So, we decided to drive right through Tennessee and get closer to where the Gold is. We drove throughout the day and ended up at Hiawasee/Ocoee Rivers State Park. It was an established campground with running water and bathrooms and showers too.
Our spot at the campground was nice. I did a little bike riding in the morning while Greg was still sleeping in the van and then we went to visit the gift shop and ranger station.
Next stop was a National Forest Campground called Deep Hole. First we took a very mountainous road along a river. So many white water rafters and kayakers. We both agreed, not really our cup of tea, but it is fun to watch. We stopped at a place where the 1996 Kayaking events took place.
There were a few bus loads of kids, I guess from a nearby camp that were all heading out on the river for a rafting trip. They had that look of FEAR on their faces which reminded both Greg and me that this is not an activity we would like.
We stopped at a cute town for some Mexican Lunch. Our favorite!!Then we headed to a National Forest Campground called Deep Hole. We got a really nice spot overlooking the river in a small pine forest area. A beautiful site for just 6 BUCKS!!
We headed up to Woody Gap the next day which is a Parking Area on the Appalachian Trail. The view was pretty amazing from up there.
From there we drove down some pretty treacherous roads and found another really nice National Forest Campground called Dockery Lake. We were the only ones in the entire campground! It was absolutely PERFECT!!
That night, just at dusk, we were greeted by an owl. He sat on a branch right above us. It was so cool.
That night, right before dinner we went on a hike around the lake and spotted some black trumpet mushrooms. There are no other mushrooms that look like these that could be confused as poisonous. So we confidently picked them, washed them and cooked them. They were great!!
The next morning we headed to Dahlonega. This was the first Gold Mining Town, even before the gold rush in California. We visited the Museum and also took a tour of the mine and did some panning.
That night we stayed at a privately run campground. Showered, did laundry and dried out all our stuff. It finally stopped raining and we had a nice sunny spot.
Today we are going to go do some more panning for Gold in this area. Have no idea where will be staying tonight, but with the Van, it’s never a worry.