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Boondocking! And a Run-In with the Park Rangers

This post is part of my month-long Road Trip! HackerChick style.

We set out on this trip with very few goals. But one of them was to avoid RV campgrounds and park out in the wild (AKA “boondocking”).

But the big question remained. How do we find places where it’s cool to park overnight? I mean, if we had a tent, it would be one thing. But we’ve got a whole motor home here.

So we’ve been driving all day when we decide we better stop and find a place to camp out. It’s 10pm and we’re somewhere along the border between Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama.

Brian takes it on as a mission. He’s researching on Google Maps, looking for areas that look promising. Discovers a road that appears to dead end into a forest. Pretty far off the beaten path, away from homes. Perfect!

We set off for it. Driving down twisty country roads that we don’t know in the pitch dark in our RV. But we find the place! Pull down a one way drive only to find… people! Doing something that looks, let’s just say, sketchy.

As our headlights approach they all stop what they’re doing to look up and stare at us.

Without missing a beat, Brian throws it into reverse and we back out to the main road as fast as we can in an RV.

More Google Maps research. More driving. Twisty mountain roads with hairpin turns. Probably really pretty during the day, but it’s pitch black middle of the night.

About to despair when we randomly, accidentally drive into a state park with unlocked front gates. YaY! Drive around but many areas including (we found out later) RV campgrounds were locked off.
They’ve got a collection box if you arrive after hours. Great. Except, we look in the box to get an envelope and find… a bird’s nest.

This place is weirdly totally isolated.

Turn down a road with a sign declaring “group shelter” and, next to a building that appears to be completely empty, we spot a small side road that leads to… a giant empty field! Perfect! We pull in and camp for the night.

Our very first boondock!

Next day, we’re hanging out in the RV when suddenly we noticed a white pick up truck approaching us. Shit. What do we do now?

It’s the park rangers. Knock knock knock.

Yikes, seriously freaky. We knew this could happen but it’s one thing imagining it and another thing having it actually happen.

We open the door to two park rangers looking at us in a really confused manner.

“You know, the RV campgrounds are down that way”

We explain that the road to them was locked off when we arrived.

“Well… but they have hookups there”

Again, mention the locked gate.

“Well… ” (pause) “this here is a field

Wow. REALLY?!

On the drive out though we wonder – where is this place we’re at? And pull over to find this amazingly beautiful canyon. Whoa! Nature is cool.


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