Friday, August 21, 2009
Standing Indian Campground
We spent our 5 days of camping in the Standing Indian Campground (named after Standing Indian Mountain) in the Nantahala National Forest. We chose this particular campground because it had the highest elevation of any of the campgrounds that included flush toilets and hot showers.
The National Park Service has an excellent website for making camping reservations before you leave home.
We were able to look at a campground map and choose which site we wanted from all those available.
We really did our homework before this camping trip. We chose a couple campgrounds that sounded good in their descriptions, and then looked up other people's vacation pictures from those campgrounds on some of the photo-sharing websites. That really helped up to know what each campground was like and to decide where in the campground we wanted to be.
We found the perfect campsite. It was in loop 1 of the campground, which is a bit of a walk to the showers, but that will be remedied soon, because late this Fall, after the campground closes for the season, they are renovating the bathrooms and each loop will have it's own showers.
Our campsite was in a quiet spot next to the river. We had brought a small backpack full of toys and activities to entertain Blaze while camping, but none of those were necessary once he discovered the shallow river full of rocks. He was in the water before we even had camp set up, working on a dam and throwing stones.
The Nantahala River right next to our campsite:
All those rocks came in handy in other ways too. After camping most recently in Florida, where the ground had been soft because it is mostly sand, I hadn't packed a serious hammer, only Blaze's plastic toy hammer. The hard packed gravel pad that the tent stakes had to be driven into at Standing Indian, was more than that little plastic hammer could handle. Luckily, nature provided.
The tent was soon up and we had begun to develop tools ( our evolution would continue to be a running joke for this camping trip).
Not everyone at the campground was roughing it. Several of the big motor-homes, in the other loops, had satellite dishes, so they could watch t.v., but the people next to us struck us as the funniest. They were staying in a tent, but they had their Direct T.V. Dish sitting across the road from their campsite, with the cord duct-taped down to the road. When we walked by their camp one night, we noticed that they were sitting at their picnic table, near a burning campfire, watching a nature show.
There are several nice hiking trails through the campground and the Appalachian Trail is about a two mile walk away.
Our first walk along one of the trails, was a short one, along the edge of the river. It was a hot day and we were able to find a spot where the river was deep enough for swimming.