We had been resting, recuperating and reorganizing for a few months after the second year on the full-time traveling trails. What was once a planned break, turned into a more serious time-out. I needed to replace the worn-out awning and make a few minor repairs. Let’s face it. Things break over time and need replaced. These were relatively minor in nature, but I also wanted to touch-up a couple of rust spots with new paint. My camper also was in bad need of a bath. The purchase of a pressure washer was in the works, but that is another minor story.
|Kirk Korner Campground, as we refer to the summer of 2016.|
It turned out that we both altered our plans for the summer. Steve decided that he wanted to prepare his for eventual sale and began making repairs there as well. Of course, as his friend, I was there to help. A few months planned, turned to a few more months. We didn’t get in any hurry. We’re both retired. Some days we planned, some days we sat out rains and some days we painted, cut down tree limbs, painted and reorganized everything. It wasn’t as difficult as it was time consuming. We didn’t care. Our time was our own and we have been friends our entire lives - since 4th Grade - and enjoyed each other’s company.
|This is the replacement campsite offered by the management here. They did us a solid favor.|
|The flagpole/camera mount that I added to modify my kayak.|
Hardin Ridge if a very popular camp for recreational boating and fishing. So much so that weekend recreational campers often tow their boats and sleep in a tent so they don’t violate the rules of occupancy - one unit per site. There were a few who brought a camping trailer while a partner brought the boat. The sites were large enough, but they paid extra for the privilege. It was my goal to get some use out of my kayak. I tow it around all the time, but never seen to get it in the water enough. Lake Monroe on the weekend with all the high speed boaters on the lake turned out to be a different kind paddling than cruising through the bayou in Mississippi last winter. Just remember to turn into the wakes at 90 degrees rather than be swamped. Of course, I always wear my PFD (life jacket).
|Vista overlook of Lake Monroe from the road down to the boat ramp and swimming beach.|
Only a little farther down was a road off to the left. Although there was a signpost, I passed right by it twice before I spotted it. It was the sign directing visitors to the beach. I drove slowly down the long, winding road hoping that the beach was somewhere near. Since this was the only road, I didn’t get lost. At the end of the trail, I found it. For a lakefront beach, it was well laid out and convenient for beach-goers, although the sand was hot and coarse. The water was almost warm, but cool enough to be refreshing. After all, it was summertime.
|The beach area - wave breakers for a peaceful swim.|
|Boat ramp and docking area at Hardin Ridge on Lake Monroe.|
|I learned some things about using these wheels that weren't in the directions.|
|The parking lot was a pretty far piece to carry the kayak, so the rollers worked out well.|
|This little unit is fun to have which collects data of your hike or kayak trip.|
So anyway, I got back from my little two hour+ kayak tour of of Lake Monroe and tried to get my sea legs back. It truly IS a “thing” as it took about ten steps to walk normally. Time for a “selfie”. Pretty sweaty, huh?
|The sweaty selfie after my kayak paddling. Waterproof case for GPS.|
With a little planning, camping can be almost as nice of a way to travel and enjoy life as anything else. The next night it rained - a huge thunderstorm. The thunder echoed off the lake and through the forest. Eventually, the power went out and stayed out for about six hours. I only have about six flashlights stationed around the camper, so I’m never far from at least one. The emergency light & rechargeable flashlight which is always plugged-in was already lit. I turned it off. It was after 1 am and I was tired. By morning, the forest fog was heavy, but the lights were on again. The young male cardinal was back on the branch outside my dinette window, challenging his reflection in the dark glass for dominance in his territory. Today, was the next day. You know, the day before tomorrow?