The next day’s drive brought us to Tallulah Gorge State Park in north Georgia. The drive there was only a few hours long, but it was very intense.
We avoided Atlanta like the plague, but the traffic extends so far beyond it, we still found ourselves driving through 14- lane wastelands with cars almost merging into one another.
To make it even more exciting, the Teenager kept calling over and over again from Gaineville to freak out about filling out the enrollment forms for high school. He’s determined to head back to the Gulag in a week. They have even installed new jail doors at the entrance to make it more Gulag-y this year. Personally, i would want to stay far, far away from any state-run institution at the moment, but he thinks it will be fun and exciting.
We finally pulled into our campsite just as it was finishing up raining. The clouds cleared up and the sun began shining as we set up camp. We had just wrestled the Green Goblin into a tent-like shape, when i had to rush Clo to a bathroom emergency involving a lot of clothes and a shower, leaving Rose to stake out the dozens of little cords on the rain fly.
She was trying unsuccessfully to pound them into the gravel with a tiny rock when we left, but when we got back the damsel in distress had apparently attracted the attention of the camp ground host, and he was just finishing setting up our tent manfully with a hammer.
So with the tent successfully set up, we went about dinner preparations, getting out the old camping stove we had borrowed from my parents – the same one that had accompanied my family on camping trips since i can remember.
I was distracted by a headache i had gotten from driving and trying to get all our cooking stuff assembled, when Clothilde decide she was going to take charge of setting up the stove, and within 5 seconds had done something incredibly awful to it, and propane gas was hissing out of it somewhere.
I unscrewed the little tank (that is the only way to shut it off) and got out our 15-in-1 prepper hatchet and used it to unscrew things, and finally discovered the little pipe leading to the second burner was disconnected. Connecting it again didn’t help – the seal was broken.
It looked bleak – a headache, everyone tired and hungry, and bread and goat cheese for supper after i searched on my phone and found civilization to be a long enough drive away to make it not worth it to drive there.
However, we searched our supplies and Rose discovered a single piece of washi tape stuck to her make up bag. I disconnected the end of the propane pipe, plugged it up with a twig, wrapped the washi tape around the end, tied it off with a stray piece of stretchy beading cord off a beaded comb in the make up bag, and sealed it with several layers of natural nail polish top coat.
It worked! I’m used to crazy things like that from the farm. Sometimes you have to make things work with what you have. So we did get a hot dinner, tea, and even smores made with homemade marshmallows.
The next day we hiked down into the gorge. It was beautiful. The views were breathtaking. I had hoped we could get a permit to hike along the bottom – a trail i last hiked with the Teenager as a baby in the ergo backpack. We had to hand him from rock to rock over the rushing water. However, permits were not being issued, inexplicably, due to COVID 19.
It was probably just as well, as the 1,099 stairs with Clo were almost too much. Rose and I are used to suffering from the Tour du Mont Blanc last summer, but we had to almost drag Clo up.
When we got back, the camp ground host was there waiting to help us get the stakes up. He clearly thought we were totally unsuited to camping.
So with legs like jelly, we packed up and headed to our next destination!