After much research, my husband found that the Army Corp of Engineers run campgrounds. Wow, who knew? The Federal Government really does a good job with parks. We decided that we would take our first trip to Deerlick Creek, about 3 and 1/2 hours away. Now we probably should have had a dry run in a closer campground, but we both wanted a remote location, without other campers on top of us. Here is the description of the campground from Recreation.gov
Deerlick Creek Campground is located on Holt Lake on the Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway northeast of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The facility is in a beautiful forest along the shoreline, providing campers and day-use visitors with access to water sports, boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and biking.
Holt Lake was created by the damming of the Black Warrior River. The campground is situated amidst a mixed pine and hardwood forest, which displays colorful foliage along the riverbanks each fall. Deer, squirrel, wild turkey, migratory birds and blue birds, all live in the Holt Lake area. Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway consists of six lakes with a total length of 457 miles and 39,800 surface acres of water.
And so, we set off. We left on Saturday, the 4th, my birthday. What a wonderful birthday present. My husband was fighting off a sinus infection, but like the trooper he is, he pushed through it and didn’t let it change our plans. I think he would chew off his own hand, rather than disappoint me. He’s an amazing guy!
We decided to stop in a Walmart on the way, to load up on supplies. We stopped in Lake, Ms. First we shopped, then ate and fed the dogs while in the parking lot. Here is a picture of me walking all three. I am way at the top of the hill. Climbing this hill was a foretelling of what the camping trip would be like. Lots of hills and climbing. Boy, do I need to exercise!
After everyone was fed, walked and the groceries were packed, we hit the road again. My husband has taken to driving this 34 foot monster like it’s his car. He actually drives it better than his car! I have only done one test drive, and don’t really feel the need to drive it unless I have to. I would rather be in charge of navigation, dog control and food preparation.
Here we are going down the road. Everyone has their favorite spot.
We arrived at the campground right before dark which was really not ideal since this was our first time. Our site #37 was beautiful and very easy to pull into with a circular drive. The only problem was lining up the slides between the trees. We only have two slides, but there were a lot of trees. After a few adjustment, we were all set. It was a nice level concrete pad, with water, 50 amp electricity, but no sewer. When we tried to set the water up, there was a major overflow underneath which freaked us out a little. Since it was dark by now, and my husband’s illness that he had been fighting off, came back, we decided just to use the bathhouse and worry about the water in the morning.
We didn’t realize before arriving, but most of the spots were taken up by the University of Alabama fans, watching the football game against the University of Mississippi. There were huge motorcoaches with big tv’s on the outside with tons of fans watching the game. The amazing thing was how quiet it was, even with all of that. I guess it helped that Alabama lost the game, there was no wild celebrating that night.
While hubby took a well deserved nap I made the beds, and unpacked. Then, I decided to walk up to the bathhouse for a shower. It was pitch black, no moon or stars. The only light was when you would pass another camper, but a few steps past them, and it would be total darkness again. I had forgotten what being in the deep woods was like. The sounds are so unique, the frogs, and crickets and owls, it’s very restful. However, I wish I had not been listening to a very scarey Audible book about vampires the night before, it made me walk a little faster and check the trees with my light frequently for owls (or vampires). There was a hill going to the bathhouse that felt like it was on a 90 degree incline so I was too winded to be worry about creatures of the night.
After a great shower in a very clean bathhouse, I walked back down the hill to our site. We all settled in for the night which turned cold, 42 degrees. I love to sleep with the windows open, so I almost froze my poor sick husband to death.
Sunday morning 7am
I think I’m checking the weather, trying to warm up. I slept in the living room so that I didn’t keep my husband up all night and then wake him up early. I succeeding in letting him sleep all night, but didn’t manage to keep it quiet enough for him to sleep late.
Now that we had daylight, the water problem was sorted out. Yea, no more late night bathroom visits in the great outdoors! I still wanted to use the bathhouse shower, because they had great water pressure, and really hot water. Plus, I need an excuse to move my body, pant, gasp!
Our site is great, I really don’t think that any of the sites are bad. They all have decks,large picnic tables,fire rings, lantern poles, grills, water, electricity and concrete pads.
And what a view! With no bugs! Very weird! I did not use bug spray the entire trip, and we were outside at night.
We spent the next two days hiking,
taking pictures of the changing leaves,
cooking on the grill,
watching the sunset,
sitting in front of the fire,
Even though it was a short trip, it was a very successful one. All of our stress and worries just melted away.