Morgan Trinker Photography | Birmingham, AL »

Chattanooga, Camping, and Crazy Beautiful Fall Foliage

There’s something about fall and camping that just seems to go together, don’t you think? Red and orange leaves, crisp chilly air, the smell of campfire smoke, hot cider and toasted marshmallows, bundling up, being with friends, coffee in the percolator first thing in the morning… it’s just… perfection. I was worried we were going to miss out on having that experience this year, but fortunately, our good friends Will and Helen happened to be free on one of my only off weekends, so we decided to all go together. I was SO pumped!

Irony of ironies, Will and Jamie (my husband) are not as big on the idea of camping as Helen and I are. I think it has something to do with too much prep and manual labor. ;) So as a compromise, I suggested we drive up to Chattanooga for the weekend and spend the first night downtown, explore the city for a little bit on Saturday, then head out to the campsite that afternoon to set up and start cooking. It ended up being pretty much perfect. The guys got their night of cushiness at the Stone Fort Inn on Friday, followed by a gluttonous breakfast and a trip to the Terminal BrewHouse. Then Helen and I got our night of “roughing it,” which is a term I use very loosely, considering we packed enough stuff to basically set up our own hotel at the campground. But I think it’s safe to say we *all* enjoyed the entire trip, because we got to experience the best of both worlds on one of the most gloriously sunny and crisp weekends we’ve seen this year. The leaves were pretty much at their peak this particular weekend, so it was particularly gorgeous.

I seriously just love taking trips. There’s something about the adventure, the discovering new places and new foods, seeing the sights of an unfamiliar city… it just makes me feel so inspired and happy and energized. Here’s to many, many more adventures!

Below is a mix of my “real camera” photos and ones from my iPhone. Can you guess which is which? ;)

Helen and I both wore striped Target sweaters accidentally. It was awesome. Also we could not have crammed one more thing into Will’s car if we tried. ;)

Friday night we ate at Tony’s Pasta Shop and Trattoria in the arts district in downtown Chattanooga. It was DELISH. All of their pasta is handmade at the restaurant and you can definitely tell the difference. Highly recommend it if you’re in the area!

The Stone Fort Inn is a beautiful bed and breakfast right in the heart of downtown. I loved how it felt like a historic, antique-y home dropped inside a cool New York City loft. Also, the breakfast? AAAAMAZING.

I think *this* was the point where Will declared that he was at his maximum level of happiness. ;)

On the way up to our campsite, we listened to some old school Appalachian bluegrass. Perfect soundtrack. :)

Oh, how I love campfire cooking! Yummy chili, hotdogs, s’mores… my mouth is watering.

Oh, these fall colors make my heart sing!

We had the stuff with us to make breakfast, but made the collective decision to pack up camp and go to Cracker Barrel instead. I mean, it’s PERFECT breakfast. :)

After breakfast, we decided to do the Incline Railway, one of Chattanooga’s attractions. It’s a train that goes straight up the side of Lookout Mountain. The train cars are even shaped diagonally because it’s one of the steepest tracks in the world. The views from it were breathtaking, and once we got to the top, we decided to explore and check out the panoramic views of the city from the park.

Chattanooga, we love you, and hope to see you again soon!

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