If you ever want to know more about your spouse or loved one, just spend a few days on the road.
We are like most married couples. The longer we are together, the more we become like one another. We mimic each other’s habits, finish each other’s sentances and have learned to enjoy the same things. But this isn’t always the case. Take for instance the difference in attitude when returning from a long trip.
I prefer to take a nice slow drive home and try to draw out the return to the every day grind as along as I can. Mr. McGee, on the other hand, seems to get in a big hurry to head for home. Maybe it’s because he has a job to return to and I don’t. I guess he starts feeling a bit anxious about returning, resting, and making sure he is on time and fit to return to work. It seemed Mr. McGee had gotten into a rush.
This obvious difference between us became ever apparent as we left Fort Parker and headed for Homochitto National Forest. We started putting on a few more miles and side trips were out of the question.
As I mentioned this stay in the National forest would be our hottest and scariest night camping. Scary because as we entered the forest and read the information board there were plenty of warnings about the widow makers in the park. For those who don’t do much forest camping these are trees that are at risk of dropping at the dime of a hat.
Forestry personal spend countless hours surveying these trees when they are in and near places with likely visitors such as trails and campgrounds. But these forested areas of the country are large and voluminous, so keeping track of every tree is an insurmountable task.
It’s for this reason that we opted to stay in the developed campground instead of boondocking. After surveying the boondocking area it appeared there were trees that had escaped the watchful eye of the forest service. My thoughts on the matter were – why take the chance.
We found a beautiful little campsite where I felt the most comfortable. The winds were calm and although the trees towered above us we felt safe.
Because we were back east and into the humid wet environment of the southeast we were able to have our first campfire of our trip. This was a welcome addition as the bugs were horrendous!
We spotted a red fox in the campground near the bathhouse as we surveyed the other campsites. This was the first red fox I’d seen in the wild, which made for another memorable experience.
There are two camp loops in this campground. The one we were in was a mix of campsites backed up to the forest (like ours) and others poised on the edge of the bluff overlooking the lake. The other camp loop is at lake level. We would use this camp area in a future trip.
Nothing is ever perfect and when traveling you learn to accept this. As I mentioned the winds were calm which increased the bug activity, but it also had a more “uncomfortable” side effect. Instead of the temperature dropping it stayed a consistent, muggy, hot mess. This made for some very stifling and unbearable sleeping conditions. For the first time on our trip both Mr. McGee and I became very claustrophobic inside the SUV.
Eventually we dozed off, but that did not end our night of terror. A few hours after dark the wind suddenly increased. I woke to the sound of pines swaying and cracking. I looked out at the trees towering above us and said a number of prayers. Visions of the warnings posted back at the information sign returned to me and I didn’t get much sleep for the rest of the night.
Obviously we got through the night unsathed but I came out the otherside worse from the wear!
We packed our things and headed out on what would be the last leg of our journey. This wasn’t the original plan, but more on that next week.
Clear Springs Campground Homochitto National Forest 31.424999, -90.986858 Website
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