Talladega National Forest

Cindy and I just got back from camping at the Coleman Lake recreation Area in Alabama. It was a wonderful time for finding all kinds of little treasures.

I found the painted rock on the water hookup at my campsite. It was very appropiate. It was so peaceful there! There had been a horse endurance event in the area, and someone left a quarter horse on a picnic table. I photographed it, then left it to amuse the next person who happened along.

The first day out, I had no energy and was able to walk around our loop. Once. Period! But I got a good night’s rest that night. That, combined with the gorgeous weather, energized me, and I was able to get out and enjoy nature’s splendor! It was a lot more fun going than coming, though. It was for Mikky, too. Cindy ended up carrying him! Did I mention that she is a very good friend who loves my dog, too? 😋

As soon as I got home I ordered hiking poles, which I expect to enable me to go longer and farther next time out.

Oak leaf hydrangea almost hiding Cindy, Cindy’s rig. Cindy’s dog Missy, and Cindy and the dogs at the lake.

There were so many flowers that my phone camera simply couldn’t capture, especially the tiny ones. I also couldn’t capture the wild blueberries’ immature fruit. But I was thrilled to get the photos I did.

Immature elderberries and blackberries. I’m not sure what the white flowers are. They resemble bergamot, but they are not pink. On edit, Alabama does have white bergamot.

Cindy saw a couple of snakes. One water snake swimming. And Missy, her dog, STEPPED on a snake. Cindy didn’t recognize the markings, but the snake did not bite Missy. It was a little over a foot long, and Cindy said she guessed the snake was sick or had just eaten.

The composition of this photo is awful, but I love it anyway. Oak leaf hydrangeas are so photogenic!

Look at the difference in this photo after Judie cropped it for me! https://dorrieanne.wordpress.com/. Thanks, Judie!

Cindy likes to go to the same places over and over. I am going to try to coax her into expanding her camping range, especially since I LOVE to camp by large expanses of water. We have the problem of erratic schedules, though, and it seems that every time we make reservations, we have to cancel them. That gets expensive.

False Solomon’s Seal. I rarely see it, and I find regular Solomon’s Seal even more infrequently.
Swamp milkweed was everywhere! I discretely gathered several of the unopened flower buds to steam and enjoy the delicious, delicate broccoli taste with dinner.
Poison ivy and Virginia Creeper growing parallel up a tree. I’m not sure what the other plant is. Maybe a buckeye?
I wasn’t the only one worn out by our walk! In case you wondered, one side of the pillow is Mikkey’s. At night, the other side is mine. 🙂
My little van
Previous Post


  1. Marcia GB in MA

     /  May 17, 2019

    It’s so nice to see you getting out to camp and enjoy nature at it’s finest again. You’ve done a great job with your camper van!


    • Marcia, so good to hear from you! I live for being out in nature. I get severely depressed when I don’t for a while. But two days out in the fresh air, sunshine (and shade) works miracles. Too bad we can’t bottle it up and take it home with us, isn’t it? 🙂


  2. I’ve searched through my Contacts for your email address from when we had corresponded previously, but not sure which it is. Does it end in “g”? I want to send you a private note, if you agree.

    Virtual hugs,



  3. Great photos….I’m impressed with how many flowers were blooming!


    • Janis, what is amazing is that most of the early spring flowers had finished blooming. It was heaven for the eyes. This is where I found the orange fringed orchid (breathtaking) a few years back in June. The diversity is stunning!

      I haven’t replied to your email yet because I am just exhausted. It took me hours to get this blog post up with cropping and resizing photos. It used to be a breeze!


  4. nomadwomanlongsfor

     /  May 17, 2019

    I keep going back to your pics of how you set up your van to see if I can incorporate some of the features into the back of my pickup. I am thinking of covering my steps in case the trailer is not an option for me now or later. I ain’t giving up yet.


    • Emily, I dearly love the Casita, but a vehicle that you can just unplug and go is.so much easier at our age. A lot less to forget, too. Especially when you are solo.

      If you go to YouTube and search for diy truck camper and diy van, you will get so many ideas! That’s where I got my inspiration.

      I don’t know how long I can go, but I am going to squeeze in all I can while I can! I sincerely hope your dreams come true! Hugs!


  5. Carla Freeman

     /  May 18, 2019

    Plant IDing at your finest. Your knowledge of foraging and just plain old knowing what is what is amazing. I’ll never forget our short stroll. I’ve often look at blooms or mushrooms and think of you with a smile. So happy you have another happy camper around to enjoy. 💖🐝🍃🌷


    • Carla, you are so dear, and very prejudiced! I am definitely not an expert. I guess a lot! 🙂

      I miss you!


  6. Oh what a gorgeous place!! I could almost feel the peace and quiet there from the pictures!!! I love nature and it just does something to my soul!! So glad you are out camping!!!
    Love your van!!!! Obviously so does Mikey!!!


    • Hi, Gerri. This place is familiar and as comfortable as an old shoe. It is only 38 miles from home, but it’s down narrow, twisting back roads with no cell service, so it feels like a world away!

      I just love the tiny van. Mikkey was afraid of it at first, but now claims it as his!

      Hope all is going well with Mike — and you, of course.

      Still can’t comment on Blogspot blogs. I tried several times to comment on Horst’s new post, but got kicked off, even though I tried Name/URL, Google account and anonymous.

      Glad you check in here still. 🙂


  7. Jeana Riley

     /  May 20, 2019

    Nice!!!! You went down the road from where I camped about 3 weeks ago. I stayed at the East End Hunter’s camp off to your right on the way to Coleman lake. If you travel the road past the main camp area, there is a spot off to the left with the Pinhoti trail right in front of and behind you!. It was so peaceful. Very private.


  8. I noticed the sign on the right going in! Will have to check it out! I did a bit of hiking the Pinhoti a few years back. Got caught at the Shoal Creek Shelter during a major thunderstorm. The water was high and I was afraid I would not be able to get out. I need not have worried. I love that area! We stayed at Turnipseed Hunter Camp several years ago. Now I have a DC powered refrigerator and not enough solar for forest camping.

    The days of tents and hammocks were so much simpler. And more adventurous!


  9. Jeana Riley

     /  May 26, 2019

    Yes, I too have a 12 volt fridge and solar to power it along with an invertor generator – just in case. I really prefer the fridge over having to deal with ice though. It doesnt last and everything gets to be a mess or totally ruined. I will have have to check out Turnipseed. I think it was much further from where I was and too far to travel that late and try to find it.


  • Enter your email address to subscribe to Tinycamper's blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 962 other subscribers
  • Cool Stuff!

  • My Blog Topic Categories

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,029,371 hits
%d bloggers like this: