So, I haven’t updated the blog in a while because we have been traveling. Family vacay time, woohoo! Of course I rocked some Battle Cloth Boutique threads while away but did not do much work. Many adventures were had.
One day in particular happened to be full of excitement. We were up in East Tennessee in the Gatlinburg area. Beautiful area, go if you ever get the chance! On our last day we decided to go horseback riding. My 8 year old son got a sweet horse named Yuck, my 10 year old daughter was on Snickers, I had Mercedes and my hubs had a big ol’ guy named Mr. Lee. Well, Snickers was kind of a bitch. She kept biting at the horse in front of her (Yuck). Then the hussy turned around and bit my horse. Well, Mercedes was not happy. She reared up and all of a sudden I was Zorro…only screaming “Help me, eeeee, somebody help!”. Mostly I was afraid my horse’s hooves were going to come down on my daughter. Snickers in the meantime is acting up and still trying to bite, my daughter is screaming and crying. I had lost the reins on Mercedes and she was agitated as hell. I got her back under control and then our horses proceeded to munch the salad bar on the side of the trail. Did we give up? Nope. Damn near wanted to, but the guide used a lead rope on the bitch horse and all was calm and well after that.
Think that was enough adrenaline for the Simpson family? Think again. Our next stop after horse hell was a KOA (Kamping Of America) campground. We had never stayed at a KOA before. When we arrived it was crowded. RVs and trailers everywhere. We had a tent site near the river. My family camps a lot. However, this was our first time Kamping. Oh, what a treat. The entire site where we raise our tent was covered in gravel. Like, riprap gravel…sharp little rocks. And our neighbors are close enough to smell our farts. The road is a few feet from the tent, and apparently is a main thoroughfare. My hubs and I are “bright siders” most of the time. So that’s how we went then as well.
I have to add, my husband had stayed at this same camp before (only it was called something else and had a different vibe) when he was a little boy. He remembered floating the river with his grandfather on intertubes. So, he had picked up a couple of tubes from the gas station on the way in. He took my son up the river a ways while my daughter and I waited by the river near our site. The plan was that they would float back down to us and then we would take a turn. A long while passed and I began to worry a bit. I noticed while sitting there that a bit of rapids was a ways up the river where they would be coming. But some teenagers floated by and seemed fine. Finally, after an eternity, I saw my husband in the distance wading through waist deep water with my son on his back. Uh oh. I figured twisted ankle or something, as the river was pretty rocky and slippery.
As they got closer I noticed my husband was all scratched up and bloody. Turns out, the river is swift and rougher than it looked. My son’s 60 lbs floated away on his tube while my husband’s 215 lbs didn’t go much of anywhere. So, my husband fought the river trying to get to our son as he headed for some sharp rocks. My son got scraped and was screaming as the river carried him away. My husband was panicking and doing everything he could to get to him, but it was no use. Luckily, an angel named Dustin happened to be on the bank and my husband screamed at him to please grab our boy. Dustin jumped in and waded through the current and was able to snatch our kid just in time. He held onto him until my husband could get to him. Had he not reached him, our son very well could have been badly hurt on the rocks or even drowned. None of us had any idea the river was that fast and strong. We all learned a lesson though!
I didn’t see any of this, so I was able to avoid the adrenaline attack and the PTSD that my hubs dealt with that evening. Everyone got patched up with Star Wars bandaids and we cracked open some beers. Needless to say, we were worn the eff out after that.
Cue my review of Kamping with a “K”. First of all, the massaging rocks under the tent were just what the doctor ordered. Forget shiatsu massage, massaging riprap is better than any massage parlor ever. Being away from t.v. and other activities might make for a boring evening, but KOA had a way around that. Every time headlights shone through our tent we all were seized with excitement and suspense as we wondered if a truck was about to plow us all over! Also, hearing our neighbors cough and blow snot rockets helped us not feel lonely. After a super amazing night’s rest, we woke up to the natural sounds of KOA. A loud squealing and banging had us all up and hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Kampground Garbage Truck! Alas, we missed it. Hungry for breakfast, we would normally cook something on a campfire at other campgrounds. Not at KOA. No need to use thier Kampfire when you can walk the two minutes to the gas station behind our tent! Amenities abound to our delight! The fresh smell of exhaust in the morning beats clean mountain air any day.
So anyway, yes..those were a few high lights of our adventure. Don’t worry, we actually had an AMAZING vacation. It was long, it was fun, it was tiring, and it was perfect. Family memories that will last forever.