Friday, October 8, 2010

Annual Unplugging 2010

This past weekend (9/24/2010 - 9/27/2010) we decided that we would take a week of vacation, me away from work and Wifey away from most of the house work. That's right Kiddo did have to go to school for most of the week but hey, the days she did have off were fun for her I'm sure.

So with Friday the start of our vacation we decided what better place to unplug than our favorite camping area, Frozen Head State Park in Wartburg, TN. Wifey, being the most excellent wifey there could ever possibly be, had everything packed up, loaded up, and ready to go as soon as I got home from my half day of work on Friday. We got to the park and had our tent, canopy, and the rest of camp set up within a couple hours all while the kiddo collected wood for the fire.

It was unfortunate to find out that the bathhouse was closed all day Friday, but for good reason. You see they had laid new tile in the bathhouse which is a big upgrade from the concrete slab that served as the floor for as long as we've been camping, hiking, picnicking, etc. there. I just want to inject here real quick the importance of the floor as there is more to this side story later. So with the prospect of no bathhouse for the evening, we were not dismayed as it was just a short hop to the bath rooms across from the playground. Of course having to go at 2a.m. might prove a bit more challenging considering the circumstances.

After settling in for the weekend, and facing the news of no bathhouse for the night, we opted for some supper. Wifey had prepared most of the food prior to heading to camp. For the first evening we supped on, BBQ Sandwiches that Wifey made the the night before and only had to heat up on the Coleman stove.

After supper it was time for coffee and sitting around the fire relaxing and enjoying the evening. Oh yeah and the short trek to the bathrooms when necessary due to the bathhouse.... We actually made a pretty short night of it as we were totally exhausted from the day's activities and hit the sack earlier than normal.

The next morning we awoke to find that it had rained overnight. Our Eureka tent had done well considering. There were a couple of damp spots here and there but nothing to totally discourage us from staying. Luckily it was done raining once we made our way out. While it was a bit soggy outside it didn't keep us from our morning coffee nor our breakfast of biscuits and sausage gravy. Have I mentioned how much I love the Coleman Stove?

For the most part we hung around camp collecting wood for the evening fire, walking the Trusty Sidekick around and playing with her, and the normal what not stuff you do around camp. Later in the afternoon, mom and dad came up to visit and have supper with us. The evening menu included Chili and cornbread made in the dutch oven. Of course there was Birthday Cake for dessert as Wifey's birthday was the following Tuesday and mom and dad brought a cake up with them. 

We enjoyed the evening fire and sitting around having good conversation until it was past dusk and mom and dad had to depart and head back to the homestead. Afterward, it wasn't long before kiddo and the side kick were ready to hit the hay. By the way, the bathhouse was open this day so we didn't have to walk or drive to use the facilities. It wasn't long after the kids were in bed that we hit the bathhouse to clean up and refresh ourselves before heading to bed ourselves.

Sunday we awoke to find that luckily it had not rained. Sunday was a wonderful day weather wise. For breakfast we had some tasty pancakes and bacon with juice thanks to wifey's wonderful camp culinary skills. It was this day that we had really taken notice to the fact that the lady who cleaned the bathhouse daily was really taking the cleaning of the new floor to a bit of an extreme. In years past she would normally do the regular cleaning between 10-11 am like the sign says, at which time the bath house is closed for said cleaning. However, it seemed that she was there every thirty minutes or so just to clean the floor. It was like an obsession or something. Of course we made light of it at the time because it really hadn't interfered with our stay really. At one point I think we dubbed her the mop lady.

Later in the afternoon, we took the side kick for a walk down the Flat Fork nature trail as she had pretty much been restricted to the campsite for the most part with the occasional excursion for potty breaks and chasing the hickory nuts that kiddo and I would hit with a stick. It was shortly after our return when we had our first encounter with the "Mop Lady". I need to use the facilities and she was in the men's room mopping the floor. Again. I leaned up against one of the rocks across from the bathhouse thinking that she would be done in just a few minutes and I could go about my business, when she stepped out and said that I needed to go down to the other restroom because everything was wet and she was cleaning the floor due to the mess they had left when the contractors laid the tile. I didn't think much of it at the time other than she was a touch rude about it and I carried on about my way just a slight bit perturbed.

A little while later we noticed she was back and well the kiddo needed to go to the bathhouse and this is were things got worse with the "Mop Lady". Kiddo returned within seconds because the "Mop Lady" told her she couldn't use the bathroom because she was cleaning the floor. However, as this whole incident occurred, there was another little girl already in there. So wifey, decided that was enough with the "Mop Lady" and proceeded to go have words with her and her obsessive behavior over the new floor. I remained at the camp site because I could see and hear everything that was going on. At one point the "Mop Lady" was no longer dubbed the "Mop Lady" when she told wifey, that "I don't give a damn if your daughter has to pee". It was at that moment that the "Mop Lady" was promoted to "The Bathroom Nazi". Wifey at that point took kiddo to the other restroom and then proceeded to the Park Office and filed an official complaint against "The Bathroom Nazi".

After that whole fiasco we were at the verge of leaving the campground and heading home a day earlier than planned. It was starting to rain at this moment and instead of packing up, we moved everything we didn't want getting soaked to either the jeep or the kitchen area. Once complete, we got in the car and headed into town for ice cream at the local Sonic. Yes, that's right, we broke the rules and went and got a treat at a fast food joint while camping, but could you blame us? Nothing cools heads better than ice cream.

Upon returning to camp, we decided we would stay the rest of the night and head out the next day. Besides "The Bathroom Nazi" was off for the rest of the day and we wouldn't have to deal with her any longer. So we chilled at camp until supper time. We built up the fire and I roasted hot dogs over the fire and warmed a can of chili in the coals. For dessert, we had left over birthday cake. It wasn't long after that the kids were ready to hit the hay. Wifey and I stayed up a while longer sitting by the fire and listening to our favorite camp radio show, "AM Coast to Coast".
Seriously, wifey isn't 92.

The next morning it had stormed early early. When we got up, it had stopped just long enough for us to decide it was time to make a quick cup of coffee and start breaking down camp. It was about an hour later and everything was packed up and we headed home.

I hope I didn't put you off on staying at Frozen Head for your next camping trip. We definitely will camp there again and again. After all, it is our favorite place to camp. The head ranger called here the other day to apologize for "The Bathroom Nazi" and to let us know he had talked to her and her behavior has been corrected.

So that's our unplugging for 2010. Well not really, that was just a small part of it. Stay tuned for more posts about the rest of our week. There is a wonderful hike wifey and I went on, and a couple of festivals we went to as well.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

A few more pics from the camping trip.

Wifey just hanging around camp.
The Sidekick and I are definitely not thespians.
Sidekick just chillaxin.
Kiddo doing what she does best at camp. Reading.