Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wind Creek State Park and the 4th of July

While coordinating calendars one evening, we discovered that we had a longer than expected Fourth of July holiday. This would be a great time to schedule an adventure in Rosie.
There were a few caviots to scheduling this trip. First, we were talking about one bonus day for the holiday and not a significant amount of time. Second, I would have to spend a little time during the weekend to complete a project for work and that meant I needed to be inside a WiFi footprint at the campground.
When you add those two elements together, the sum was that Rosie was headed to either Wind Creek State Park or to Gunter Hill Corp of Engineers Campground. Both are within a 90 minute commute from Fort Rosie, which is where we store our Airsteam trailer.
While both parks have their advantages, Wind Creek State Park won this time because of the bicycle trails. Wind Creek has more bike paths than Gunter Hill and riding our bikes around the park in July sounded like fun.
Several Alabama State parks have a policy of reserving you a space in the park, but not a specific camp site. That means you have to get to the park then race around to find the actual site where you really want to set up your camping rig.
Many of the lakeside sites are currently closed for renovation at Wind Creek. That greatly reduced the "prime" sites available during the holiday weekend.
Knowing this, we decided on a clever plan: we would head out early in the morning and beat the crowd.
Someone let our secret out. There was a line of want-to-be campers at the registration office trying to get the best of the remaining sites. When it was our turn, we decided on a site in one of the first loops in the park.
This was our first time in the park where our site was not on the lake. We discovered that some families with young children like these loops because they feel it is safer being farther away from the lake. While I am not qualified to determine if the early loops are really safer, they did appear to be quieter than the "party" atmosphere found nearer the lake.
Our plan was to spend the week at Wind Creek and I would commute to work, as needed. We pulled out after three days.
Why? We have stayed in Wind Creek for a week before, what happened this time to convince us that it was time to pack up and head home?
Shortly after setting up, it started to rain. Then it continued to rain, followed by more rain. It rained everyday while we were there and the weather apps on our iPhones were predicting another week of rain.
After spending three days in a soaking rain, the reality that we were going to spend the entire week inside Rosie started to sink in. It wasn't going to stop raining that week. It was time to hitch up and head home.

It seems that we always learn something on every camping trip. The "take away" from this trip was to know when to throw in the towel.
We camp because we enjoy sharing each other's company, we enjoy seeing nature from Rosie's panaramic window and we enjoy being outside in the campgrounds. We don't camp so that we can sit inside Rosie and watch TV. If the weather is forcing us to be couch potatoes, it is time to move on down the road.