A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving the weather was so nice we planned a long weekend camping trip. How bad could it be? The daytime temps were in the upper 60s to mid 70s and the nights weren’t too cold either. So I logged onto Reserve America and searched for camp grounds that still had vacancies for Thanksgiving. Gunter Hill came up in the search and it was one of the few that had a site open. Plus it’s close enough to home we can head to the house if the weather gets too rough. Also, who knew that camping on holidays was so popular! I booked us a site for the day before Thanksgiving and all the way through Sunday.
We’re going to make this camping trip count even if I have to figure out the best way to cook a turkey on a campfire! Each day forward I watched the weather and realized we may have to do a little adjusting…our sunny warm weather was slowly turning into rain, freezing rain and coldest temps of the year. Due to the heavy rain we delayed going camping but did show up on a sunny Thanksgiving morning to set up camp. Yes, we were the only people at the campground in a tent! This was also Iron Bowl weekend and all the campsites were decorated up as either Auburn or Alabama.
Most nights were a little cool (ok FREEZING) and in the 20s to 30s for most nights. Saturday night was much warmer in the low 40s. We prepared well and took a lot of clothing layers. Our old Coleman sleeping bags were left at home and we used our Mountainsmith sleeping bags which were rated down to 20 degrees. We stayed snug and toasty and the bags lived up to their reputation.
A little secret…our tent had a television. Yes, I had to bring my little 13″ television, but with a digital converter and antenna we were able to pick up about 20 channels. Most importantly we could watch the Iron Bowl for the comfort of our tent. Needless to say if the television didn’t work out there were enough big screen TV’s in the campground to make Best Buy jealous. Side note… satellite broadcasts vs over the air broadcasts = a 15 second delay for the folks watching via satellite. It was like yelling out spoilers once the game started since we could ‘see the future’! 🙂
Overall the trip was great and it was good to get away for awhile. It was just the two of us since the kids have their own things to do for the holidays.
Here are a few observations for Gunter Hill Campground:
- Showers were heated and there was plenty of hot water. Note: Use the old shower house since the new shower house shower’s on a push button system. Also the new shower house has automatic fans that come on when you enter and within a few seconds all the warm air is sucked out of the room and cold air is pulled in. Great for summer, but not for winter.
- Catoma Loop reopened this year and has been fully refurbished
- Sites are cleaned after each camper leaves. Leaves are blown from the site and ash from the fire pits is removed.
- Sites have concrete parking pads and a gravel area large enough for even our tent
- Sites have picnic tables, lamp hanging post with small table and a grill
- Road through the park is newly paved
- Sites have electric, water and sewer
- Plenty of room to ride bikes and playgrounds for the kids
- Pet Friendly
- Did I mention clean? Very clean campground.
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