Recent entries
Home for the Holidays, Day 31 - Millington, Tennessee, to Coppell, Texas Home for the Holidays, Day 30 - Millington, Tennessee Home for the Holidays, Day 29 - Millington, Tennessee Home for the Holidays, Day 28 - Goodlettsville, Tennessee to Millington, Tennessee Home for the Holidays, Day 27 - Goodlettsville, Tennessee Home for the Holidays, Day 26 - Goodlettsville and Nashville, Tennessee Home for the Holidays, Day 25 - Sevierville, Tennessee to Goodlettsville, Tennessee Home for the Holidays, Day 24 - Sevierville, Tennessee Home for the Holidays, Day 23 - Sevierville and Knoxville, Tennessee Home for the Holidays, Day 22 - Marion, Virginia, to Sevierville, TN Home for the Holidays, Day 21 - Marion, Virginia Home for the Holidays, Day 20 - Marion, Virginia Home for the Holidays, Day 19 - Luray, Virginia to Marion, Virginia Home for the Holidays, Day 18 - Luray, Virginia and Shenandoah National Park Home for the Holidays, Day 17 - Luray, Virginia Home for the Holidays, Day 16 - Abingdon, Maryland to Luray, Virginia Home for the Holidays, Day 15 - Abingdon and Baltimore, Maryland Home for the Holidays, Day 14 - Abingdon, Maryland and Staten Island, New York Home for the Holidays, Day 13 - Dallas, Texas, to Abingdon, Maryland Home for the Holidays, Days 1 - 12 - Dallas, Texas Fall Foliage, Day 63 - Greenbelt, Maryland to Dallas, Texas Fall Foliage, Day 62 - Greenbelt and Silver Springs, Maryland Fall Foliage, Day 61 - Washington, D.C. Fall Foliage, Day 60 - Greenbelt, MD Fall Foliage, Day 59 - Felton, Delaware, to Greenbelt, Maryland + Silver Springs, MD Fall Foliage, Day 58 - Felton, Delaware Fall Foliage, Day 57 - Felton and Wilmington, Delaware, and Quakertown, Pennsylvania Fall Foliage, Day 56 - Felton, Delaware Fall Foliage, Day 55 - Felton and Milford, Delaware Fall Foliage, Day 54 - Felton and Milford, Delaware Fall Foliage, Day 53 - Felton, Delaware
September 19, 2015 travel fallfoliage

Fall Foliage Day 3 - DeGray Lake and Hot Springs, Arkansas

Christian’s update on hammock sleeping: I’ve started to prefer sleeping in a hammock to sleeping on a bed. The cool, fresh breeze, the gentle rocking side-to-side, and the perfect canopy view opening up into a star-lit sky make me regret living indoors for the majority of my life. I especially don’t know why people sleep outdoors in tents. It’s so much extra work to set up, so much extra stuff to lug around, and so much more uncomfortable sleeping on the cold, hard ground - all to try to recreate being indoors when you should instead embrace the outdoor experience.

For brunch, we visited the Shoreline Restaurant attached to the lodge. My original plan was to kayak over, but to get started on the rest of our day sooner we opted for the seven minute drive instead. Food was okay (black bean burger/grilled tilapia for me/Christian), but the views were spectacular! There were a couple hummingbirds flitting around a bush just outside.

View from the breakfast tableView from the breakfast table

We had loaded the kayak in the car before going to brunch so we could launch from anywhere on the way back, and at the front desk of the lodge/restaurant I found a paddle trail map. We wanted to do just the middle section of the loop, starting from the visitor center instead of the marina, so we drove back towards the center.

At the visitor center, we could see the lake, but not a clear path to get the kayak down to it. I had read in the map brochure that the visitor center was a possible stop (“feel free to park your kayak on the shore and stop in”), so I assumed there would be a launch spot. We started down towards the water on the Green Heron Trail, resting for a moment in a wildlife observation platform, but the only possible launch spot without crawling through underbrush would have been too far to carry. To appease the bossy Apple watches on our wrists, we kept walking for the rest of the 3/4 of a mile trail.

Lies!Lies!

At this point the early wake-up from the dogs barking next door was starting to get to me, so we gave up on launching from the visitor center and returned to our campsite. Christian got some work done while I napped in the hammock.

Then it was time for our maiden voyage in the kayak! It’s an inflatable two-seater we bought off of Amazon (affiliate link), and we chose it because it fits perfectly in our storage compartment deflated, about 12″x20″x24″. We were able to get it inflated and ready with no trouble, and after rescuing my shoes from the mud we were off!

A kayak built for twoA kayak built for two

#waterfordays#waterfordays

We did a quick loop out to an island in the middle of the lake to take pictures, skip rocks, and attach the skeg, which made a huge difference in steering on the way back.

Our lake-worthy vessel.Our lake-worthy vessel.

Does this make him the skipper?Does this make him the skipper?

Magnificent.Magnificent.

Now seasoned kayaking pros, we zipped back to the peninsula where our campsite was located, hoisted the kayak up on our heads, and walked it back to the RV, where we ate leftovers in the hammock. As I started getting ready for our river cruise, Christian cut up our watermelon from yesterday. He also took a break to vacuum up some of the little flying bugs that had made their way inside, making me very grateful once more that we installed the central vacuum.

Then it was time to head back to Lake Hamilton/Hot Springs for our riverboat cruise! After reading reviews online, we decided to just go for the cruise, since the dinner didn’t exactly get rave reviews.

All dressed upAll dressed up They say it's supposed to be a three hour tour??They say it's supposed to be a three hour tour??

The first hour or so we spent on the top deck listening to a narration of equal parts who’s who’s of Lake Hamilton” (noticeable homes and celebrities) and Lake Hamilton/Hot Springs trivia. For example, did you know that Hot Springs National Park is the smallest of the national parks but the second most visited after the Grand Canyon??

Then we went back down to the first deck for the dancing portion of the evening and tore it UP. I already love ballroom dancing, and when you add to that an appreciative audience, a hostess/DJ playing jive (“Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’“) and foxtrot (“You Are So Beautiful”), and of course, my amazing dance partner/husband… well. Date nights don’t get much better than that.

#dibs#dibs

All in all, one of the most relaxing days we’ve had in a long time. This was a wonderful reminder of why we did what we did in renovating the RV! Every day we get to do what we want to do when we want to do, connecting even more to each other and the new and old friends we encounter on the way.

Even driving back from Walmart takes on poetic importance as we drink in the road-side scenery for the first time with the crisp air tousling our hair through the open car windows. Looming pines and oaks stretch into the clear skies, while a comfortingly golden Dreamworks crescent moon peeks over the mountains on the horizon. This may all be wonderful just because it’s only our third day on the road - but I’d like to be optimistic and think that this will be what we look forward to every day for the foreseeable future.

And here’s what Christian is thinking about on the drive back: Just remember every time you look up at the moon, I, too, will be looking at a moon. Not the same moon obviously, that’s impossible.” -Andy Dwyer, Parks and Recreation


Previous post
Fall Foliage, Day 2 - DeGray Lake and Hot Springs, Arkansas Today there was only one minor emergency, which was a major improvement from yesterday! As I was making gluten-free banana muffins/chilling in the
Next post
Fall Foliage, Day 4 - DeGray Lake to Buffalo River State Park, Arkansas Last night Christian and I managed to both sleep in our hammock, an Eno double nest (affiliate link + straps). It was actually quite cozy once the