Something’s Gotta Give – Falls Lake State Park, NC

When anticipation goes no where…fake it!

We’ve been through the steps, are making progress in our plans, but have not left and things are getting tense and antsy. Trying to determine how long we need to prepare, save money, practice camping, etc, is now wearing thin. Kelley doesn’t believe we will ever leave, Leslie doesn’t think we’ll ever have enough money, and jobs are getting exponentially worse every day. So the solution is…fake it! Stop being miserable and get out and live!

Maybe neither of us had a real excuse to be out of work but we both decided to commit and make this essentially our one-week trial. We have loved the state parks so far and figured why not try one out during the week when no one else is there since we love the peace and solitude. We think we’re going to need to replace the Jeep with something with more ummph but for now we just make the two-hour drive very slowly. So off to Falls Lake we went. The park was to be completely booked the whole weekend as a summer wears down but that worked perfectly for us wanting to be there in the off time.

We were later getting in then we wanted but did a pretty good job of avoiding the worst parts of traffic. Sure enough, in our entire loop there were only three other campers total, JACKPOT! We quickly set up our area, oohhed over our latest Amazon toys we got to break out for the first time, and then decided to check out the area. We eventually found ourselves on the trail that led to a small stream and wound down to the lake. This trail was pretty rustic and gave a great feel of exploration to be on it. We ended up down by landing near fishing pier and Dodger went straight into the water to cool off! Funny how this dude is freaked out to swim but all about wading!

road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog

It was getting dark and we decided we needed ice for our cooler before we would call it a night. What followed was so priceless and I wish I had visuals to go along with it! I had just said that we should watch out for deer when we pulled out of our camp site and met whole herd, fawns and all! Dodger jumped up and followed them around the car from window to window wondering what those funny-looking tall dogs were all doing outside playing without him! He spent the whole ride with his head up front trying to find the next set of playmates and chasing them from window to window. In the 20 minute road trip we saw about two dozen of his “big friends” and I don’t think he has ever had such a fun car ride!

Find yourself in nature!

Waking up the following morning felt fantastic! Nowhere to go, nowhere to be, just enjoy! After some breakfast for all three of us we decided to check out some of the trails and head to the swimming beach. Dogs aren’t allowed there but since we show up before anyone else we knew that we could take a look around.Turns out they have been a whole picnic area in the woods that has beach space that wasn’t “on the beach”. So off goes Dodger, chasing his ball, rolling in goose poop, trying to eat the fish heads on the beach, all his normal shenanigans.

road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog

The rest of the week in fast forward….We explored and found lots of new discoveries.

road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog

We found a great place that was beautiful and dog friendly! Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University is free and open to the public. We were there on a work day around lunch and there was quite a crowd. We were greeted by lovely volunteers who welcomed Dodger and let us know the areas he wan’t allowed, mostly so he wouldn’t eat any of the displays.

road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog

Our first attempt at camping for more than a weekend was a great success. We explored area food trucks, took several more hikes and explorations, even got a little work done, and hated to leave.
I think this new life style is going to stick!

road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog
road trip with our dog