Wednesday, August 11, 2010

blue ridge camping love

camping on loft mountain in the shenandoah national park is becoming a tradition for our family and our good friends. we had our third annual loft mountain visit this past weekend.

it was good to be out of range of all cell phone and internet connectivity for a few days, though of course the digital cameras were in constant use!

we communed with birds, stars, the great sun, fuzzy caterpillars, many butterflies and elusive bears that left their berry filled scat on the nearby trail. we also saw a baby copperhead, our neighbor campers alerting us of its presence and using a stick to push it into the nearby shrubbery.

the climate was a wonderful relief from that of the lower altitudes. nights and mornings were cool enough for layers and adorable caps.

the views as always were spectacular.

we managed a small hike on the appalachian trail where we ate blackberries and appreciated wildflowers.

the girls played four square, read their books, wandered down to the rocks to chat privately, helped with dishes and entertained tristan when the adults were busy preparing meals or building fires.

we had a lovely ceremony to officially declare our dear friends god father, goddess mother and goddess sister to tristan. tristan even kept his flower garland on, approved of the ritual text, allowed his god(dess) family to anoint him with rosewater (once we handed him the bottle and cap) and took the liberty of chiming the tibetan bowl to close the ceremony. it was perfect.

we came home tired from wakeful nights in the tent, long sessions of preparing meals on an open fire and a one-burner backpacking stove, and from constantly keeping watch on a baby who would gladly wander into the bush, the road, or off the cliff side. even though we were exhausted, we felt refreshed by the cool mountain air, renewed by the grand vistas and inspired by the conversation and collaboration that takes place when camping with others.

oh summer, how can it be that the time has passed so very quickly?

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