Alison drove from Nashville and I from DC to spend our fourth 4th of July together, in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
We met at our campsite in a downpour.
After the downpour, we went to a 4th of July celebration at the Traphill Volunteer Fire Department.
We each got the $5 burger combo (burger + fixings, choice of chips, dessert, and soda), took in the music of Backwoods Bluegrass, and realized, if we were in our native Midwest right now, everyone would be drinking beer. No beer here–but plenty of men (and at least one boy) spitting gobs of brown.
When we went to bed, I couldn’t fall asleep. The night was loud with the chorus of treefrogs and the rush of the flood-swollen creek and the long hammer of repeated downpours. An inch of water flooded our shoes in the tent vestibule, and beneath our sleeping pads the tent’s floor gave way like the surface of a water bed.
In the morning, everything was dripping.
And the creek was fat.
And we noticed that this thing–what was this thing?, and did that slime trail behind it mean it was pooping?–had crawled up the side of our tent sometime during the night.
We decided when we got home we would both be writing some serious letters of thanks and praise. Dear People of Marmot, through inches and inches and inches of rain, you kept us dry.
After a delicious breakfast, we got holed up again. More downpours. We were thankful Alison’s in-laws had lent her their screen tent for over the picnic table.
And we watched some more inches of water collect around our tent.
Also, we discovered why we shouldn’t feel so bad, after all, about not being able to get a fire going in that grate last night.
In Wilkes County, we never did get to hike up or even see Stone Mountain, the park’s namesake, but we did get to explore in other ways.
We discovered a super cool farmers’ market–and one Packers fan!–in Wilkesboro.
The rhododendrons! Dripping, dripping, dripping.
And if only I had a dollar for every Baptist church we saw.
When the rain finally cleared for a few hours in the evening, we took a walk around the campground–the smell of post-rain mist mixing with curls of smoke rising from campfires and meat cooking on grills.
It made me very happy to see all the kids riding around the campground on their bikes.
What a weekend for celebrating Independence Day! I didn’t know this kind of Americana existed outside mainstream country music songs. But it does, or at least a bit of it does, in Wilkes County.