Standing Indian Campground

Finally, Labor Day 2020 has come and gone so the camping season should begin winding down. Although we’ve stayed isolated at home since mid-March (with the one exception of a quick trip to Sugarcreek), for many it’s been a year to foray into the world of RV travel. Folks that we know and those that we follow on YouTube have been reporting unprecedented crowds at campgrounds this summer, so although camping is a good way to practice social distancing, we chose not to participate until after the holiday weekend. For us it’s been a good summer in many ways. We’ve developed some excellent new lifestyle habits, done some nice home improvements, and acquired products to enhance our life in the T@B. At long last we have now ventured out in Redford with Sc@rlett in tow. Standing Indian Campground in the Nantahala National Forest near Franklin, North Carolina was our first outing. Although visitors to the area tend to flock to the campgrounds in the nearby Smoky Mountains Park, Standing Indian is a favorite among locals. It’s lovely. At 3800 feet above sea level, these September days have been cool in the mornings and warm in the afternoon. The sites are widely spaced. We chose #53, not far from Kimsey Creek, a First Come site, because it was the sunniest spot available when we arrived and registered for three nights. Our plan was to test our upgraded dry camping capabilities. We now have rooftop solar as well as our suitcase panels to feed our batteries. Those batteries have an additional load on them now because we are now carrying a portable chest style 110V/12V compressor driven refrigerator to help the existing 110V/12V Norcold accommodate all the fresh foods we are eating these days. Also new is a drinking water filtration system so that we feel comfortable using the water from the fresh water tank for our beverages. After the first three nights we assessed the levels in our tanks and how much we’d been using our generator to supplement our solar, and registered for three more nights. Ultimately we stayed five nights. We learned that although we can do a great job of managing our fresh water usage and our gray water accumulation, the capacity of our black tank is our limiting factor. We also learned that although we appreciated the extra refrigerator space, the extra compressor was enough of a draw that with some shade, some clouds, and the shorter days of late summer that our solar array couldn’t totally meet our power needs. We needed run the generator daily, sometimes just two hours and up to six hours on rainy days. We also learned how much we enjoy internet connectivity. In some ways we enjoyed being unconnected. In other ways we regretted not having downloaded some extra ebooks, music, podcasts, and movies before we left home. We also appreciated the time to read books that we did have with us, work on some hobbies, and organize the bed of the truck. And best of all, we took long walks, had some great conversations with other campers, saw an awesome restored vintage 1960 trailer, met some T@G owners – an Atlanta based couple, and crafted some fabulous meals! Looking forward to our next expedition!

  1. Steve & Karen

    Yes, it was wonderful to get out again. This five night outing was hopefully the first of many more or less in the local area. We did have a chance to meet up with some others this weekend but it would have involved an out of state trip and we regretfully declined the invitation. Instead we think we’ll be heading out this weekend to the Blue Ridge Parkway but we’ll be back at our mountain house within two weeks.

  2. Jim & Sharon

    We’ve never camped at Standing Indian Campground, but my favorite hike is Laurel Falls…just a few miles from the campground. Before you get to the falls, there are 2 places where 2 streams come together. Miss you guys!

  3. Brian

    Sounds like an excellent test run and getting off the mountain must of been a pleasant change, although you have made the most of your time there. With all the Covid rules and restrictions which seem to change weekly and vary by state, it would seem difficult to go on a long trip. Enjoy both homes.

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