Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Tennessee Camping Weekend

This past weekend we headed to Ragland Bottom Campground,  situated on the shore of Center Hill Lake.  It was a scenic drive out there and only took about an hour.  We didn't really know what to expect as it was our first visit, but we were in awe as we drove into the campground and saw our home for the weekend.  

Beautiful view!
The campground is grassy, wooded and slopes gently down toward the lake.  Each campsite has a level area for the tent, complete with water, electric outlet, bbq grill and a fire pit with an amazing lake view.  It even has it's own 2 mile hiking trail and a swimming beach.  You can't park close to your site so it was a bit of hard work dragging all our stuff down the hill (the kiddos earned their pocket money), but so worth it once we were set up and chilling with a beer in hand, campfire blazing.

The view from our camping deck

It was pretty chilly on our first night.  Poor Molly was freezing so I put her front legs in the arms of my down jacket and she wore that till morning.  She didn't struggle to get out of it, so I think it helped!  We had a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs cooked by the husband, accompanied by honey buns and copious amounts of tea seeing as it was still pretty cold. 

The Chef

Anyone for tea?

It started raining so we ducked inside the tent and played Old Maid and Heads Up until the rain stopped.  Middle child has just learned the word 'penis'.  He can't pronounce it properly, so had us in stitches when he announced that penis is a compound word - pen and is.  Hopefully he won't feel the need to share that with his teacher at school any time soon!

The rain quickly cleared and we headed down to the beach to gather firewood.  There was loads lying around and it was mostly dry so we had a huge pile to burn.  For free too, can't beat that!

We passed the rest of the day messing around on the beach and hanging out by the campfire.  The husband and the hund had a wee nap and the kiddos planked on the wooden ledge around the site, thankfully, nobody fell off! 

Planking with a view

Snoozing by the fire
It was another chilly night but it was lovely sitting round the fire watching the stars and listening to fish jumping out of the lake.  When we were getting ready for bed, I felt a lump on my stomach.  Yep, a tick had decided to dig in and was firmly embedded.  The husband got it out with tweezers and thankfully there's no bulls eye rash so hopefully I didn't get Lymes Disease from the nasty bloodsucker.

It was such a great experience to camp right next to beautiful Center Hill Lake.  Coming out of your tent in the morning to such a fantastic view was so relaxing.  We spent our last morning watching fish jumping and muskrats swimming along the shore.  We'll definitely bring the fishing rods next time if we can squeeze anything else in the van. 

I'd definitely recommend this campsite to anyone who enjoys tent camping.  We've stayed at Fall Creek Falls Campground before and although it was in a great location, the campsite itself was crowded and noisy.  Ragland Bottom was way more beautiful, spacious and peaceful.  We'll definitely return when we can.  Tennessee has so many beautiful places to visit, we're very lucky to live here!
Chillin' by the campfire

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