We left Thursday, March 18 around noon. We drove to Coker Creek, TN, where we set up camp around 4:30pm (Central time). It was so peaceful! The place we usually go is out in the middle of nowhere. It is a primitive camp (though they DO now have an outhouse). We had the place to ourselves on Thursday. Thursday night it got cold, but we slept well.
Friday I couldn’t stop sneezing and spent most of the day with a runny nose and sinusy stuff. Yuck. I felt like I had enough about 6pm and took a Sudafed. It didn’t help. However, it seemed to react with something else I’d had and made me totally ditzy. I walked up to the outhouse, and when I came back, I noticed the frogs were making a peeping sound, more than a croaking sound. As I settled back in my chair, I told my husband, “There sure are a lot of peeping turtles around here!”
He looked at me, and after a very short pause, he said, “Peeping turtles?”
I nodded. “Yes, peeping. They aren’t croaking, they’re peeping.”
He paused a second longer. “Peeping turtles?”
At this point it sunk in what I’d been SAYING. My MIND was thinking frogs, but my MOUTH was saying turtles! I giggled. “No! Frogs! Peeping frogs!”
We retired to the tent about 7:30. We intended to play a game (Thursday night we played Lord of the Rings Monopoly), but Robby was tired and I was still ditzy. One of the kids said something, and Robby brought up the peeping turtles again, and I laughed so hard I cried. I think perhaps hormones may have also been in play, as twice as I was laughing, I found I WAS crying – sobbing, and weeping – though I stopped myself as soon as I realized it … but it wasn’t easy because I felt VERY out of control.
Friday night the wind was intense. About midnight, it tore down two of the six points that were holding up our upper tarp (in case of rain, since tents are not very water resistant), and when Robby got up to fix them, he left the tent unzipped. The wind was a very warm wind at that point. He got those two fixed, and another got torn down. By the time we gave up at 2am (when the wind began to become biting cold again), we had redone five of the six points.
By morning, the tarp was hanging by one point, and about four feet of one edge were torn off, as well as two of the eyes. That tarp will now become our floor tarp, and we will retire the one we’ve been using for a floor.
We woke off and on over the next five hours, with huge gusts of wind. I believe some were as much as 70-80 miles per hour. We could hear them coming for nearly a full minute before they reached us each time, rushing through the trees.
Robby suggested around 5:30 that we should go ahead and get up and pack up. I was very tired and requested that we wait a couple hours.
At 6, after wandering through radio stations trying to find a weather report, Robby heard a transmission from Chattanooga (which was to the west of us) that they were having rain. He knew that if they were having rain, WE would be having rain before long. He got us all up and we packed up. About halfway through, it began sprinkling. Praise God, HE kept it from pouring on us. We only got a little damp.
We were on the road by 7am.
We stopped briefly in Chattanooga at our friends the Brunners’ house. I had to drop off a power supply for a computer part we’d given him. We talked for a little bit and then headed on home.
We arrived home about 11:30am and after unloading only the essentials, we had a shower and a nap. Feeling much refreshed, we had company this evening. (My friend Mara has ventured into her own business… feel free to check it out!).
And now, it’s nearly midnight and I must be off to bed. Good night!