave him the perfect introduction to lead into his following shit… “No, this my campsite. Is this right here a campsite?”
Sarah: “It is now…”
I’m sitting there like OH SHIT! Wtf!!?. Sarah, I’m telling you.. ALWAYS GETS ME INTO TROUBLE. Sarah is sweet and she just meant it “matter-of-fact”ually.. BUT, still, perfect set-up for this guy to be a fucking douche. He stood in the shadows so I don’t even know what he looked like. He appeared to be short with a voice that I can only describe as “White, male privilege.”
He starts going off about designated campsites.. why are y’all so close to my campsite.. yada yada yada . And Sarah explained to him that we had gotten there when it was too dark and didn’t realize how close we were. She apologized. But he was still going and going and going… and they may have been going back and fourth.
I don’t remember what they were saying because the entire time I was just like
But then suddenly, my “You’re saying too many words” alarm went off… and I interjected
Him:… You could have at least moved further away and
Me: Ok, so there’s no point of being Captain Hindsight now because we’re already here. We’re going to keep it down. And we’ll be gone in the morning.
Boom. He walked away and he seemed satisfied. We took our already regularly leveled talk down to whispers around the fire. But like 2-3 minutes later, here his ass come AGAIN saying the same exact things.
Him: ...You guys are gonna wanna be up all night…
It’s like dude, wtf do you want us to do? If you really want us to move, taking down our tent and moving all of our stuff back to the car will be louder than we’re being right now. I mean, this time around, he was REALLY FLEXING NUTS. I mean.. douching to the maximummmmmmmmmmm.
I’m like “Okay, so what do you want us to do because you’re saying too many words and they’re all unnecessary.” His response?
Him: I want the fire out and no noise… blah blah blah
Fine. Fine. Fine. We put the fire out (slick, cause when we got up the next morning, it had actually still been smoking all night… oops). We go into our tent (4 people sleeping in my 2 person tent) with one little flashlight and get ready for what seemed like a slumber party with whispering. We’re in the tent for like 1-2 minutes…
Then out of nowhere our mini slumber party turns terrifying. WE HEAR THREE EXTREMELY LOUD BANGS.
I was scared as fuck. It was loud. Like, gunshot loud. … White guys been shooting shit up for no good reason a lot lately. I’m not trying to be Trayvon Martin’d… like those were the exact thoughts in my head.
Sarah had her flashlight on and we were all like Yo, turn that shit off NOW! We wanted it to be pitch black so that fucking psycho would have a harder time trying to find out tent. It was that fucking scary.
There was no more whispering after that shit… we were scared as fuck. I was so scared, I couldn’t even sleep. We were all basically silent and awake the entire rest of the night.
When we got up (notice I didn’t say “woke up”.. to wake, you have to have been sleep, which never happened), he was already gone. His tent was still there and empty. To this day, I regret not taking a shit outside of his tent.
Sarah and I went and got the copy of a copy of a copy of a copy maps that they have (shittiest maps of all time). Malia cooked breakfast (bacon, eggs, and cinnamon raisin toast) and we all decided to do the 12 mile loop, with the campsite being 6 miles in. We were really unprepared… we only had regular backpacks. We could only take what we could carry 6 miles.
Some of our food and water had to stay behind in the cars… and we could only bring 1 sleeping bag, and 1 big blanket. We decided to take turns carrying the tent because it wouldn’t fit into anyone’s backpack.
So, we got started on the trail. Everything went well at first. We were never really lost but we just didn’t know where we were going at one point.We had shitty maps and the trail signs would change names 3 or 4 times because trails had 3 or 4 different names. Still, we never had to retrace our steps, and we were actually going the right way. We made it to the Nature Center where the woman there had no idea what the hell she was talking about and had to call a ranger to tell Sarah where the rest of the trail was.
But while we waited to figure all that out, it was nice. We relaxed by the waterfall and I put my feet (which were already hurting) in the nice, cold water. The weather was perfect too.
After our short break, we continued on our way. We almost took the wrong path again, but some nice, old, toothless, country guy with a pack of cigarellos in his shirt pocket pointed us in the right direction. It seemed to take forever to get to the campsite though!!! You get to that point where you pray the campsite is around every corner, because we really had no way of being able to tell how far away it was. Backs, shoulders, ankles… our bodies were WEARY. I was thinking
But finally we made it to the campsite.
They had really nice campsites too, with an old water pump with well water. We picked out our spot and set-up before we got too tired to move. Then it was marshmallow roasting time.
We had s’mores and roasted potatoes, bell peppers, onions, and some kinda sausage. It was all delicious BUT… splitting it between 4 other hungry tired women was HARD cause I was definitely starving.
At night we had some whiskey, talked politics, and gazed at the stars. Our neighboring campers were cool, and it was nice not to be afraid of them.
However, it was freezing! The previous night had been a nice, warm summer night but it was freezing this night, and we only had one sleeping bag and a blanket between the FOUR of us.
We slept on top of my sleeping bag and stretched Malia’s blanket across the four of us. Definitely the most uncomfortable sleep I’ve ever had in my entire life. First of all, I was on the end… so I was literally pulling the cover all night. Half of my body was under the cover and half wasn’t. If it weren’t for Sarah’s cuddles, I would have been an icicle.
Even while freezing, I was so tired that I did manage to doze off a couple of times. One time I woke up, and my body was aching so badly. I was laying on my side, in spooning position,… but I realized that my knees were at the end of the tent and i could feel everyone else’s feet bunched up down on my calves. MY CALVES. Like, imagine me standing on my knees and then push me over on my side. That’s exactly how I was laying in this tent!
I look up towards the other side of the tent, there’s like 2 feet of space. The blanket was too short and we had all shifted to being scrunched up at one end of the tent. It was so uncomfortable, but I still got better sleep than the night before when I was scared for my life.
The next day, we had leftover bell pepper, onions, and TWO sausages split 4 ways.. lol.. packed up our stuff and went back on the trail.
I wanted to complete the other 6 miles of the loop, but everyone else wanted to go back the 6 miles we came from. The other way had an 800 feet ascent and descent, and even though my body was hurting, I still really wanted to do it. I don’t like leaving stones unturned and I don’t like avoiding something just cause it’s going to be challenging. It’s a bitch move. But, this is America, majority rules.. no biggie.
So, we went back the way we came. It was a nice, refreshing (cause it was just a little chilly) hike. It took a lot less time. I just tried to enjoy the hike and the crisp air.
When we made it back to the Nature Center, we saw the guys who had camped near us. One guy from their group had made the hike back to where we had all parked our cars (“Ranger Station”) to get their car. When he came back to the Nature Center, we had the puppy dog eyes READY. Lol. But they were all really nice. They were from Memphis, TN. He happily gave us a ride back to our car and the rest of the guys were okay with waiting longer for him to get back and scoop them.
We got back to our cars and drove to a local bar-b-q joint then hugged and parted ways.
Kristen, who was moving to Detroit, decided to come spend the night in Louisville to break up the long drive, and besides the fact that we almost got killed by a HUGE, industrial-sized farming tractor that was driving on the back roads in Kentucky (before the tractor came, there was a guy in a pick-up truck waving a orange flag…. BUT WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN!????? apparently that means there’s a big ass tractor that takes up the entire road just behind that hill and you can’t see it but it’s coming your way. get over in a ditch or you may die!), all went well.
I say it was a successful 3rd Annual Fall camping trip!!