Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our Big Camping Adventure

My blog has been eerily silent, but that's because I'm too busy between work and life to catch up. Nevertheless, I will try to post at least twice a week.

We had a very big camping trip planned for last weekend. It was supposed to take place in Shenandoah National Park. Now, if you don't live under a rock, you realize that the government shutdown means that the park is closed. And so are the campgrounds. In fact, so is the road through the area.

While an inconvenience, this was by far nothing like what others are suffering from with the shutdown- being unpaid and out of work. But that's another story.

Luckily, we were able to scramble and book another campground. It's one I have been to before, so I knew it would work for our group. It wasn't going to be the same trip, but at least we had a place to camp. The big hitch was that we had a group of hikers planning to hike the Appalachian Trail, which of course wasn't possible with the shutdown. Not that you can't still hike it, but the website with the info on it is shut down, as are many of the trail heads (because they are on park land).

The first night the hikers (Daddy included) hiked up to the ridge and spent the night under the stars. Billy and I stayed with another friend back at base camp. The campground was practically deserted that day (it wasn't the weekend). We had a lovely dinner made by ye olde Applebees- you didn't think we were going to cook over the fire with only two adults and a Billy, did you? We scrounged enough wood for a fire that night post dinner and had a very nice night in camp.

There were, of course, the animals. At first I thought the sound I was hearing was dogs. Nope. Not dogs. A bobcat- made more than one. Also, bats overhead. Yes, those too. Lots of them. We had a bobcat come through camp in the middle of the night as well- I could hear it calling from just a little bit away from my tent.

The next morning more friends arrived. We had three family groups and some others. Three kids as well- Billy, another boy, and a toddling baby girl.

The weather was perfect. It was unseasonably warm during the days and same at night, so no winter chill ever set it. The last time I was in this camp ground. I woke up to ice on the ground- same weekend, just a different year. We were able to go swimming in the mountain lake and not freeze- an odd thing for October.

We had lots of fun with friends hanging out in camp, eating camp food and exploring this private wilderness. Here are some pictures from our adventure:

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