Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It was cold; and there was a bear, too

Skupien family enjoying Elkmont campfire
Our fall visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this year had us shivering in our sleeping bags.

It was sort of frigid!!! But for only a few nights.

Every other year we go from a full group (both sons and their families) visit in the summer, to a trip with only one son with his family, in the fall.

This year the trip was a week later than normal, and therefore colder as a front moved in while Hurricane Matthew was picking up strength down in the Caribbean with plans to go up the East Coast.

We know about hurricanes, having lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast since 1970 while experiencing Katrina, Elena and Frederic among others. We felt the effects of Camille in 1969 although not living on the coast at the time.

But anyway, back to the trip.

Our Viking popup camper did good, being able to contain heat from our Coleman catalytic heater both in the morning and night.

We warmed the camper up getting ready for bed, and then I got up in the morning and turned in on so we would be more comfortable getting ready for the day.

After three nights of temperatures somewhere in the high 40s, the lows started moving a little higher and it was more comfortable.

My wife and I go a few days earlier than the others. And stay a few days later.

Because my son has a vehicle barely big enough for his wife and four kids, we go by their house early and throw their six sleeping bags, six chairs and two tents into our high-rise, long-wheel base van.

The pop-up is already loaded with everything else.

As my wife said, there wasn’t much color during our visit, although there were a lot of leaves on the ground.

We camped eight nights and then decided to make it a one-day trip (600 miles) back home.  We got in late and took a couple days to recuperate.

I love the mountains, and even though it got cold, it didn’t curb my enthusiasm for the area.

And, by the way, we also managed to see a bear.

Next post: Oct. 18, 2016

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