We left Young's Creek Horse Camp on Monday, the 21st and headed north within the forest towards Bloomington. We stopped at the Paoli, IN Walmart for some ice and a few groceries not knowing if there would be another shopping opportunity before landing at our new campsite.
Little did I know, I was in great danger in this Walmart!
I had worn my "UK" (Univ of Kentucky) ball cap into the store.
An older gentleman pulled me aside and told me I was "taking my life in my hands" wearing that hat in IU (Indiana University) territory! I explained to him it was in support of my great niece recently getting accepted at UK with a full ride scholarship (and ultimately deciding to go there). I told him she was also accepted at IU....he couldn't understand why in the world she wasn't going there! LOL! Anyway, we had a good laugh about it all but I hurried through the store gathering up my supplies as fast as I could....just in case! We escaped safely and headed back into the forest...
A lot of the drive was less than two lane forest roads. Really pretty!
But there were areas where it actually looked like civilization with some homes, fields, and a fair share of dilapidated farm buildings, which I really like. I wish I could have photographed all of them, but Bo and I were anxious to get to our next spot and get set up before it got too hot. We would be driving about 1.5 hrs....not far, but far enough for the sun to get high faster than we wanted it to!
(I must have had the "painterly" effect turned on for this one)
We were headed to the Charles C. Deam Wilderness area. There is a lot of dispersed camping within this wilderness area, BUT, it is all walk-in......meaning, you park at a trail head and carry all of your camping paraphernalia to a campsite. Uh.......no! That wasn't going to happen! LOL! Plus I didn't bring my tent with me.
Luckily, for those of us who enjoy a more leisurely approach to setting up camp, there is the Blackwell Horse Camp....our destination.
There are two loops to this camping area. To the left is a quite large loop, which we toured around first. There were several tents planted here and there and a few RV's. My first impression, tho, was there was very little level ground....at least very little that wasn't already occupied. So, we ended the loop and drove up a slight incline, past the entrance and park pavilion and there was the second, much, much smaller loop...all level and no other campers! Perfect! Not sure why they were all parked on the other side, but glad they were!
As you can see, this lush grass setting is quite different than Young's Creek Horse Camp which was enshrouded in trees with composting leaf carpeting.
There really wasn't too much to analyze about where to park. Immediately noticeable ----- there wasn't going to be any shade overhead. In this un-spring-like weather, that wasn't really a good thing, but we were here and this is what it is. The sun would be off us a little at the end of the day as it lowered behind the trees.
So, we parked near the horse "corral" hoping it might deter big horse trailers from parking too near us. Bo isn't fond of animals larger than he is! But, it was a Monday, so I figured the horse "traffic" would be pretty light during the week.
Well.............it was HOT! No shade....no forest canopy.....just out in the bright sunlight which wasn't all that great. We hosed off with the pressurized shower a lot. Evaporative cooling. Bo loves that! It would have been murder without the pop-up canopy. Rain was forecast all week, but it really didn't materialize. Just a few raindrops here and there. It did bring a little cloud cover, but not enough to really bring the temps down. Every time I thought it was going to stay cloudy, 10 minutes later, the sun came back out.
Needless to say, we didn't take a lot of extended walks. There was a trail at the far end of the loop, but it was just too hot and muggy to go exploring. Bo found the grass to be a little cooler, I guess, even if he was laying right in the sun.
Ok....I've complained enough about the heat and lack of shade.
There are plenty of good features about this campground!
- Lots of bathrooms
- Very well maintained / super clean
- A trash dumpster
- Little to no "traffic"
No other campers came to this loop all week, so we had it all to ourselves. And we didn't see even one horseback rider the entire week. No "horsin' around" here! My hunch on that was correct. So, all in all, it was a very nice camp spot. I would come back here again....in the fall! Being surrounded by all the trees in full color would be ideal!
I'll be finishing up my "business" at home base this week....and waiting for tropical storm Alberto to pass through. As I write this, there's a big green and yellow radar swirl just to the west of my location. No point in dealing with that if I don't have to!
Plan to head out on Monday to a new (FREE, of course) spot....something a little different, I think. Not within a national forest or state park. I'm hoping Monday will have the weekend campers gone and some sites open. I think there are only five sites at this camp ground. A little risky, but there are other campgrounds within a few miles if this one doesn't pan out. Always good to have a backup plan!
Thanks for your continued interest in my blog.
(I still haven't had a chance to check the Amazon links to see if they are working.)
So, until next time......stay cool....and enjoy the official start of summer 2018!