When we started out this year, I made it my goal to book as many trips as I could for free weekends. Cameron and I prefer to be away from the world in our camper whenever we can, so I filled our calendar with little trips at the beginning of 2021.
This weekend it was Poinsett State Park. It was 2.5 hours down in South Carolina, which normally is nothing, however my work had a spontaneous vaccination distribution pop up, and I ended up getting out of work fairly late. Turned out Cameron also had a long day, so we were not as well packed as we normally are to just roll out after work.
We managed to get on the road around 6:30PM and make our way south. When we got to the park, it was completely dark and hard to see what was around us. We climbed up a dirt road where we lost service, and there was not much signage to see where we were. We ended up finding the campground and our site. Thankfully, it was a straight, flat shot back into the site. Our neighbors came out to check if we needed any help, and Cameron joked that he could use one of the "sodas" they were enjoying around their fire.
After light unpacking and some food, we realized it was almost bedtime, so we relaxed with some "sodas" before calling it a night.
The next morning we woke up to inspect the site while enjoying our coffee. The site we had was great because it was right next to the path to enter the hiking trails, and we were tucked on the end so we didn't face any neighbors.
After reading through the map, we decided to drive to the store to check in. We weren't entirely sure where it was, since we didn't know up from down the night before. We loaded into the truck and made our way out.
Turns out that dark gravel road up the mountain was actually a "2 lane" road and the only way in and out of the campground. We climbed down the hill, praying we didn't meet anyone as we made our way to the camp store.
This was the first park we didn't buy any unnecessary knick- knacks at the store. The park store was very pretty and overlooked a nice little lake. It didn't entirely look canoe-worthy (which was fine because we didn't pack it for this trip), but it was definitely picturesque. We looked over the map and couldn't get over the hiking and biking trails that were located within the park. You could easily spend a week checking them all out!
The park store parking lot was actually quite busy so we figured that most people probably came and hiked the trails closest to the entrance. We decided to head back up to the campground and check out the trailhead by our site!
We harnessed up LunaBear and started on our way! The trails were fairly quiet. We popped out in a primitive camping area that cut through and met up with more trails, so we picked one that Cameron thought looked good and headed on our way.
The hike was one of those good for exercise trails but really nothing to look at. It was pretty barren and bland but was a decent couple of miles. There were some cool trees though! It is always funny to see the different terrains throughout the south and how they change depending on where you are. We were closer to the southeast this time, so there were weepy trees and some type of pine that looked like a little fighter.
We made our way back and linked up with the first trail to get back to our site. Luna seemed like she was ready for some sleep, so we decided to let her rest while we took the bikes out. I decided to bring my camera because Cameron seemed convinced the bike trail didn't really look like it was anything too strenuous. Off we went!
I followed Cameron and we started down the path to the trails. It occurred to me after a few minutes of no braking and straight downhill that we were going to be in for a treat on the way back. We winded down and around the path until we saw the turn sign to follow the trail back up. And UP it was. HOLY SMOKES.
Usually, I am all for powering through a good ol' leg workout, but between the pine needles that made the tires slip and trying to watch my camera, it was not happening this time. I hopped off, as did Cameron, and we hoofed up the hill. Mind you, a skinny little fit girl came by on her bike and powered up the hill. She claimed she had a lot of breakfast to burn off... So Cameron and I used the excuse that we didn't have anything to eat yet, and that's what our problem was. We pitifully made it to the top of the hill and climbed back on the bikes to finish the ride. Our legs were jello, and it was definitely time to just go sit in nature.
We sat outside enjoying the sunshine. When I went inside to get some snacks, I heard Cameron talking to someone. Turns out our friendly neighbors from last night were inquiring about the trailer. We got to talkin' and before we knew it, we were mingling between the two sites.
The group of friends we met actually have a little camping group, and they go and check out local places during the weekend. They were a fun bunch, and we had a great time drinking sodas and sharing stories.
They were also fabulous cooks! Cameron and I got to sample some delicious deer burgers (Luna might have too!), and the next morning they came over to say goodbye and gave us some deer steaks to take home. Normally, Cameron and I keep to ourselves when we camp, but this crew was a blast and we were so glad we met them. We followed their Facebook Camping group to hopefully stay in touch and maybe even meet up again sometime!
Another great weekend was in the books and it was time to head home before doing it all again next weekend. Stay tuned!
He likes pizza.