Tacking on a camping trip to work travel

Huh, it’s been a while since I’ve written. I’ve forgotten most of the workouts since I last wrote, so I’ll just say that I got some runs in while I was traveling. The weather was pretty nice; the first morning I stuck to a treadmill at the hotel gym, but after that I went out to run around town every morning before my meetings started up. It’s always nice to take a little time and do some sightseeing while getting a workout in. :)

After my meeting wrapped up, I met up with a good friend who lives in the area to go camping. We loaded her beautiful hand-built wooden canoe onto her car, packed the trunk with a couple days’ worth of stuff, got her old dog in the back seat, and off we went. Western NC is gorgeous; we headed through Nantahela National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park and found a primitive campsite on Lake Santeetlah. It was a really nice spot. We opted not to buy firewood and we did find some fallen wood around but it was fairly green and wet – plus it rained Friday night so keeping the fire going didn’t work out. It did make a good pile of hot coals, which was enough to cook our hot dogs (and we had a camp stove anyway). My hammock was cozy and dry in the rain thanks to a tarp; my friend had a hammock but no cover so she retreated to a tent. It was still raining the next morning, but it cleared by noon so we hung everything up to dry and spent the rest of the day swimming and paddling more.

I love backcountry camping; being away from people is a wonderful luxury. For the most part we were secluded, unless we were on the road or the water we didn’t see anyone else. Noise pollution was pretty bad though, especially from motorcycles. And though there was a "poo trail" leading away from the campsite which was obviously where people did their business, people had used bad practice and it was littered with wipes and smelled. Dig a hole and pack out your trash, it’s not that hard!

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