Day 1 Well . . . it is really Day 2. Went to bed dog tired. Managed to get the laptop out of its location in the crammed-to-the-brim van and get it into the tent, So on to Day 2.
Day 2 Our campsite is uninspiring. Spring arrived on the calendar but has yet to make it to . . . Where am I? Prince William National Forrest? Perhaps . . . The dead leaves of last fall, crinkle and complain when I walk on them. Most of the view is brown. Thankfully, there are very few campers at this time of year, so their noise is a distant amusement. But what is noisy is military helicopters from nearby Quantico, flying low overhead. And what sounded like explosions and gun fire, also from the base. It’s all good. I’m patriotic enough to appreciate those who risk their lives in service of our nation. But not the most traditional camping environment. Though our neighbors are few and far between, Javy growls and/or barks at each and every one of them when they walk by our campsite. This morning the sounds of the nearby birds are different from the ones at the Hanson house. And it’s quite quiet at the moment. The air temperature is perfect. It was cold last night, but adding the Pendleton wool blanket made me very cozy. So far we have accomplished some important goals, in figuring out how to do this camping thing full time. Today we did yoga. We made oatmeal and toast and washed up the dishes after. We are accomplishing our mission, here in “Camping Trip #1” of figuring out how to use all the new camping equipment; yes we gave away all my beloved camping equipment when we moved from Eugene to Fredericksburg. Who knew that instead of become more crippled every day, I would have knee replacement surgery and become more nimble. Who knew they would improve portable toilets so much that we would get one. (It works!) I sincerely thought my camping days were behind me, due to ever-advancing old age. I’m 70 now! So the new camping equipment is all serviceable and some of the modern ideas are really quite cunning. Our coffee cups keep the beverage so hot I burned my tongue . . . I can smell the trees sometimes . . . a cool refreshing breeze cheers my soul . . . camping . . .
Day 3 So we are back home again. Even though we went to bed pretty early last night, we still did not get up at the crack of dawn. We slept in until at least 8:30 am. I guess we needed the rest. We had a fabulous breakfast of oatmeal & bananas for her and toast and bananas for him, along with tea and coffee. We packed the dirty dishes in a large plastic bag, where they remain to this moment, around 9:00 pm Wednesday evening, April 7, 2021. We will be camping full time as of May 4, 2021. May the fourth be with you! The biggest problems with camping were 1) the ticks and 2) the flies. First with the flies – they were little and they kept getting in my face when I was cooking. Really annoying. Now about the ticks . . . so one of our daughters came over to help us when we got home. She brought food. She was a godsend. She helped unload the car. She trimmed the dog’s nails. She was cheerful. I asked her if there was something on my left shoulder blade and she said those words no one ever wants to hear: “Yes. It’s a tick.” So, she removed it with tweezers and then inspected me and found another tick and she removed that one too. Then we inspected Mike. He also had a tick (one) which she removed. So, we have been researching tick avoidance and keep checking the locations for the tell-tale ring of Lyme disease. “Off” with those darn bugs. Oh yeah, we are investing in a larger screen porch. The one we already have is lovely but too small to cook in. We ate in there and it was quite pleasant. I am excited about the larger one. I think it will make this whole adventure way more pleasant. I don’t like bugs very much. Okay, not at all. On our final day, the miracle of Spring was quite evident. The place was greener. Trees were burgeoning with green swellings. On the way out of the park, a splash of pink brightened an otherwise brown landscape. The photos may not capture it, but it was encouraging. Nature has a few things to offer.