After we left Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, we headed 56 miles northwest to just north of Chattanooga, to a KOA campground in MacDonald, Tennessee. The route that we took was so gorgeous. It took us along the Ocoee River and Lake Ocoee. Lots of windy roads, but it was literally along the river and lake shore. Zach and I talked about all the people white water rafting and how we would be afraid to do it. We’ve decided that sometime in the near future, we’re going to make a trip back and we’re both going to face our fears together and get on one of those rafts and go over the waterfall and down the rapids together.
My original plan was to stay another night in Georgia but pretty much every campground that allowed tents was south of where we were and it didn’t make any sense to head south for the night when we’d be packing up the tent in the morning to head north, so we just decided instead to go north and set up camp for three days instead of two. It was a good choice. Usually I’d rather stay somewhere primitive than a crowded KOA, but this one is really nice and has a cute little “tent village” off in a grove and you pick the spot you like. There was no one else tenting so we got dibs on wherever we wanted to be. It wasn’t packed up against someone else, and far enough away from everyone else instead of right up against other campers or RVs like I’ve been used to in the past with KOAs.
Zach wanted somewhere with a pool, but I really don’t think we’ll be making much use of it, as the forecast isn’t that awesome for the three days we’re here. In fact, we were able to set up camp and make dinner and then the thunder started clapping. We brought our dinner up to the pavilion at the entrance to the campground so that we had shelter and Zach could watch the storm roll in. It POURED and lightning must have struck close because as soon as it hit, the thunder was right behind it, so loud that it hurt our ears.
It rained steady all through the night so we hung out in the tent and chilled out. Zach watched plane and train YouTube videos, which makes me so thankful that I can hot spot my phone and be able to use our laptops on this trip. The rain lightened up for a little while and he caught 8 fireflies in the woods behind our tent. According to Zach, “Fireflies are amazing insects. They glow in the dark!” I told him that glow worms do, but he quickly dropped some knowledge on me and informed me that “Glow worms are firefly larvae, so it’s the same insect.” He planned ahead and also brought some glow sticks with him. He said he loves the variety of colors. He humored me and put them in rainbow order because he knows that’s how I like things.
While we were in McCaysville, GA during the earlier part of the day, we stopped into a lounge, thinking they had lunch. I asked the bartender if they served food and he said, “Nope, only beer.” Zach insisted that we needed to stay just a little bit longer so he could look around. He said, “It’s not too modern in here, which is how I like it. It’s like it’s the 1960s or 70s.” The bartender looked a bit confused.
And on the way to the campground, as we saw the storm system moving in, he proclaimed, “I am going to give the storm a middle finger if it doesn’t obey me and give me lots of lightning.”
I’m happy to report that he didn’t have to give it the middle finger after all.