For a few years now, I have struggled with the fact that there are so very few places on the East Coast/MidWest where you can truly get out in the back country and remote camp as so much of the land is privately held and you run the risk of being shot by doing so!
Who knew that right up the road from me, held a place!
It is known as Land Between the Lakes (www.LBL.org
). There is a Tennessee side and a Kentucky side. To coin a phrase from Andy Griffith, there are "200 miles of untrammeled loveliness! This wilderness area offers a place called Turkey Bay where there are rated trails, but then much of is is just roads that have been forged through the years and many of them take you only where your level of truck build can take you.
We did some initial research and called one of the Rangers I took Tread Lightly! training with who maintains the offroad portions of the park.
While he offered several places where folks tend to "gather", ... he said ... if you really want to get away from others that are camping, your best bet is to just turn down a road and drive and scope it out.
Well, as you will see, sometimes that can come with a price ... but in the end ... it worked out great.
We arrived there last Saturday, and went first to get our back country passes ($5 per adult, no charge for children, ... so a whooping $10.00 for three days or $25 for the year). We then drove to several of the places he recommended but indeed there were too many folks and while primitive (only steel toilets), just not for what we were looking for. So we started driving, more and more remote. We finally found a road that I knew had not been traveled in a while just because A) too steep a turn off for the average rig, and B) the level of growth on the road, showed that it had not been regularly traversed.
I'll digress by saying that at the Ranger Station, they mentioned that the lakes were way low, and that camping at waters edge held no risk of sudden water rise as they would be low through the summer.
So we started down this road- lots of low hanging trees and branches — had to get out several times to push a branch up and over the jeep and trailer. And lots of pin stripping that luckily buffed out! Lots of major mud holes! Then we arrived at what appeared to normally be a deep cove so we stopped. While I knew I was going to go through it anyway, I gave my 8 year old the thrill of making the call! We pushed through! And on we went until we driving along what would be the "bank" of the lake on one side with trees hanging and the lake on the otherside. A gravel bar if you will. Then it it us- dead end! I don't know how long my trailer and truck are together- never really thought to measure it, but I am guessing 20 feet ... maybe? The challenge, the area we had to turn around was about 12 feet wide. I don't know why this freaked my bride out, ... but it did. It took roughly over an hour of 3 point turns and backing the trailer into 5 feet or better of water to get turned around. It wouldn't have been as big a deal but as you'll see in the pics, there was a log that had banked itself in the water and despite trying to leverage it to move and backing the trailer wheels up to it and nudging, ... it refused to give up it's position! But I finally got us turned in the right direction so when or if we needed to exit, we'd be poised to do so.
And my what a spot! We literally were camping where water once was and probably will be again. It was about 2 miles into this rugged road, which was about 18 miles down some lightly graveled road!
The weather was awesome as we are experiencing a low humidity spell in Tennessee this past week where temps are in the high 70's during the day and mid to upper 50's at night, so it even got chilly at night.
We quickly set up and began our three day stay. Cell services was spotty at best and forget checking internet or this place. I did send a PM but it took over an hour to post!
Below are some pictures of a spot we will be going back to. In the three days we were there, we only saw 4 fishing boats, and only 1 stopped to chat (they smelled my bacon cooking)!
Here are some of the shots:
Here is the lightly graveled road (about 18 miles of it). There were sections of this road, that if I took a picture, you'd have said, we could have been in Alaska or anywhere else!
ok than he has some pic. of the jeep and off road camping trailer on a few trails. don’t know how to post those on here yet.