Raccoon Mountain Campground

At the beginning of the month, Derek and I went camping at Raccoon Mountain Campground.

I wanted to camp at this campground for over a year, ever since we saw the place when we were there for the cavern tour, which is on site.

Also, on a sillier note, I bought myself a Raccoon Mountain sweatshirt from a local apparel company, Native Made, and I just had to wear it at the campground!

There are cabins of various sizes to rent at the campground, and that is what I had originally wanted to do, but that was before Derek said he wanted to start camping, and we bought all the gear and supplies.

I am glad we ended up tent camping here, to get the full experience.

The tent sites are scattered on the edge of the woods, near the entrance of the campground. Our site had a small stream and trees on the back side, so it felt more private. Plus, it was nice to fall asleep to the sounds of the water.

The people working at the campground were helpful. When we arrived, we paid for firewood, which was then dropped off directly at our campsite. There is also ice available, and an assortment of snacks, and basic camping needs at the general store/office. After camping earlier in the spring with no amenities like this, it was nice to have these things available.

The best part about the campground was all of the campground cats. The general office has a binder with all of their pictures and descriptions. We were visited by a beautiful long haired calico named Callie. I guess she could tell that we are cat people!

The campground has various amenities such as a pool, games for rent, the cavern tour, and gem mining. Derek and I did the gem mining, because we both used to collect rocks and gems as kids. We got a good amount of nice gems in our bag, and now some of them are displayed at my desk at work.

There was also a hiking trail just across the road from our campsite. It is a two mile trail, but it was humid and steep, so we only made it half of a mile up before turning back, for a full mile.

It rained on Saturday night, but we looked at the weather forecast ahead of time so we were prepared. We covered our tent with a tarp, and lifted it up on the one end to make a fly, by tying the ends with rope to the trees. It looked silly, but we stayed dry.

We enjoyed our second time camping, and getting to experience a different campsite. We do not have any immediate plans for camping again, but there are some various sites that are in the back of our mind.

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Little did we know …

Four years ago today, July 30, we were half way through our cross country move from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania to Houston, Texas. It was a 24 hour, 1,600 mile drive that took three days.

Our second day was a long 900-mile stretch, from Harrisonburg, Virginia to Picayune, Mississippi. Chattanooga is somewhere in the middle.

My parents had been to Chattanooga before. They reenacted the 150th Battle of Chickamauga (we used to be Civil War reenactors) and while there, they took a quick trip up to Chattanooga, to see the National Cemetery. My dad also loves trains and wanted to see the Andrews Raiders monument.

Tennessee was the first new state that we had driven through, so I think that was why I committed that part of the drive to memory, more so than any other sate.

My dad was driving to Houston with us, pulling the U-Haul trailer behind his truck. We were communicating with walkie talkies. As we were driving around Chattanooga on I-24 West, Dad was pointing out landmarks. From the road, we could see the flag pole on the top of the National Cemetery’s hill. Dad also made sure to point out Lookout Mountain, where the Civil War “Battle Above The Clouds” took place.

I specifically remember being in awe driving around Moccasin bend, around the mountain and the Tennessee River.

We took the Lookout Valley exit and stopped at a Subway for lunch. We ate in the parking lot. And then we were on our way, reaching the Georgia line just a few minutes later.

Little did we know that Chattanooga would be come our home three years later!

This past winter, I wrote an article about a new real estate office opening up in Lookout Valley. I drove past that Subway, and it was fun to reminisce. I think it would be fun to go back there and eat lunch again and think about how different things were the last time we ate there.

Here are some photos from that trip:

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