Sorry for the late post, but I woke up this morning in a tent at a campground 200 miles from home.
We'd been planning the camping/river rafting expedition for more than a month, but the weather reports at the end of last week were rather worrisome. There was much mention of severe thunderstorms, hail and high winds, and the fact that it had rained for days at home was not reassuring. Still, everyone was game to head out on Saturday, even if it meant we might get rained on all weekend long.
Three couples and I left on Saturday afternoon and we made it to camp in the late afternoon. The sky was clear and it was warm and humid as we put up four tents and a canopy around our campsite. I wasn't willing to wait for the campfire to be ready for cooking, so I grilled my chicken kebabs and corn on the cob over my propane grill. We had a lovely evening sitting around the fire chatting, drinking beer and cooking.
On Sunday, we took a 7 mile canoe trip down the river. I rented a kayak, which meant that other people had to put my drinks and lunch in their cooler. The kayak was a BLAST! It was very maneuverable and I got the hang of paddling it very quickly. I often got ahead of the rest of the group, but the kayak was so easy to paddle that I could navigate it back upstream or just sit and float while the others caught up.
After we reached the end point of our trip downriver and took a van ride back to the campground, I was tired and ready to shower and start fixing dinner. Almost everyone else headed for the riverside area of the camp and played in the water for several more hours. By the time they returned, the fire was ready for cooking again and we had hot dogs, bratwurst and hamburgers, and I finally toasted a single marshmallow and ate it sandwiched between two chocolate-coated graham crackers.
At 6:45 this morning, we all woke to the sound of distant thunder. We'd been expecting rain all weekend, but the weather had been absolutely perfect so far. Suddenly, the idea of being soaked by rain wasn't all that appealing, so we scrambled to break camp and pack the vehicles. Our timing was perfect. The second we closed the last truck door, the rain started.
By the time we made it up the steep, gravel hills out of the campground, rain was pouring down and we could barely see the car in front of us. We drove to a nearby town and had a delicious and very inexpensive breakfast at a diner, then made it past the rainstorms and back to the city before noon.
I had such a great time on my second camping trip ever that I hope I can manage to go a few more times this summer and fall. I've decided I need to buy a small tent of my own (I borrowed a faintly dog-scented one this time) and I'll definitely rent a kayak again next time because it was so much fun.
Now that I'm up to date on my blog entries, I'm looking forward to taking a shower without my sandals on and perhaps snuggling with the cats and taking a little nap. More tomorrow!