I may have grown up in a city, but I’ve always loved camping. Lucky for me, I married a mountain man who not only knows how to wield an ax, but finds great pleasure in packing and unpacking supplies, setting up tents, and jerry-rigging all manners of camping accoutrement.
We’ve been camping several times since we’ve been married (breathtaking Nyika National Park in Malawi; Kitulo, with only wild horses for company; various game parks and private campgrounds; really, too many times for me to recall right now), but never since we’ve moved back to the US. We both had Monday after the 4th off and decided that A needed a camping experience in order to truly know what being an OurLastName is all about.
As per a tip from P’s mom, we decided to check out Poe Paddy. It was an excellent choice. We found a tenting spot just beside a little creek. Our spot was also only a hundred yards or so from access to the bigger river, which we availed of to take numerous quick dips to escape the heat.
A LOVED it. She’s an outdoors girl, through-and-through. She loved the food, loved the hammock, loved the dirt, loved the tent, loved throwing pebbles in the creek, loved the “morning dip” in the cold water.
We spent our afternoon hiking out to the railroad tunnel. When we reached the river on the other side, P suggested an adventure. Instead of heading back the way we came, why didn’t we just blaze a trail along the river? We could always turn around if we got stuck.
So off we went. There were a couple of points when I, admittedly, expressed my doubts. To my credit, once it was because I was sliding down the side of a hill into the water, watching P carrying A one-armed, like a football, ahead of me. The other time was when he declared that we needed to be on the other side of the river and proceeded to cross amidst some small rapids, broken Chacos and all. Still, we made it, and it was exhilarating. A did her part by ducking on command.
The best part about our camping trip was that it was, largely, on a whim. We had time, we had the equipment, so off we went. That, I think, made it even more special than if it had been a big, planned trip. Because the other thing about being an OurLastName is that spontaneity gets our blood flowing.