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I heart camping

Man, I had a freaking spectacular weekend. We went camping, ostensibly to check out the Perseids. In truth, I didn't see all that many meteOrs or meteOrItes. But I had a spectacular weekend nonetheless.

On Friday, Kevin and Vince and Sharonne and I departed the Manse at around 8pm, in two cars. One stop for dinner, and we were in Shenandoah National Park by . . . I have no idea. One? Two? Who knows. It was hard to keep from dozing off in the car.

I think it was one, one-thirty when we got to the Big Meadows campsite. We set up the two tents, and then got in our sleeping bags to lay out on the ground and stare up at the stars. There are like eighty million billion stars in Virgina. FAR more than there are in South Jersey, so close to Philly and just general crowdedness. Admittedly, we only saw a few meteors. They were bright and "ooh"able, but only a few. But really, it didn't matter much, the sky was beautiful enough in a static form. I fell asleep in the grass until someone woke me up to get thee into a tent.

The next morning we woke up earlyish, but not on purpose, which is PERFECT. We packed up and headed farther down

I've just decided I don't want to tell this story chronologically after all.

I had a wonderful weekend at Shenandoah National Park. We woke up early both mornings, but not on purpose, which is PERFECT. There were too-tame deer which wandered through our campsite from time to time; they were more frequent than the bunny rabbits.

Here is how you tell the difference between a deer, and a bunny rabbit: when you approach a deer, she moves slowly away from you, keeping the same distance between you both. She doesn't want you too close, but as long as you're just so far away, she's cool. Bunny rabbits, on the other hand: you can creep and creep up on bunny rabbits. They keep their eye on you, as their mouths go munchmunchmunchmunch without stopping. They may hop away, once, then twice; but they've got an invisible line in mind, and if you keep creeping, eventually you'll cross it, and sproing!, into the bushes they leap, leaving you with nothing but the sight of their little white tails.

The weather could not have been better. Could. Not. Have been better. It was warm in the days, but not too warm. It was almost cold at night. Kevin made a huge bonfire, as we knew he would, and I sat there in jeans and a t-shirt. We cooked hot dogs and ate them on toasted buns. We achieved failure in correctly popping Jiffy Pop, twice. We made s'mores which were MESSY, but good. We told no ghost stories. Saturday night Kevin and I went to the amphitheater of the campground, to watch the stars. We forgot to bring a flashlight. He went first and I gripped his arm. We were perfect targets for a) bugs, b) bears, c) whatever the hell else wanted to eat us. How could we stop them? We were not attacked. We lay in sleeping bags in the darkness, and could not, for the life of us, locate the big NOR the little dripper. Man, I took an astronomy class in Nerd Camp, for Pete's sake. Every night that we went Observing, our first task was to find the Big Dripper, which (as everyone knows) contains the star Arcturus, which (as everyone knows) is the second brightest star in the sky; and the handle points to the North Star. We COULD NOT find the Big Dripper on Saturday, because Virginia has TOO MANY FREAKING STARS and it's very confusing. Again, we only saw a few meteOrs. Oh well. We headed back to the campsite in the dark (again unattacked) and lay on the ground by the fire, which was warmer than laying in a meadow. I fell asleep, until Kevin awoke me by putting out the fire.

We went on three hikes total. The first was short but UP, and had a lovely view as a reward. The second was long and had a REALLY UP part at the end of the way back. I need to quit smoking. The third Kevin and I took on Sunday, was a pretty easy and short climb, and had a breathtaking view. The mountains looked like green carpet, I wanted to run my hands over their backs. We looked down on hawks. We looked down on climbers. One looked like my old TA Steve Kurtz, so I fell in love with him, but it's hard to hand your number to someone who's belaying someone, when you have no pen or paper. I wish I had taken my camera up with me so that I could take his picture. I liked the hiking, it made me feel like I was DOING something, which I was. And that last hike was actually a short (really short) bit of the Appalachian Trail, so I can now accurately say that I have hiked the Appalachian Trail, just not very much of it. Like a mile.

We also took a quick nap, on Saturday, outside. Yum. And I bought a cheap camping hammock at the campstore. I've bet $15 that it may fit on my balcony, which is short, so I don't think a real hammock would ever fit. I hope it fits; I want to be able to take naps outside. If it doesn't, maybe I'll screw some eye-hooks into a couple studs and hang it in my living room.

I didn't get hardly ANY reading done! I thought I would go through a half a book, but what with the hiking and the napping and the eating and whatnot, we had almost no free time. Yet we were never, ever rushed. And I didn't take a shower all weekend. I used those Dove washy things (they're soft, expensive wet-naps, really. Or, what did they refer to them as on Pete and Pete? Moist towelettes? They are expensive moist towelettes). I had a LINE on my ankles, at the top of my socks. A line of DIRT. I think that means I win. But showers were $1.00 for five minutes! Fuck that noise. Showers are for prisses.

That's all I can think of, but I'm sure there's something else. I want to go camping again. I could go camping, for like a week. Eating over the fire. I could do that. I don't mind being dirty, and I never get bored. And it's cheap, too.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 12th, 2002 08:04 am (UTC)
I need to quit smoking.

Cigarettes, or Weed?
Aug. 12th, 2002 08:07 am (UTC)
Weed. I'm only a recreational non-marijuana cigarette smoker, and then they're cloves so they're not really cigarettes. And their effects, I'm sure, pale in comparison to those I experience from my daily pot-smoking.
Aug. 12th, 2002 08:14 am (UTC)
Did you really not smoke weed that entire camping trip? Camping seemed to make smoking weed a lot more fun.
Aug. 12th, 2002 08:17 am (UTC)
Oh no, we definitely did! We used the littler tent as our smoke room. And Kevin commented on how goofy I was when high; he usually sees me smoke at night, often when I've been drinking, and that seems to make me lethargic more than anything else. But during the day, and because we were running around and being active and stuff, I get all giggly and talkative and goofy. I SO prefer doing drugs/drinking during the day, to night. More stimuli.
Aug. 12th, 2002 08:25 am (UTC)
Man, me too. At night, I just get tired and fall asleep and drool on my Nintendo Controller.

Caffine and Drugs is usually a good combination, though.
Aug. 12th, 2002 08:33 am (UTC)
i don't know about that whole shower thing. since i only take 10 minute showers....that's definately worth two bucks. i only like to be really, really dirty or super clean. the in between stuff sucks it...like with hair cuts.
Aug. 12th, 2002 09:13 am (UTC)
"I heart camping"? Cripes, that's how my freinds and I talk.

One of us! One of us!
Aug. 12th, 2002 09:57 am (UTC)

My calves hurt so bad today, I can't even walk down the stairs. You might expect hiking UPhill to be worse than DOWNhill, but you'd be mistaken.
Aug. 12th, 2002 10:32 am (UTC)
This is my favorite post about camping evar. I especially like the part about the bunny rabbits. And the green mountains. And the naps. Yay naps.

Since I'm the Girl in the Bubble, will you be my Camping Rep? You can go get dirty and sleep in the grass and play with bunnies, and then come home and tell me all about it. How this is different from what you just did, I'm not sure. But I'd like to make it official, somehow.
Aug. 12th, 2002 10:33 am (UTC)
Sure! Heck, I've been smoking your pot for you for AGES now.
Aug. 12th, 2002 10:54 am (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2002 10:43 am (UTC)
I felt really cool when I hiked like, 4 miles of the Appalachian Trail too. It sounds like you had such a great weekend... I wish I could have been there!
Aug. 12th, 2002 08:27 pm (UTC)
damn. i wish i could have gone...i miss kevin's bonfires :)

it was only the four of you? hmm...interest has fallen off in recent years. glad there was better weather than the last time i went...it poured on us and we didn't see a single meteor. that was in...1999? yes...august of '99. shit...time's flying...
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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