Monday, August 24, 2009

monday round up

my daily themes are a little boggled here as we had an internet free weekend camping in the shenandoah national park.

in the end it was a lovely weekend, though there were a few challenges along the way.

first there was the rain. friday brought some on and off torrents of rain, while our saturday was largely spent in our friends' vw vanagon as a relentless downfall showered the afternoon away.

as far as challenges go, rain is a positive force. we had no choice but to relax, play games, converse, drink a couple of beers, nap, draw, read and listen to the tink tink of water play upon all surfaces. there were certainly moments of longing; the view of the blue ridge from our campsite was breathtaking and completely shrouded in fog. but when the rain finally ceased around 4pm and the clouds lifted, all life was a sparkling wonder.

the negative challenge that befell us involved a group of clueless, rude and ignorant guys (and one girl) who arrived in the campsite next to ours around midnight friday. i awoke to the sound of their hatchet relentlessly chopping for the next three hours. mixed in with the chopping was a lot of cursing and the sound of some sort of weapon. i was paralyzed by fear, as were -- i learned the following morning -- the other campers around us. our friend, who hadn't heard the gun sounds, climbed out of his vanagon and told them off around 2:30am. they grumbled that they were going to sleep and shortly after that a huge downpour snuffed out their party for good.

we were so looking forward to revenge the next morning, as well as having them evicted. but they left by 6:30am. when we looked at the reserve tag on their campsite, we learned they were squatters, as the folks who actually reserved the site were not due to arrive until later that day. we also learned that the gun had been a paint ball gun, leaving green pellets and splashes of paint on the ground and the trees. there were wood chips all over; they had chopped bits off of the trees surrounding the site. and if that wasn't enough, they downed a whole tree further in the woods. suffice it to say, the ranger was furious. so we had a little crime scene investigation unfolding next to us all saturday morning.

i'm not sure what would possess a people to come into a major campground in a national park and do that sort of thing. but what is really disappointing is that they got away with it.

of course, the event will make our camping excursion particularly memorable, for better or worse.

but ** nothing ** can beat

* chili and bratwurst and eggs and bagles and coffee and chai cooked or warmed on a fire
* three young bucks grazing so close that we could practically reach out and pat them
* tashi and her best friend skipping around arm in arm and building fairy houses
* tristan's absolute wonder with the trees, the tent, the van and the sky
* the golden post storm sun and moon set
* the incredibly bright stars on saturday night
* orion on the eastern horizon
* a few meteorites
* the changing face of the blue ridge throughout the weekend
* and an invitation to our friends to become tristan's god parents

now that the wee bairn is properly initiated into the wonders of sleeping outside all weekend, we will surely do it again.

and again. and again.

but hopefully never again to the sound of paint ball guns and after hours hatchets.

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