Shawn Mullins, the Kirkland girls’ favorite crooner, was playing a free show in Lawrenceville on Friday night. This meant all of our brood could see the popular singer for the cost of food and gas and it had been the talk of the house for several weeks.
I envisioned seeing the most famous North Georgia alum, and an inspiration to my own creative-ness, then communing with nature on a camping trip in the area afterwards. My reasoning was that the show would end late and we probably would not feel like driving back to Resaca after that. Be-sides, we’d promised the girls a camping trip.
Last week, I acquired a list of campgrounds in the Lawrenceville area. This is when the plan be-gan to unravel. Apparently, if you want to camp anywhere close to Atlanta, you will pay dearly. One place, bragging of great fishing, had buried in the fine print tent sites cost $60 a night. A very popu-lar destination had a special of $160 for the weekend. While this included some tickets to area at-tractions, I think it’s appalling to pay that much for a patch a dirt on which to pitch a tent. It’s absurd and I refuse to do it. The others on the list were either booked up or not even campgrounds.
This put me in a bind, because the girls were so excited about camping – and I had already used it for leverage on things like chores, so I was stuck. Savannah and Georganna are pretty flexible and understand things like money, but the itty-bitties only understand swimming, smores, and sleeping bags. It took a little bit of work, but I convinced them that returning home Friday night would be best and on Saturday, if they were good, we’d go to Salacoa and camp.
Friday’s concert, held at the beautiful Lawrenceville Historic Courthouse, was perfect. A 1,000 people must have been there, proving to my older kids that my buddy Lisa and I were not his only fans. Now, if I can just convince Main Street Partnership to add him to our summer concert series, life would be perfect. I took Chloe, Gracie, and Lisa’s son to the front, where we found great, center pavilion seats on the concrete. The performance was so good that it was the next day before I real-ized that I actually do not have enough padding back there to sit on concrete for two hours.
We packed and loaded tents, air mattresses, and various other camping gear and headed to Sala-coa, where we had the pleasure of meeting Roger, the new manager. If you have not been to the county park in a while, and we had not, you should really go. Most campsites have wonderful patios for picnicking, the sites were clean and very well maintained, as were the bath houses. We spent a few minutes talking to Roger and I feel good knowing the county has chosen such a conscientious and devoted person to pick up the reins.
We ate, swam, walked, played. Of course, we made smores. Sometimes, we did nothing and other times, I read aloud to the kids. The itty-bitties rode their bikes and all the while, I marveled at the treasure Gordon County has at Salacoa. Quiet, peaceful, and reasonably priced. I can’t wait for us to return and pitch our tents there and if you haven’t been, by golly, grab the kids and go.