The time has come and gone by and we all survived the camping trip. Woot!
This past weekend, my friend Jenny, her daughter, Megan, and Hubby and I went camping. This was a new addition to our repertoire of things “to do”. (Speaking of which, Jenny- we need another bowling night soon… gotta play with our balls, ya’ know!)
I had looked forward to doing this for a few reasons.
1. Had never been camping with Hubby and wanted to see if we’d kill one another, or if we’d make do with what we had and improvise the rest.
2. Wanted to see if our old ghetto tent would still do it’s job.
3. Wanted to hang with my friends and do something different.
4. Wanted to try Jenny’s cool new toy.
5. Wanted to smell wood smoke on my clothes and in my hair for the rest of the week!
I think I achieved all the things I set out to.
After a bit of an unsteady start, (we left at different times and our eating/erecting of tents schedule was thrown off) we settled in for our first night. it wasn’t that cold and only sprinkled a little bit, so we lucked out on the weather. We had been afraid we were going to be rained out, but my special weather bubble held and all was well. We started a fire and consumed some requisite s’mores and enjoyed some “Jeezes” juice. (Don’t ask, lol) Megan was the first to retire, with Hubby not far behind her. Jenny and I stayed up to enjoy the fire, even tho there would have been no sleeping for us lightweights… the neighbors on both sides were enjoying their Friday night with their own version of juice and crying children. We decided we’d take a stroll up to the “real” restrooms, as opposed to the port a johns that were right across from our site and had a tendency to have the door BANG when someone came out of them. As we were walking up there – the first time- we saw little red blinky lights coming towards us in the dark. We both looked around but didn’t see anything else with those little lights, so we were surprised when a little boy, carrying a pink car and some other toy, came into view.
We asked him where his mom and dad were and he was just quiet at first. Then he warmed up a bit when we asked if he was here with his Grandma and Grandpa by replying, “They died.” Lovely, lol! Once he’d given us that info, he told us his name was Lucas and he started running up and down the road and saying that we were going the wrong way. Just as we were beginning to think we should take a walk to the security shack, we heard a desperate mom, toting two other tots with her, calling for Lucas. Thankfully, mom and son were reunited and Jenny and I could continue on our way. Then, a few more feet from where we had seen the boy, we looked over at a cabin to see a naked man.. (I mean people, really, even though you are in a campground, curtains can still be drawn- ahem…)
We got back to our fire, enjoyed a bit more of our juice and decided that noise or no noise, it was going to be one more trip up to the bathroom (and maybe one more peek at the nekkid man) and then off to bed. Even though I would have preferred for the option to be no noise, it was noise and while Megan and Hubby blissfully snored, Jenny and I had a less than restful evening with crying children and partying neighbors.
We got up early and had some breakfast and decided what our plan of the day would be. Before going, we had each chosen an event that we wanted to do over the weekend. Megan chose a ghost walk, I wanted to climb around at the Devil’s Den (had never been there), Jenny wanted to go to the Wheatfields after dark, and Frank wanted to go to Catoctin Colorfest.
We went to the Visitor’s Center, which now houses the Cyclorama and a huge and over-priced book store and museum. It was an interesting building and we bought an auto tour cd and guide book.
After getting a few snacks, we started our tour. It was nice to be able to stop and get out where you wanted to and take pictures. The wind was blowing pretty hard by the time we got to Little Round Top, since a cold front was moving in, so after we had visited the Devil’s Den for a bit, we decided to pick up the tour later (maybe) and go for a late lunch and maybe a nap back at our campsite. We also secured our tickets for the the Jennie Wade 11:35 pm tour.
Even tho we had pretty much just eaten lunch, we had to make sure we cooked up the meat we had purchased for dinner, so Hubby got the campfire going and I made some meat patties while the neighbors kids made a leaf pile near our site.
It was cute to watch them pile up the leaves and jump in them… until I noticed the little neighbor’s dog take a whiddle in the middle of the leaf pile. I was just getting ready to tell the parents when WHOOSH, they all jumped into the pile and by that time… I thought…. oh well… they are camping, and the dog was tiny…
After we ate our side of beef, and dark was falling, we headed out towards the wheat fields. We poked around for a bit, taking pictures and playing with a few things. We certainly weren’t the only ones out there in the dark. There were flashes everywhere and an entire group of people wearing flashlights on their heads, walking through and listening to some guide tell them about some of the markers. It was kind of surreal to watch those lights bobbing by in the darkness. Megan was afraid of werewolves, but we told her that we thought she was pretty safe with us.
We left the Wheatfields and decided to go find Jenny’s grandfather’s grave in a local cemetery. After a little poking around – and some concern that we might get locked in since it was almost 10 pm – we found his grave and paid our respects. His neighbor had some kind of unspeakable name… I think it had two vowels, and I stood there trying for the life of me to say the guys name. I don’t think I ever succeeded. We left there and went up to the Eternal Flame monument, wishing the flames were a bit closer to us, since by then it had dropped down to the low 40’s and we were pretty chilly. We were looking forward to our time in the Jennie Wade house, if only to warm up a bit… but then we realized that we’d be right back out in the cold…. for the rest of the night.
The Jennie Wade house was small, and cramped and the tour had about 30 people on it. It seemed like every place I chose to stand, the guide would say, “And that’s where…..” so I felt like I was constantly in the way. As soon as I got into the building, I didn’t feel so good and upstairs, Hubby asked if I was ok.. I made the puking face and was hoping we’d be out pretty soon. Once we got out of that room, I felt better and when we went into the cellar, I was fine. The guide gave us lots of information and told us about some activity in the house, but Jenny and I agreed that we felt the EVP they “said” they’d captured in the house was a fake.
After the tour, we were all exhausted and ready to sleep, no matter how cold it was. (39 when we got to the campsite around 1:30, so we guesstimate it was about 36 at the lowest point). We went to our tents and while some of us again slept soundly, the other two were dozing while listening to the hoot owls that were all around us in the woods and wondering if Peggy the socialite would wander through our tents looking for her head. (the owls, yes, the socialite, not really)
It was another early morning, since the neighbors were up and breaking camp and we were happy to have Hubby build us a fire. We were slow to break camp and pack up and decided to wander around and take some “artsy-fartsy” shots before we left.
Hubby nixed the Colorfest plans so instead we went mini golfing at a really nice course and then did another late lunch. By this time it was all we could do to keep our eyes open, so we went our separate ways.
All in all it was a very successful trip and I think we could easily do this again! Not the camping trips of my youth, and that’s really ok, but nice in its own way. Yay!