I told my daughter the other day that I didn’t know if I could go back and live among humans. Most of my locations have been so natural, and peaceful, and so good for my soul.
At Echo Charlies Marina Resort, near Eddyville, Kentucky I was pushed way back into the woods, but near a road. Other campers were parked around me, but they were empty. I seldom saw people unless I wanted to. But there was one little couple from Evansville, Indiana, he was a retired Cop, they would pass by in the evenings until they packed up for the season and left.
I could sit at my table and watch a Mother Nature parade past. I loved it.
But it was time to push on because the weather was getting colder, so I took off toward a little Park, Fort Pillow Historic State Park, just north of Memphis that looked like fun. As always, my 2 hr. 56 min drive dragged on for many hours more. It seems once I get close to a destination I can’t get to it. This time, MapGuest sent me in the wrong direction, but for a good reason I have figured out.
I had called several hours prior to getting there just to make sure I had a place to stay, the conversation went something like this:
“I was wondering if you had any open campsites for the evening.”
She gave a little chuckle and said, “We have 32.” Her chuckle made me curious.
“How many do you normally have?”
She gave me basic directions but all I remember distinctly was, “Just remember we’re way down at the end of that road.”
Yesterday was cold, rainy, and 4 hours into a drive, I am pretty tired. I was seeing cotton fields, way sooner than I would have imagined and it is pretty woodsy getting down into this area. I turned on Chamber Lake Road like MapQuest told me to, and I think I stepped off the end of the earth as I know it.
On and on I drove, past Kudzu that looked like mourning giants, smoothing out the countryside, consuming trees and barns, then the black top turned to gravel. Not gray gravel, but red brown muddy looking stuff. And on and on I drove, past a swamp right out of Legend of Boggy Creek then along side a lake. Warning buzzers are deafening inside my head, but there was NO place to turn around. I keep thinking she said, “Just remember we’re way down at the end of that road.”
Really?? This far?
Finally, a pick up approached and I rolled down my window and flagged him down. It was a Hispanic dude, with women and children. Murders and rapist don’t take their family along normally. Do they?
“Is there any where up ahead to turn around?”
“Yes, yes, turn around!” Did he know what I said, or did he just agree?
I kept thinking “Just remember we’re down at the end of that road.”
The more desolate it got the more determined I was to turn around and find a Walmart!
Mapquest tells me I have reached my destination, but it is a sign by the road telling me about the wildlife management project involving The Nature Conservancy, and the State of Tennessee . . . . CRAP.
If I had a rock I would have hammered my phone. But I was too scared to get out of the truck!! Chit. Chit. Chit.
I keep going and emerge on the edge of a spans of flat farmland, dotted here and there with patches of trees. I begin to notice similar machinery to what I see in the White River water management area and it all makes sense. This are is where the mighty Mississippi spreads across the plain and they manage the water levels, for farming and wildlife habitat. But it is still freakin’ scary.
Finally, I call the Park again. She tells me once again how to get there, and once again, I second guess her directions, and drive around lost for another half hour. So, I call again, this time she realizes she’s dealing with an idiot. But I get there, and he Ranger meets me, leads me to the campground and helps me back the camper in.
What a sweetheart, he sounds like LaSalle on NCIS New Orleans. He proudly tells me about the Campground. They have never had trailer hook ups before, in fact, they just opened this part last Friday!! And guess what!! I am their very first camper, ever!! (I’m hoping to get a plaque or something, don’t you think I should??)
Everything is brand-spanking new! Virgin fire pits, virgin charcoal grills, virgin water hookups, virgin electrical boxes, you get the picture! Even picnic tables with no one’s initials carved in the wood. Very thoughtfully laid out ringing a bathhouse, with handicap sites closest. One site across from me sits on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi river! Sweet!
LaSalle, aka Ranger Robbie, says he will make one more pass through in about an hour then he will lock the gate behind him until morning. Night sets in, the rain tippy tapping on the roof, and an insecure feeling of security falls over the Happy Camper.
Thank you, Lord, for my Facebook friends who kept me entertained until sleep finally overtook me. They made me laugh, and verbally held my hand. Thanks guys!!
BTW – MapQuest couldn’t direct me correctly to the campground because until Friday, it didn’t officially exist.
The Tennessee State Park website won’t tell you about the Fort Pillow Massacre, but here is a link to more information: