Sunday, October 25, 2020

October Camping and Canoeing: Henry Horton and the Duck River

 The weekend began perfectly. The weather was lovely: cool enough for a fire but warm enough for just a t-shirt. We chose Henry Horton State Park because it's close to our Nashville kids and, frankly, it was one of the few TN State Park campgrounds that had any spaces left when we reserved this over a month ago. The pandemic has definitely brought more and more folks out to campgrounds! 

We set up our mansion tent, and Laurel and Hunter set up their cute little tent. Randy built a fire, made his fabulous paella, and we just enjoyed catching up with our kiddos. And then the rain began. Man, I love camping with the sound of the rain gently falling on the tent! 

Or in this case... on the roof of the car.

Because our mansion leaked! When we headed off to bed, we discovered that our blankets, cots, sleeping pads, and pillows were soaked. The tent floor was full of puddles. The only thing we could do was sleep in the car! We kind of missed the van, yep.

But we're all about adventure, right? Fortunately, I'd packed a couple of extra blankets, and our pillows weren't totally soaked, so we made it through the night. The rain stopped before we awoke, and we enjoyed a fire and Randy's delicious breakfast bowls. I'm so lucky. He's the absolute best camping chef! It was a chilly morning, but fortunately, I had a big towel for a blanket. This picture is for Duncan, who thinks it is hilarious that I use a towel for a blanket when I'm sitting around in the house. But I mean, come on! It's a perfect size and weight for warm weather! 

But I digress. Note the blankets and such hanging out to dry. We had canoes reserved for the day, so we left all our stuff out drying and headed to the Duck River. We had a perfect day for canoeing! It was a bit chilly, but we were the only people on the river. The leaves were just starting to change. We stopped on an island and had lunch about halfway through, then hopped back in our canoes. The whole afternoon was perfectly quiet except for a few kingfishers and blue herons.

The whole trip took us way less time than we thought, which turned out to be a really good thing. As we headed back to camp, the rain started pouring again... and we'd left all our stuff out to dry. We decided it was time to pack throw all the wet gear in the car and head to Laurel and Hunter's warm, dry apartment, just 45 minutes away in Nashville. 

So, we had hot showers and ate our steak at the table, warm and dry. It was all incredibly fun, honestly, from the rainy night to the lovely canoe trip to the unexpected night at Laurel and Hunter's sweet little home. 

We got home early in the afternoon. Load two is in the dryer and load three is in the washer, and we have all the gear outside drying. Can't wait to do it all again!