We are taking a mini road trip for a few days in the mountains. After visiting some museums it was dark. Too dark. The kind of dark you get when you are driving on a heavily forested road without street lamps and only very small and infrequent road signs. A rational person—upon discovering that the only thing poorer than the road markings was the cellphone reception—might have concluded that any hopes of camping should be abandoned. Instead, we decided to drive on.
And on. And on. And on.
And up And up. And up.
Until we came to a sign for the Cherokee National Forest Recreational Area and a fork in the road. We went with the road behind the sign…for 20 minutes until the then apparent fire road ended in a trailhead. So, it was 20 minutes back to the fork to enter the camping area.
Sure, by then, it was 10pm and some might have just given in and gone to bed. Not so! We walked the abandoned camp sites to scavenge half burnt and rather wet logs. We had hot dogs and there would be no sleep until we cooked them over a camp fire.
Turns out, wet wood isn’t very cooperative with our lighter. But our receipts are. So, we searched through the car to collect any unnecessary paper goods for kindling. When you are on a road trip, you collect a lot of unnecessary paper goods. We burnt brochures, maps, pamphlets, coupons, and a rather cultish flyer about some prayer mountain.
We cooked our hot dogs, drank some wine in the van and went to sleep.
It wasn’t until the morning that we realized we had driven to the top of a mountain. We were above the clouds. The sky was blue and every vista stop on the way back down was worth visiting.