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Stone Mountain State Park – North Carolina

October 31, 2010

BOO!                 Happy Halloween!

What a gorgeous weekend it was at Stone Mountain State Park, North Carolina.  My sister, Elo,  and I had arranged to meet there for a long weekend of fishing and hiking etc.  The weather could not have been better although it got a bit frosty the first night.  The folks around us who were camping in tents definitely had some frost issues before the sun came around to warm things up on Saturday morning.  Thank goodness for Dora and her propane furnace!  The days were clear and sunny and in the mid 70’s.  Just lovely.

This is the first time I’ve had adult overnight company in Dora, so the sofa bed and the dinette conversion “area” were put to the test. Our findings are as follows:

The fold out sofa bed is of the worst variety.  If one lies down and puts their head in the normal position, he/she will find it below grade in relation to his/her feet so will have to contend with the issue of blood rushing to their head for the duration of the rest period.  If one tries to combat this problem by reversing their position and  placing his/her head where their feet would normally go, he/she experiences the dreaded “bar” across the ribcage for the duration of the rest period.  In addition to the bar and slope problems, one is at a further disadvantage due to the feeling that he/she must be in a constant state of alertness as the entire apparatus gives the distinct impression that it may collapse and fold up on its occupant at any moment.  Given this, I have decided to pretend that the sofa is just a sofa and does not have the capability of converting into an implement of torture.

Having discovered the drawbacks of the sleeper sofa, we moved on to the Dinette Conversion.  For those of you not in the know, this means the dining room table converts into a bed.  Oh joy, right?  I mean if the sofa bed couldn’t do any better than it did, what hope does the dining room table have, right?

After being unable to figure out the conversion on our own, Elo and I had to resort to the Owner’s Manual which set us straight in short order (short being the operative word here).  It wasn’t long before we had the dining room table taken apart and reformed into some semblance of a bed in which Elo spent her first night.   The next morning, I learned that the cushions slip around with the least movement forcing the occupant to get up and “remake” the bed throughout the night and that one really must be under 5’5″ to fully enjoy the benefits of the Dinette Conversion.  Since Elo (height 5’7″) didn’t get any sleep, I volunteered to sleep in the Dinette Conversion the following night somehow thinking that I could fit my 5’11” body into it if I slept diagonally.  Oh my.  Well, while I was converting the Dinette Conversion just before bedtime, I saw a big brown spider crawl down a crack between the wall and the head of the “bed”.  All I could think was “brown recluse” and for all you Alaska folks who may not know, a brown recluse is a highly poisonous spider we are lucky enough to have here in North Carolina.

Time for bed and Elo closes herself up in my lovely bedroom with my lovely bed with the lovely memory foam topper to enjoy a cozy and blissful night of sleep.  I, on the other hand, find that I do not fit into the Dinette Conversion after all, diagonally or otherwise, but given my only other choice is the Sofa Bed Implement of Torture or the floor, I do the best I can.   As you can imagine, I was awake all night trying to somehow make myself a half a foot shorter than I am, and when I wasn’t playing the contortionist, I was worrying about the brown recluse spider who was surely plotting my demise or that of one of my dogs.  Hmmmmm.  Note to self, buy some anti-spider spray and remember, only very small adults (Carol or Marilyn) or a child (Aaron) should be subjected to the Dinette Conversion.

Elo has decided that next time she is invited to stay overnight in Dora, she is bringing her tent, which cracks me up.

Back to Stone Mountain…

If anyone is interested, here is the link:  http://ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/stmo/main.php

Stone Mountain is a 600 ft dome of granite.  We often took our binoculars and sat on the benches to watch the rock climbers.

Elo and I met up at campsite 90 around mid morning on Friday, got Dora all set up and headed out for a hike.  Elo had been to this Park during the summer, so she played tour guide.  We hiked a the 4.5 mile look hike up, over, and around Stone Mountain itself as well as a 5 mile out and back hike along Widows Creek.

In addition to our various hikes, we did some trout fishing in the streams.  I caught my first rainbow trout and hooked another, but he got away after just a second or two.  Elo is normally a big mouth bass fisherman, so we were using lightweight spinning rods, but most of the fishermen were fly fishermen doing the whole River Runs Through It thing.  We just had fun messin’ around.

Here are some shots from the weekend.

Elo on the Summit of Stone Mountain with the Blue Ridge escarpment in the distance.

This is a view from the summit looking across at Wolf Rock.

There seemed to be almost an overabundance of deer.  We saw them in great numbers especially in the mornings and at dusk.

And here is Elo fishin’ for a Rainbow.  I love this shot.

That’s it for Stone Mountain.  I’m in Hickory, NC now for the week at my first private campground called, Indian Springs Campground.  It is small and well maintained.  I can tell the owners take pride in it, which is nice.  I’ve got full hookups, wi-fi, and a laundry facility just a stones throw away.  I met my immediate neighbors upon arrival.  George and Mary from Delaware and their enormous, 2 year old, Rottweiler named Gretchen.  She’s a sweetie, is playful and looks to be about 100 lbs of pure muscle.

Stay tuned.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. susie Q permalink
    October 31, 2010 10:14 pm

    Oh you make me miss NC! Alaska misses you!
    Much Love.

  2. ernie kapanke permalink
    November 1, 2010 5:59 am

    always with the great pictures……thought you were working in Raliegh….fishing and camping is better than working…

  3. Devin permalink
    November 1, 2010 10:50 am

    I think I’ve been there before, a long, long, time ago. Looks like you had a good time with your sister, except for the sleeping arrangements. Have fun and keep us posted.

  4. Lil Eubanks permalink
    November 1, 2010 10:57 am

    Your assessment of RV extra beds is pretty normal. A solution we use for the sofa “bed” is one of those foam egg crate things. If you have space to store it, putting it on the pull out sofa for someone to sleep on does pretty well.

  5. Suzanne permalink
    November 1, 2010 7:12 pm

    So funny! Picturing you tall girls trying to work that all out. Love the photos. Look forward to hearing more!

  6. November 5, 2010 1:28 pm

    How did I go to UNC and never know about this beautiful place!
    Amazing photos of the granite dome–went online to learn more about this unusual formation.
    Years ago had a very old second hand camper that slid onto the back of our truck–reading your description of the sleeping arrangements brought back memories of the 5 of us cramped into the tiny space, and we drove cross-country and up to Alaska–well, we were very young. So glad that some of us are willing to put up with some inconveniences to see such wondrous places.

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