Camping = Definitely Different from “Car” Camping

Soooo, funny story.  Mary Keller and I had communicated back and forth through facebook in order to organize our Keller/Nance Family Camping Trip.  Mary had given me the details and I had asked what to bring, etc. before the big trip.  Michael and Mary picked the spot: Panthertown Valley, North Carolina.  If you have never been there, you must do so.  It is a must.  The views are spectacular and the campgrounds are peaceful and totally isolated within nature.  Yep, totally isolated folks.  I made the mistake of “assuming” we were all going “car” camping.  Car camping is the type of camping involving driving to your campsite and setting up your tents and all, while your car is there to store your food.  You can bring more because you don’t have to carry it all in a pack.  I, Polly Nance have never been backpacking before because I get nervous about bears and going to the bathroom in the woods.  Haha.  Welp, I didn’t have time to be nervous and chicken out.  Ricky, Rush, and I were an hour late meeting the Kellers at the Ingles in Cashiers.  Bad start to the trip… we couldn’t get our gear together in time to leave when we had planned.  We overslept by an hour… but I will say that Ricky had just gotten back from his trip to Chicago and I had just gotten back from my trip to the lake.  We didn’t even have to worry about Lennon and all her stuff because she was going to be staying at home with her Mimi and Grumpa, while Ivy (Mary and Michael’s little girl) was going to be staying with Mama Keller (don’t know what they call her 🙂 ).

Back to the point: we were really late meeting them but they seemed pretty cool with it (thank god for chill people).  Ricky told the Kellers that we needed to go into Ingles and get a few things because we didn’t have time to hit up the grocery store.  The main reason we needed to groceries was because we needed beer and bug spray and drinks and water and snacks and ice.  We loaded our cart up.  After checking out, we set sail behind Michael as he led the way.  He led us to Panthertown Valley and we parked our cars on the side of the dirt road.  Ricky, Rush and I had stepped out of the car and were beginning to pull things out when Ricky noticed a striking difference between us and them… They were all wearing backpacks.  Say what?  Ricky then exclaimed,

“Are we going backpacking?”

Mary replied, “Yeah, oh did you think we were going car camping?”

Ricky and I exchanged looks while Mary and Michael exchanged looks.  We were all then immediately stressed out as to how to remedy the situation.  Michael was very understanding and tried to devise a new plan that would involve walking less.  Ricky and I quickly packed things in the Kellers packs.  We poured water from our water bottles into our camel packs and grabbed three Nalgene bottles.  That was all the water we had.  We had no food either because everything we had was either too heavy or too bulky to fit in our packs.  Rush and I were wearing Keens, which meant we might be ok but we might also get some blisters on the way there.  We also had a duffle bag and not a pack so I planned to carry that.  Mary said she thought she had enough food to share so we started walking.  Michael said the hike would be about a mile and a half, but it felt more like three miles.  I’m still not sure how long it was, but  I knew it was Rush’s nap time and he would be skipping his nap.  Despite all this, we managed to carry all our crap down the mountain and to our gorgeous campsite.  It was a relief to get there (after Ricky had to carry a pack and a 25 pound tent… probably around 70 pounds total the whole way while wearing barefoot shoes) because the campsite we chose was breathtaking.  Moral of the story/note to self: always ask ahead of time what type of camping trip it is before making plans.  It was mine and Mary’s fault for assuming the meaning of the word “camping.”  It made for a funny story, however.  And we all had an absolute blast and I hope we can do it again soon.  I’m going to post these first and then post a few campfire moments afterwards.  Hope you enjoy our camping trip 🙂

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