In Wilkes County

Alison drove from Nashville and I from DC to spend our fourth 4th of July together, in Wilkes County, North Carolina.

Downpour + car

We met at our campsite in a downpour.

Traphill Volunteer Fire Department

After the downpour, we went to a 4th of July celebration at the Traphill Volunteer Fire Department.

Concert + party

We each got the $5 burger combo (burger + fixings, choice of chips, dessert, and soda), took in the music of Backwoods Bluegrass, and realized, if we were in our native Midwest right now, everyone would be drinking beer. No beer here–but plenty of men (and at least one boy) spitting gobs of brown.

When we went to bed, I couldn’t fall asleep. The night was loud with the chorus of treefrogs and the rush of the flood-swollen creek and the long hammer of repeated downpours. An inch of water flooded our shoes in the tent vestibule, and beneath our sleeping pads the tent’s floor gave way like the surface of a water bed.

Tent with raindrops

In the morning, everything was dripping.

Flooding creek

And the creek was fat.

Slimey thing on tentAnd we noticed that this thing–what was this thing?, and did that slime trail behind it mean it was pooping?–had crawled up the side of our tent sometime during the night.

Marmot logo

We decided when we got home we would both be writing some serious letters of thanks and praise. Dear People of Marmot, through inches and inches and inches of rain, you kept us dry.

Breakfast dishes + downpour

After a delicious breakfast, we got holed up again. More downpours. We were thankful Alison’s in-laws had lent her their screen tent for over the picnic table.

Tent with water

And we watched some more inches of water collect around our tent.

Rain on tent pad + fire grate

Also, we discovered why we shouldn’t feel so bad, after all, about not being able to get a fire going in that grate last night.

In Wilkes County, we never did get to hike up or even see Stone Mountain, the park’s namesake, but we did get to explore in other ways.

Packers license plate

We discovered a super cool farmers’ market–and one Packers fan!–in Wilkesboro.

Wet rhododendron

The rhododendrons! Dripping, dripping, dripping.

Garden Creek Baptist Church

And if only I had a dollar for every Baptist church we saw.

When the rain finally cleared for a few hours in the evening, we took a walk around the campground–the smell of post-rain mist mixing with curls of smoke rising from campfires and meat cooking on grills.

Campground, kids on bikes

It made me very happy to see all the kids riding around the campground on their bikes.

What a weekend for celebrating Independence Day! I didn’t know this kind of Americana existed outside mainstream country music songs. But it does, or at least a bit of it does, in Wilkes County.

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2 comments on “In Wilkes County

  1. Great pictures to go with the story of your weekend! I like the biker kids too. This makes me want to go camping, and I’m even jealous of the east and all your rain. Also, the Packers truck is a Tacoma. Thought that’s why you took the photo, and assumed the country music had gotten hold of you. Anyhow, good taste all around. Did you stick around to meet the driver? ;)

    • Lauren K. says:

      Unfortunately not…but I did decide the man selling local blueberries at the farmers’ market could be my North Carolina boyfriend. He looked like Tristan in Legends of the Fall, and I think his name must be Jesse.

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