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.