Ahhh…the joys of fall camping. Empty campgrounds, fall colors, and crisp, cool air. What’s not to love? We stayed at two different campgrounds last week. Both were nearly empty and filled with some really great fall color. The first was a small county park in a rural part of southern Kentucky. We arrived at Pulaski County Park in the late afternoon on Sunday after our tour at Mammoth Cave. It was completely empty and the office was closed. Their website said they were open until the end of October so we called the listed number and the woman who answered said she had to step out and to pick a site and come pay in the morning. So we chose one with a water view and settled in.
The campground might have been empty when we arrived, but judging by the amount of trash strewn around the sites (including food items like a whole cantaloupe and a half burnt pizza, as well as several small door mats, piles of cigarette butts, and wrappers of every kind), this place must have seen some serious action over the weekend. Not sure why all this trash was left around. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that since they were closing for the season in a week there was simply no one to pick it up, but after walking around and seeing trash everywhere — some that had clearly been there for months or years — we concluded that this was just a really trashy campground. Such a shame.
Anyway…it started raining soon after we settled in and continued raining for the next two days. Which meant no kayaking, no hiking, and no enjoying their disc golf course. Instead we stayed inside working, cooking and sewing. I recently got a Crock Pot and decided to try it out with some beer braised tacos and a hearty soup. I also got a start on cutting the pieces for the new quilt I’m making for our bedroom. Judging by the amount of time it took me to cut out just a few pieces this is going to be a long-term project.
The rain stopped and the sun came out just as we were getting ready to leave on Wednesday afternoon.
It was a quick 2 hour drive to our next destination, Standing Stone State Park in Tennessee. Once again we found an empty campground. Minus the trash this time.
It was a peaceful three day stay with no one else around until Friday night when a handful of other campers arrived. Best of all, it didn’t rain once (you know it’s been raining a lot when I get exited about 3 dry days in a row) and we had plenty of time to explore the campground and park. Most of the sites here are pretty good size, but the campground is built on a hill with skinny roads, tight turns and lots of trees making it hard to get around with an RV. I’m actually surprised that the website says it can accommodate RVs up to 45′ long. You’re gonna need some serious skills and a lot of luck to get around here with a rig that size.
The park has lots to offer in addition to the campground. There are cabins for rent, a large conference room, a giant pool (closed for the season), a tennis and basketball court, and some other things that I’m probably forgetting.
They also have an arena where the National Rolley Hole Marble Championship is held every September. Here’s the description from the park’s website:
This traditional marbles contest draws some of the country’s best players to a tournament where players match wit and skills with special flint spheres on a smooth dirt surface. The festival includes kids’ games, marble making, swap meet, tournament play, demonstrations, music and food.
If you want to see some riveting live action marbling I recommend you scroll to the bottom of the park website and watch the YouTube video.
We also made it down to the very small lake for a small hike and kayak on two separate occasions.
So far so good Tennessee. Can’t wait to visit more of your state parks over the next few weeks.