On the weekend of October the 15th and 16th, my family and I, along with our friends Mike, Michelle and Greyson, from Raleigh,
hooked up at Morrow Mountain state park to enjoy some time together. It was my wife's last potential time away from home (we are expecting any day now)
and it got Mike to get his gear out of storage and make sure everything was there before our Shining Rock Wilderness hike the following week.
Morrow Mountain (barely a mountain really) is a really nice state park located in Central NC, near Albermarle. Its based around these three mounts at the very edge of Uwharrie NF. For what's around there, its a great place to go if you want a taste of mountains without the really long drive out west. For this reason, its quite the popular place during the summer and we have never attempted to stay then because reservations are hard to come by. But, this chilly weekend, we were surprised by the park hosting a wedding....AND....all the people who had come to attend were staying the night in the park. We got off really lucky in finding a spot that a guy had cancelled on that very last minute.
We enjoyed ourselves, cooked various foods over a fire and talked into the night while the next day, Mike and I hiked up Morrow Mountain itself in a nice, brisk 3.4 mile hike. We met the families at the top, enjoyed the view and then drove home.
Now, just a typical weekend outing in the popup. But what got to me, while we sat around that evening and watched the unusually packed campsite mostly filled with people who maybe only camped once in a big while, is the odd things people do when at a campsite. Some are funny, some are annoying, and some are downright dangerous.
Many people were there with large vans with what seemed like every single object in their own homes. They then proceeded to set up tents that might be larger than my house. I don't mind tents, but these "tents" had porches, satellite TV, separate rooms, beds, maid and butlers, second stories and backyards with swimming pools. Personally, I go camping or hiking because I want to get away from home, not bring it with me.
Annoying though, is at night. I'm used to all kinds of creepy sounds, growls, hoots and screeches in the middle of the night. Whats worse than any of these? The sound of dozens of people snoring and this sound traveling through all the paper thin tent walls. I'm sure what few beasts were around were terrified of the noise. One or two hiking buddies snoring I can deal with, but the Morrow Mountain Snoring Orchestra doing a rendition of Mozart's 5th Snoring Movement did not help the sleeping abilities.
Dangerous though, are those that seem to have absolutely no common sense when it comes to fires, especially starting them. On more than several occasions did the night light suddenly light up bright when some crazy person was throwing gas or some other flammable liquid onto what they deemed a small fire, because, if those five big chunks of wood aren't going up in flames as easy as a piece of paper, just throw explosive liquids on it.
Would love to hear what other horror stories you all have with camping trips with the less outdoor inclined.
Enjoy the pictures.
Next week, Shining Rock Wilderness hike, wind, rain, ice and snow.