Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Summer Fun

It's been awhile since I've posted, so I'll catch up a bit. On May 11, MeggieDog and I went to Bandit's Roost Campground in Wilkesboro, NC for the weekend. Mom and Dad were already there, having arrived the Sunday before. I arrived much earlier than the 4:00 pm check-in time, and was not surprised to find that my site was still occupied by the folks who didn't have to check out until 3:00 pm. I visited with Mom and Dad on their site until my site was available.

Daddy helped me set up, so it went very quickly. It threatened to rain, but rained all around us. Meggie was busy all day exploring to the end of her tie-out cable. By bedtime she was so exhausted that she went into the tent and collapsed onto her doggie cushion, not even trying to get up onto the inflatable mattress where I was sleeping.

On Saturday, we went to nearby Wilkes Community College to visit the Merle Watson Memorial Garden for the Senses. It was just lovely; I can only imagine what it must look like when everything is in bloom! There are a few photos of it posted on my Flickr site; you'll find a link to that on the right side of this page.

As soon as the tent and screen tent dried out on Sunday morning, I broke camp (Daddy helped) and packed up the car. After enjoying a wonderful lunch fixed by Mom, Meg and I left for home about 1:00 p.m. It was a glorious day, perfect for riding with the sunroof open. Meg, tired from a weekend of watching squirrels, chipmunks, and people, slept all the way home. I had a mild case of what I think must have been sun poisioning. I was fairly red (especially my arms) and had a mild rash which disappeared the next day. The next time I was exposed to sun, though, the rash temporarily reappeared. Guess that's the price you pay for spending most of your life and a concrete office with fluorescent lighting and no windows.

The next Friday (May 18), Meg and I headed for Natural Tunnel State Park. Friday and dark and gloomy, rain clouds threatening. It was downright cool compared to the weather we'd had recently, so as soon as I got everything set up I changed from my shorts into jeans and a jacket. I set up my lounge chair and got out a book I've been reading. Meg got up into my lap and I wrapped her in a small blanket. There we rested, warm and happy, for a good while.

After I'd read for a while and Meggie napped, we took a brief hike from the campground to Lovers Leap (photos on Flickr). It was a good hike, but I'm not used to it; the "moderate" trail was pretty steep, but we made it fine, taking time to rest as needed. We went to ride the chairlift down to the floor of Natural Tunnel, but they had the lift closed for maintenance.

We went to bed fairly early (as is usual for us) and slept well, cozy and warm with a small heater running in the tent. On Saturday, we took the chairlift to the floor of the tunnel. No sooner had we arrived than a train came through (photos on Flickr). I was very excited, because when I was camping at Natural Tunnel last summer I'd tried several times to be there when a train came through (they don't have a regular schedule), but had never managed it. Meggie, however, was less than thrilled about the train. I was able to take a few photos, but it was difficult with Meggie trying to wrap herself around my head!

We went back to the campsite and curled up in the lounge chair for another reading/napping session. Just about lunchtime, Mom and Dad arrived, bringing broasted chicken lunches and a load of firewood so I could have a campfire that night. We drove around the park so they could see the pool, the Cove Center, and the blockhouse. Then we went to nearby Duffield; Mom wanted to go to a flea market there. The vendor she was hoping to see wasn't there (I can't for the life of me remember what she was looking for), so they only bought some apples and bananas.

We went back to the campground and visited awhile; when they left, they insisted that I keep some of the leftover chicken for my supper and a piece of fruit. Meg and I took another chairlift ride to the floor of the Tunnel and took the short walk to the Carter Cabin. She liked walking in the shade of the trees near the creek. A group of small children wanted to pet her; she was a bit nervous about it but behaved beautifully.

That evening I ate cold chicken (it was even better cold than it had been for lunch) for supper and started my campfire. The wood was well-seasoned, and caught fire quickly. I suddenly remembered my apple. I washed it, quartered it and wrapped it in aluminum foil. I put it into the coals of the campfire and left it for 20 minutes. When I carefully fished it out, it was steamy hot, sweet, and cooked to perfection. It was hard to wait for it to cool enough for me to eat it! Meg got a few bites and enjoyed it, too.

I took my time breaking camp Sunday morning; the day was beautiful, and I had several camping neighbors come to visit while I was working. It was after 1:00 by the time I got away; I stopped and visited with Mom and Dad for a little bit before heading on home.

Memorial Weekend was a non-camping weekend. There wasn't a camping spot available within a 100-mile radius! Mom and I went on a shopping trip on Friday and had a good, but tiring day. Saturday I planted some tomato and squash plants out on my deck and some New Guinea impatients (sp?) next to my front door. Sunday I did some laundry and various other household chores. Yesterday, Mom, Dad and I met some friends at a camper sales lot to admire the new camper they'd just purchased.

Mom and Dad left this morning to go to Pigeon Forge; I'm going down (just for the day) on Friday. They're going to use one of their guest passes to take me to Dollywood. If the line's not too long, I plan to ride the wooden roller coaster. *YAY*

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