Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fresh Air, A Billion Stars and Two Billion Daddly Longlegs

Our camping trip survival rate was 100%! Remember how I was so excited about car camping that I opted to bring everything? Cast iron reversible griddle? Don't mind if I do... We arrived at our campsite (very late, which I will passive-aggressively mention here, in reference to why we didn't make the hike up the falls), only to discover what the map of the campground really doesn't show - topography. We parked in our allotted spot, then we trekked up and down a daunting cliff to our designated site. The good news is, we can now crush our enemies to death using only our calves. And maybe by wielding a cast iron reversible griddle. The two powers together would be unstoppable. Here's what it looked like, walking down that hill:

But then, the payoff!

We were right on a point, and there was a nice-sized beach we could walk along, to take in the views along the lake. The girls couldn't wait to wade in and get their only clothes soaking wet just in time for the temperature to drop to right about hypothermia-degrees Fahrenheit.

They were so happy, though, we decided to risk death and let them frolic. We skipped some stones; it was a shale beach, so there was more than enough stone-skipping fodder to be had by all. I used to be pretty bad at this feat, but things were going pretty well for me that windy Saturday afternoon. Every time I managed to get a rock to make a few hops across the water, no one was watching. So finally I took the kids' approach and demanded Jeremiah's attention. I had a sweet stone, it was going to go clear across to the next outcropping. I took my stance, stretched my arm behind me, wrist ready to flick, then went for it, failing to release the rock at all, until it was much too late, and instead hit myself (with impressive velocity and precision) in the other hand. The bruise didn't even surface until Monday evening. Jeremiah was impressed, of course. I was really glad that was the one everyone got to see.

While we awaited the arrival of our friends, we located a wonderful campfire ring, right on the very tip of the point. Since our tent didn't fit on the nice tent-pitching spot, we'd had to set it up directly next to our site's little fire pit. It was pretty windy, so the campfire ring seemed like a better spot for flames and kumbaya'ing. I am much better at building campfires than I am at skipping stones.

Once everyone arrived (I have no pictures of our group because I was using my phone, and it was dying), we cooked a delicious dinner, then set to work on s'mores straight-away. The children ran through the woods with their glo-stick axes (compliments of Aunt Jo Jo) screaming at the tops of their lungs for what must've been 4 days straight. We did finally get them all into bed, cozied up with their glowing axes and dreaming of roasted marshmallows. We went to the beach and our friend Jerry set up his telescope so we could see that Carl Sagan was right, there truly are billions and billions of stars. It was cool, but also cold, and I had to go crawl into my own bed shortly after looking at moon craters.

The next morning, we made pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs and coffee and ate like kings while packing out all our stuff. Up the hill...with the cast iron skillet and all the other stuff. Up and down, up and down. Then, we headed to the apple orchard. It's an apple-pickin' jubilee, y'all! We saw contra dancing (I thought this would have something to do with Nicaraguan rebels, but I quickly saw I was either mistaken about the dancing, or about Nicaraguan rebels), picked some apples, slid down a 50-foot slide that looked as though it had been constructed by frat boys on a jello-shooter bender, ate some grease, milked the cow and jumped on the jumpy-thing until Kate melted down and we agreed we were getting all funned-out.

At last, it was time to home. We settled into the car with our peck of apples, 1/2 gallon of cider and collective stink and pointed ourselves toward Atlanta. It was a beautiful ride home through the mountains, but the girls didn't notice.


Richard said...

Where are the pictures of the tent? So, does that mean you forgot your camera AGAIN!

LMP said...

I will string together a panoramic for you, so you can see the whole tent.

We did not forget the camera this time! This time, the batteries for both cameras were dead the morning we were leaving.