Sunday, June 8, 2008

4: Bog Camping

I have that eye burny feeling, the kind that tells me I could topple into sleep just as I am, cock eyed on the couch. My head is heavy with a wet towel and our dogs are dead to the world too. The air inside our house is muggy, like breathing in said wet towel.

We went camping this weekend, our second annual end-of-the-school year trip with the Urtels and our friend Chad. Last year, it was Frontenac, and this year it was Jay Cooke. It's Ryan and my third trip camping together total; the middle being Afton only a few weeks ago. We are exhausted but content. There is something delightful in flinging yourself into the weekend as celebration and closure, time spent with good friends and in the dirt.

The campsite itself was absolutely mucky (a la Neverending Story), but we are grateful it was this as opposed to camping through the weather that created the muck: we were supposed to have tornado watches and thunderstorms, but instead, we had blue skies and sun. My sole complaint is that we were just in the midst of tick-and-mosquitoville. We've been plucking them off one another as if we were monkeys, pulling the hard shells away, slapping at one another's trousers. I've mentioned this before, but I have an unnatural fear of ticks, perhaps instilled in me from days of Girl Scout camping and finding a lump in my hair's part, my mother tweezing it out on the front porch, telling me of how those creatures bury their heads in your skin, gulp out your blood. It doesn't help that I'm now arachnophobic and those little buggers truly are creepy.

We went on four hikes, none incredibly long, but all just enough to wear me down, the last just Ryan, me, and our dogs--the Hiking Club Trail--just this afternoon, three and a half miles, so much in the beating sun, which became less of a convenience. Any breeze was manna from heaven. There were all sorts of bits we discovered through the weekend: a deer peering out at us tromping on the paved trail, Bear (the Urtel-dog) furiously barking at a porcupine, holding a toad and reminiscing about the middle school pet I kept and named Fred, learning to identify the white pine, the lady slipper, the difference between a paper birch and a quaking aspen. But the most spectacular: I didn't realize there were rapids in this park, a swinging bridge, great rocks to clamber over. I'm learning this: how to tough it out, how to push on, how to face fears (oh, the edge!), and take on challenge, bit by bit.

PS: Oh yes, and a camping weekend would not be complete without Zephyr breaking at least one collar. He broke two, the twerp. Only on camping trips.

PPS: A series of my favorite pictures from the trip will (hopefully) be uploaded tomorrow, along with completion of the Jay Cooke Flickr set.

Happy Monday, all you fools who have to work! :) I'm taking the day off, but then I'll dive into the M.Ed.


EWH said...

Welcome to your new space. Many happy visits here. Hugs and kisses.

KeLL said...

I want to go camping with you! Maybe next year with Baby FermaNels.

I don't like ticks either. We have them in our backyard. We have to check Logger any time he goes into the weeds.
I have a fear of snakes. I love spiders.
If you take care of the snakes, I'll take care of the spiders. Deal?