“The earth has music for those who listen.” –William Shakespeare
I haven't been camping since I was a kid, much less primitive camping, but Lilly Pad Obed is assuredly a special place even without much comparison. My best friend invited me on this trip to view the eclipse and show me some of her beloved East Tennessee wilderness. To be outside all weekend with a group of strong women and their daughters was a unique and beautiful experience. The campsite itself is popular with rock climbers and slowly grew over the years. The camp has no official camp spots, just places that have been carved out by previous visitors. The real bonus is the on-site brewery with nightly bonfires and all the dogs hanging out.
Tip: To get to the swimming hole, follow the gravel path to the end, and take a left at the red building to get on the trail. The trail goes down a steep path (there's some ropes to hold on to) and when you reach the river bed take another left and follow down until you reach the swimming hole. There's some small cliffs to jump off here though the water was cold even in August.
Special gear note: During this trip I used my Madera Hammock for the first time and it was the perfect place to kick back and read. Proud to be a Madera brand ambassador, I would love to share the experience with discount code "GCAR30" for 30% off your hammock purchase. Madera plants 2 trees for every hammock sold through Trees for the Future and offers bright colors and a sturdy design. Check it out!