Our first trip was to Lake Guntersville State Park (an Alabama State Park campground).
It was Wine’d Down’s first trip out in a while (and first camping trip for us altogether). Lake Guntersville is only 2 hours away, but she handled beautifully all the way. The campground was pretty nice – the lodge even nicer. We had dinner there the first night, but more on that later. I came up with a simple “overall” rating scale graphic (see upper right corner), that I think we’ll use for each experience. I don’t think the site warrants a full 4, but since it was our first memory, that bumped it up a bit 🙂
We stopped off at an antique store on the way – one of those consignment ones. Looked small on the outside, but had a few neat things. Arrived at the campground around 11:30am, there was not many campers yet – it was a Friday and back to school, so I’d say less than 1/5 full. It holds 366 camping spots – all with electric and water and most with sewer – we opted for the sewer. Our camper has small holding tanks, so for $2 more per day – why not?! We backed into our spot, leveled it out, made all the connections and unloaded the supplies… all in under an hour – not bad for our first go. Oh, and as you’ll see in the first gallery below, Scooby has become our official mascot for the camping adventures. He holds a special meaning to Roberta and now he’ll add even more memories for me too.
After we setup, we set out to the city of Guntersville. As we were pulling out, we met our neighbors – Michael and Kathleen from Decatur, AL – informing us kindly that the power was off. In case we planned on being gone all day and come back to no A/C or our fridge good ruined. Very nice people that we got to know pretty well over the next 2 days. So, we journeyed off to the big city and stopped off at a local bar: The Pointe at Val Monte. The local people were nice and told us about some place around town, including the restaurant at the lodge got good reviews.
We headed back to the campgrounds to finish getting setup for the night and we saw a really cool RV with a small blue car attached. The funny thing is, this is the same RV/car I saw just a week ago in Pelham while I was checking out a local Good Sams camping store. Sure luck I caught it there and weird we’d see it again here (that’s some kind of good luck, eh?). Our new neighbor/friends were outside so I asked him if they’ve ever been to the lodge for the seafood buffet dinner and he said it was good. 15 minutes later, he knocked on our door to see if we were going and they’d meet us there. So, off to dinner. It was very good, all you can eat crab legs, fried catfish, cold jumbo shrimp and sides… we put a hurting on them to be sure and met some nice people and shared some stories and tips about camping we surely need. Found out, they were from my home town of Detroit as well – how cool is that. Sleeping in our new home-away-from-home for the first night wasn’t too bad. Its a bit small (ok, REAL small), especially for my 6’3″ self – but we managed and it was cozier than I thought it would be.
Day 2: The next morning we were greeted by geese. They were everywhere by the hundreds. We took a quick trip up the road to see more deer (we saw a couple the first day). Came back and ate some egg sandwiches cooked on our campers range. Took a shower in our very “spacious” shower. Ok, it shares the space with the toilet, but it saves time in the morning! We spent the rest of the day walking around the park – as much as we could anyway, since Roberta had a bad knee this trip. She normally love hiking and exploring, so that bummed her out a bit, but we made the best of it. For lunch we cooked turkey burgers on the grill. For dinner, we got a little carried away. Hey, we like to cook, so being away and camping, makes no difference to us… we are GOING to COOK! We made chicken breasts stuffed with ham and cheese, asparagus and tomatoes and mushrooms. Couscous on the stove top, but the rest on the campsites charcoal grill. I’m used to gas, so it took a bit longer and we were very hungry, but it eventually came time to dive in. Maybe being starving and half a large bottle of wine helped, but it sure was great. The company, the fresh air, the cool-ish night, I don’t think I could have asked for a better first trip.
Day 3: The next day was our final day (Sunday). Roberta whipped up some great scrambled eggs with peppers, asparagus, mushrooms and cheese and even had time to grill some sourdough bread. We weren’t in a big hurry to pack up since we were so close to home, but by noon, we had seen everything and decided to strike camp and head out. We said goodbye to our new friends and hope to see them on the road again. Deciding to take the back roads home, we ended up seeing a few more local spots as well. Short trip, but a fun one and I look forward to adding more stops and adventures to our camping and traveling memories.
Thanks for riding along…
”Lake Guntersville State ParkFriday, August 14, 2015 – Sunday, August 16, 2015