Thursday, August 8, 2013

Coleman Lake Campout

Just got back from 3 days, 2 nights at Coleman Lake in Talladega National Forest.   

Web Photo

I met up with Joann, a new buddy from my online women-campers’ discussion board.  We had no plans other than just hanging out in the woods.  I was looking forward to meeting her and touring her nifty camper.  

Joann was familiar with the campground and described it as nice and shady which helped me overcome my aversion to hot-weather camping.  She also warned me that there was no cell service and no internet signal.  This would become a significant issue later. 

Loop B, Site 19.
Water & electric = $12/night

Joann was right - nice and shady it was.  And spotlessly clean.  Quiet too!  We were just about the only campers there.  Joann arrived early on Sunday and, at that time, the place was packed.   Guess those poor folks with J-O-B-S had to leave.

On arrival, I had no problem identifying Joann’s rig.  

This is an A-Lite, the smallest trailer made by A-Liner at a little over 400 pounds.  Folded up, it measures 6 x 6 feet.  Joann says the camper gets lots of attention and she doesn’t mind giving frequent tours.   She pulls it effortlessly with her Ford Ranger.  

Joann is a recently-retired teacher ready and eager to embrace her new long-awaited life of leisure.  Her plans include frequent camping.  She's a wonderful camping buddy: smart, accomplished, funny, with many interests.  She's got a great set-up here with one of the most ingenious outdoor rooms I've ever seen.  

We had a great time!  And although the humidity was stifling, the temperatures were in the low-80’s.  Of course, we didn’t know Murphy was on the way.  More about that in another post. 

The first evening, we were sitting outside gabbing when Joann mentioned she was a geocacher from way back in the early days of the sport.  I was familiar with the concept and have been hoping to try it one day.  The next morning, we decided to take the GDB into Heflin (about 15 miles away) and give it a go. 

What fun!  Just by chance, I parked the GDB at the Cleburne County Courthouse and Joann pulled up   

There was a cache at that very spot!  Somewhere around there.  

I set my GPS and off we went.  We searched all around.  And searched some more.  Joann finally found the micro-cache that contained a log book.   I'm not sure I would ever have found it on my own.  I've got a lot to learn, I guess!

I was all ‘oooh, let’s do another one!’.  We tried without success to locate the next cache at the city lake boat ramp.  Never did find it.  So I’m 0 for 2.  But it was an absorbing way to spend a couple of hours.  I can see how geocaching will allow you to explore places you wouldn't otherwise have known about.  

We learned the history of this charming courthouse.

It was a lovely getaway - I made a new friend and found a new hobby!  

I continue to be amazed that I equally enjoy both traditional camping and scampering from place to place always on the move.  

More about Mr. Murphy next time.   Hint: I’m flat-out tired of mechanical issues; they really let the air out of the fun!  


  1. Oh no! Sounds like something quite essential. It's great fun when meet a new friend and also learn something new.

  2. Sure looks like fun to me... new friends, new places AND... a geocache found in the month of August! (souvenir month)... By the way... her camper sure looks interesting...

  3. Sounds like a fun time!! You meet so many people in this lifestyle and each one just adds more to your experiences and you make lifetime friendships!!
    We did a lot of geocaching when we full-timed and since that time... have not. We need to get back at it. We recently purchased a "new to us" Casita and are excited about getting back out traveling again.
    Sounds like the second part of the story is NOT going to be so much fun!! Mechanical issues..:-(

  4. That is an amazing little camper!

  5. I'm surprised you enjoyed camping there, Kim. If you were a mushroomer, I could understand why. :D

    Glad you had such a great time -- and made a new friend. Joanne's rig with your name on it really tickled my funnybone. As if you could miss even a generic Alite!

    I've been curious about geocaching, too. Loved reading about your introduction to it.

    Also, just as the flash flood warnings about Doll Mountain were overstated, it appears that Ron's friend really overstated the dangers of the rainy weather at Coleman Lake!

  6. I had a great time. I did right the umbrella after I got back. It looks so pitiful laying on the ground, no doubt by a slight breeze. I loved being with someone that could enjoy being with folks, but also could enjoy being content to have her own space and own time. Introverts of the world: we need our time to ourselves! Lovely and enjoyable visit. New like-spirited friend. I see more adventures in our future. I'm excited as you explore new career opportunities and the GDB is quite a fabulous portable castle! I _almost_ envy you, but I know that Zelda is just the right fit for me. Next time we'll meet someplace closer to you. Had a very wonderful time 98.8 percent of it. The rest was annoying, but hey, such is life! Stay connected!

  7. Starting with a micro cache was probably not a good plan. Your first one needs to be something easier to find to help get you hooked. But, geocaching has taken us plenty of places we would never have explored on our own. We did learn to bring gloves for those places we would otherwise have been reluctant to reach into. :)

  8. Sounds like a great visit, the area looks nice. Bringing gloves when geocaching per Linda, above, sounds like a good idea. I've done a tiny bit of geocaching, but found I don't enjoy it alone. Might be fun hobby with a companion. :)

  9. Less than a year after my son and I found and logged our names into our first Geocache, we read about it in the paper. The cache was hidden inside the lower part of a parking lot light pole and was a tube wrapped in camo duct tape. Apparently, the electrician who opened the light wasn't familiar with Geocaching, b/c he called the bomb squad! I really wish I had used a moniker instead of my real name when signing that logbook.

    Safe travels, ILDan


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