Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Family Camping ~ Part 2

...If you missed Part 1, go here.

The subtitle of Part 2 is "Great Expectations...severly disappointed".  

After our morning hike and late lunch, we headed to Enota where we would be camping.  According to their website, "Enota is a non-profit conservation facility committed to preserving our beautiful land [...]" that is located in North Georgia near Brasstown Bald.  Along with campsites, they list an organic farm and an animal farm.  

This is where the trip went downhill for me due to my high expectations.  All of the places that we have camped at thus far were a little more "in the woods" with at least a little bit of space between campsites where I couldn't distinguish the lyrics to the music that others were playing.  The introvert in me cringed when I saw the campsites were separated by a log, and that my neighbor was spitting distance from me.  

Except our "neighbor" ended up being in our campsite, as he says he was told to just pick a spot, which happened to be the spot designated to us.  So we made friends with hippie-ish-photography-dad-with-two-little-kids, and set up camp next to them...much to my anxiety of course, because I just knew that someone was going to roll up and tell us that we were in their designated spot and we'd have to move all of our stuff.  They didn't and we didn't.

Commandeering mommy's pillow

While Tim set up camp, I chased Matthan around and tried to keep him from running out in the road that created the back border of our campsite, which of course is what he wanted to do.

After we (and by we, I mean Tim) got home set up for us, we headed to the farm tour for which we were already late.  I have to preface this with, I was REALLY excited about the animal farm and the organic farm.  That was a big part of me wanting to go to this place.  I love animals and as terrible as I am at it, I'm super interested in gardening, specifically organic gardening.

Pic taken by Matthan

So we were late heading out to the tour...and the map they gave us told us one way to the animal farm and the signs on the grounds told us another, so we parked our car and went with the map.  This landed us taking a very unintentional hike on a winding, narrow, hilly path that landed us on the wrong side of the farm gate which meant we had to cross a cold stream to get to where we needed to go.  I was wearing sandals.  And, of course, where we were was a bit farther than a stone's throw from where we parked our car.  We realized, had we gone another 30 feet or so from our car in the direction of the sign, we would have seen the animal farm and saved ourselves the hike.

End of the "trail"

So after going around our elbow to get to our thumb, we came up to a building of some sort, with no signs anywhere to help us figure out if we were in the right place, and we figured we had missed the tour.  I heard voices from a small structure and saw a mom, two kids, and a staff member come out.  Figuring maybe we could catch the tail end of the tour, I waited as they approached, and then after the young man with the staff shirt on barely acknowledged us, I made small talk to figure out, yes, we had missed the tour, but I could follow them to the garden to pick stuff to feed the bunnies.

So the animal farm consisted of a couple pastures and the organic farm turned out to be (in my opinion) a glorified garden with sickly looking plants.  Tim said maybe they were between growing seasons.  I had such high expectations...and I was so disappointed.  

And Mr.-Awkward-Staff-Member-lacking-basic-social-skills-much-less-tour-guide-skills did offer to let us watch him milk a cow.  So I did learn how to milk a cow, and I made nice with the young staff man because he said I got the milking down in one try and it had taken him an hour to learn to do that.  Matthan loved the cow which totally surprised me, and he even tried to milk her. 

Then Andre (Mr. Staff Man) did take us to see the miniature ponies and another cow who was really cute, and did explain that the ducks had afros because it was mating season (see below).  So we got somewhat of a tour after all.  Then I asked about the hay ride and he said he'd be doing it that evening and to look for the truck and trailer with hay.  Which was a good thing, because again, no helpful signs anywhere.  So we killed time by picking swiss chard from the garden and feeding it to the bunnies.

Can you see his little "afro" on the back of his head?

Then the time for the hay ride came and went and a few minutes later we see Andre and another staff member coming to hook up the trailer.  There was no one else around, and I have to admit, that I was wondering if everyone else knew better.  We hopped onto the trailer, which had loose hay strewn about with the only compacted part being round and rolled about to the point which I thought I was going to lose Matthan off of the side, so I finally sat in the loose hay.

Feeding the bunnies

I had kind of thought that the hay ride was going to be tour of the grounds which meant missing the previous farm tour would work out ok, but no, sadly, there was none of this.  Only Andre sitting awkwardly in the back with us.  And then they stopped by the campsites and called out for people to join the hay ride which meant we could have just hung out at our campsite until the hay ride instead of over by the hay trailer, but you know...whatever.  I thought we'd get to see parts of the facility that we hadn't gotten to see, like more gardens or more pastures, but the hay ride was just a ride around the grounds which we had already walked through because it wasn't that big and there wasn't more to see. 

This bunny was about the size of Matthan...only slightly exaggerating

After Tim made dinner (and I kept Matthan out of the road), I read Matthan stories by the light of my headlamp and put him to bed in the tent with no fussing because he was exhausted, and enjoyed some much needed downtime by the fire and drowned my disappointments with some peppermint tea and vented to Tim about my disappointed expectations and how next time (if there is one) I will have low to no expectations and therefore be happy with whatever happens.  Just call me Mrs. Flexible Content and Easy-Going {choke, cough...yeah right}.

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