Tugaloo State Park – October 28-30, 2019

As soon as my wife, Joyce, began loading our Regency National Traveler Camper Van, our Shelties, Sophie and Lilly Belle, knew we were headed for a new camping adventure! This was our 8th camping trip.

Lilly Belle ready to go
Sophie says, “Let’s go!”

We left on Monday, October 28, at 10am for the 100 mile trip to Tugaloo State Park near Clarkesville, Georgia.

The Park is located on a peninsula of 393 acres Lake Hartwell.

View of Lake Hartwell from our camp site

After researching the best sites, Joyce reserved Site 5 which juts out into the 55,590 acre Lake.

We checked in at the office and received our tag to post at the site and bought firewood. But, there was already another camper in our spot! We went back to the office to report it. One of the ladies at the desk drove to it to find out what was going on.

Check-in and Camp Store

She said that the couple arrived on Sunday night. Since it was unoccupied, they decided to take it. Moreover, on Monday morning, they didn’t register or pay the camping fee!

The official told us that Site 9 was available. We looked at it and actually liked it better than Site 5. It had a commanding view of Lake Hartwell. “We’ll take it!”

Site 9

Camp Site 9

Joyce set up camp while I kept the Shelties.

Unloading the van

Easy set up. Hook up water and electrical and that’s it!

While Joyce was setting up, I looked after the Shelties.

Sophie
Sophie and Lilly Belle

She then fed the Shelties.

Lilly Belle’s supper is ready

Next, it was our turn. Joyce prepared our camping supper.

Preparing supper

Let’s eat!

Mexican Sloppy Joe’s
Boiled apples
Nothing like a camp supper by the Lake!

After supper, we enjoyed sitting around the crackling campfire with the Shelties.

The fire took the chill off as the temperature dropped down from the mid 70s to the 50s. The weather was perfect.

We went to bed around 10pm.

Bed time

Ready for bed!

Oh what a big yawn!
Sweet sleep

The Tuesday morning sunrise was spectacular over Lake Hartwell

Sunrise
Tuesday morning Egret

Tuesday morning Egret

After breakfast and coffee, we decided to hike the 3.5 mile Muscadine Trail. Before the Trail left the paved Park road and headed off into the woods, a young gray fox showed up to check us out. Sophie spotted him right away and went nuts. I tightly held her leash, and we kept walking. The little fox kept following until we turned into the woods where the Trail began.

The Trail was more arduous than we expected. It twisted and turned and had hills and ravines as it followed the Lake giving us splendid views.

Muscadine Trail
An oak leaf caught by a spider web
View from Muscadine Trail

It was up and down; down and up. Some of the hills were quite steep providing a good workout.

It traversed two drought stricken creeks trying to make their way to the Lake.

The leaves were just getting ready to dress up in their Fall outfits. The colors added to our pleasurable hike.

Hickory Tree
Dogwood Tree

We couldn’t make the three and a half mile loop. Sophie couldn’t either!

Sophie had to take a break. We did too!

After a mile, we were done. A mile doesn’t seem like much on flat land, but those North Georgia hills took it out of us even though we walk two miles on the track near our home 5 to 6 times a week.

It took us almost an hour to walk just two miles on the Trail. At home, we walk two miles on the track in forty minutes.

On the way back to our Camper Van, we stopped and met our camp host, Rachel. She is from England, and her husband is a Tennessean.

A camp host is given a free site in exchange for various duties they perform for campers and for the campground. They usually stay at a Park for three months or so, and then go to another assignment. They next State Park will be Vogel up in the northwest Georgia mountains. Vogel was established in 1931.Rachel – Camp Hostess from England

After our visit with Rachel, we made our way back to our camp site. Joyce built a campfire while I went next door and met our neighbors. Bill and Linda Johnson are from nearby Clarkesville. Bill plays the harmonica and played some hymn tunes for me. He’s a remarkable 82 years old.Bill Johnson

We enjoyed sharing stories. Bill’s mother died when he was two and left him and seven other children. He’s looking forward to meeting her in heaven.

Bill and Linda are active members in Clarkesville First Baptist Church. I told him that I am a retired teacher and Baptist preacher. We enjoyed talking Scripture and church. Linda is on Facebook, so we “friended” each other to stay in touch and to plan another rendezvous down the road.

You always meet the nicest people camping. No one is a stranger.

Joyce texted me and said that supper’s ready. She had prepared a delicious chicken vegetable soup before we left that only needed warming up. We had a salad and finished up the stewed apples.

While we ate supper, one of the Park’s multitudinous squirrels paid us a visit. He aggravated Sophie to no end scampering from tree to tree and limb to limb. He paused and flattened himself against a nearby pine tree. It was as if he was saying, “Ha, ha! You can’t catch me.”

Sophie’s arch enemy

The fellow that “stole” our #5 camp site came over with an armful of wood. I guess it was a kind of atonement for taking out spot. He was apologetic and cordial. The firewood came at the right time. We had burned almost all of what we had bought. It kept the fire going on a chilly evening and into the night.

We woke up to Wednesday morning rain and set under our camper’s awning to have our coffee.

Rainy Wednesday Morning

Awning out for the rain

We pulled out about 10 o’clock and stopped at the Park Welcome Center to check out. Charlene Janes checked us out. Our State Park staff are the best! They are always cordial, helpful, and welcoming.

Charlene Janes

We loaded up the Shelties, and drove home in the rain talking about the good time we had. We are blessed!“Let’s go home.”

Leaving for home

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Thanks for reading.