Lake Guntersville, AL Yet another beautiful lake in the Southern USA.

Baby Emery in 2010 at Lake Guntersville Lodge

A few years ago, when Emery was just 1 year old, we tented at the campground at Lake Guntersville, AL. This was around the time we got really into camping, and we thoroughly enjoyed our weekend there among the tall trees, viewing the curious deer and watching the sun set across the peaceful lake.

guntersville-tornado-damage-ba983327f32c1b68The following spring, in 2011, a series of tornadoes devastated Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, and this park in particular received a lot of damage. The state park had to close for a considerable amount of time for repairs; I read that they lost around 1500 trees. We hadn’t returned since the tornadoes took their toll, so we wanted to go back to the campground with the Veltkamper. The tall trees we recalled so fondly were gone. Many trees were still standing, but dead. The campground was certainly less populated than it had been 4 years ago, and I couldn’t help but feel a little sad.

We did end up having a good time, though. The weather was amazingly fall-ish and the kids sure enjoyed being on the big lake.

Emery collecting specimens to study
Emery collecting specimens to study
Oh how I love exploring with my lady

Scott had a minor injury when he jumped off the truck bed wearing flip flops and twisted his ankle. Luckily it healed pretty quickly, but it did put a damper on the activities. I felt so bad for him I ran into town to the local thrift store to grab some crutches.


There was a Halloween/fall festival going on that weekend, so the kids got to dress up and go trick-or-treating, as well as enjoy hay rides and face painting. Emery wanted to be an “Irish princess” and Finn of course wanted to be Spider Man.

But by far the most memorable part of our stay at Lake Guntersville was the deer encounters.


The deer families flock to the campground at night. I know we weren’t technically supposed to feed them, but we wanted the kids to see these guys up close and personal, so we let them give them apples. These beautiful, docile creatures definitely made an impression on the kids. No, we didn’t let them get near the baby deer.

After Guntersville, we headed south to Conecuh National Forest in southern Alabama.



  1. I am so very happy for you and your family. That and a little bit envious of your adventure. We have always been camping addicts as DH Ron’s family were weekend campers and I caught the spirit for camping from them. Our first TT was a Decamp with a small overhang, barely enough room for us and our two children. TTs kept getting bigger as our family grew. We had three daughters by birth then added 13 more children through adoption. Camping was a way of life for us but not full-time until Ron had to quit his sheetmetal job due to injuries from a work accident. I was working part-time as and adoption caseworker and could arrange my own hours so we had the opportunity to go on long trips to Maine, Maryland, Canada, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Florida, the Dakotas, Colorado, Mexico and many states in-between. We took advantage of family memberships with museums, aquariums and parks. Since we began homeschooling we could take longer than usual trips and often planned on month trips but were usually back in 3 weeks. We did still have our stick house to manage and didn’t always have some family member living at home. Now, as I listen to our adult children reminisce about our trips and everything they saw and experienced, I know that our lifestyle was good for all of us! Your children will learn so much and know so much about people and places and they (and you) will hold these memories forever!

  2. Found you thru Ditching Suberbia”, next time you are in north central Ala. check us out at Ryans Creek RV park in Cullman on Smith lake, we sold our stick and brick at the first of the year and moved into a 40
    ft 5 Th wheel. There are some transient spots available and we would love to meet you. We are 16 yr transplants from metro Detroit. Love your blog. If you haven’t check out the “Insta pot” for meal prep and induction cook top , both are indespensable for small space cooking.

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