North Carolina redeems itself

We arrived at lake Powhatan campground in the Pisgah National Forest, NC, just after 10:30 pm. A sign at the gate said “Welcome to bear country.” Friends of ours, Steve and Susan, who we were supposed to meet on Thursday night in Winston-Salem, met us here and have the campsite just across the road.

As soon as we pulled in to the campsite, Susan whisked me away and poured me a mug of straight tequila. Everyone needs a friend like Susan. :)

We all hung out around their dwindling fire, telling stories, and trying to piece together the last time we’d seen each other. It was 2006

Susan curses like a sailor. The girls were a bit offended (I’m usually met with a: mom! —pronounced maw-um — when I say a curse word) The girls got schooled in what a bad word really is. It’s not shit, fuck, or damn, Susan said, reminding them she’s an Oxford-educated English professor. The real bad words are the n word, the f word, the r word… because those words actually hurt people.

Everyone needs an auntie like Susan.

Saturday we woke up early, eric cooked up breakfast, the girls explored the campground, testing the range of our walkie talkies. Then we hiked to the lake. The path was lined with old rhododendrons. The girls had a swim, and me and eric relaxed in the sun.

We spent the rest of the day on “campground time” — napping in hammocks, riding borrowed bikes around the camp roads, doing a puzzle — and ended the day feasting with Steve and Susan, and playing music round the fire.

Right now we’re on the road to Sliding Rock, and hoping to spend the evening in Dollywood. Wish us luck!

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