We're home -- and we had a great time. It wasn't warm, but it was dry (not even any morning dew)! We drove north about an hour from home to Rendevous Mountain in Wilkes County (closest town is Purlear, NC). Pretty country -- the leaves are starting to turn, and we were definitely up a mountain. I swear, no matter where I had to go Saturday or Sunday, it was uphill! We arrived around 11 am Saturday, and stayed til 10:30 am Sunday. A few select photos can be found here. It was a primitive site, except we had a picnic shelter and flush toilets. We camped in a tent, right near the shelter.
I was ever so grateful that alot of the dads/den leaders took a group hiking to the fire tower & civil war graveyard -- it was a 3.5 mile hike! After that the kids played on the trails until dinner time. It was a very relaxing afternoon. Every kid there ate every bite of their supper (no wonder!) and then after dinner we made s'mores over the fire -- YUM. Then the kids played "flashlight tag" for at least an hour. The adults laughed that any four legged critter in hearing distance ran from the noise! Duncan finally fell asleep about 9:15 pm. I then got to taste a WONDERFUL beef stew made in a dutch oven over fireplace coals -- talk about GOOD!
I didn't sleep well, and just like a clock, Duncan woke up promptly at 5:50 am. The kids who were up early stood around the fire and enjoyed making flames by burning boxes. Little pyromaniacs! Then breakfast was served about 8:30 am -- pancakes & sausage. The leaders gathered up the boys to sweep the camping area for trash, then took them on the Talking Tree trail. After that we headed home.
Lessons learned from my trip:
- Out of shape, overweight 40 yr old women aren't meant to rough it.
- It's worth the effort to bring an air mattress!
- Tent manufacturer's lie about how many people a tent will hold.
- A level campsite is very important -- be early so you get one (note, we weren't early).
- Anything cooked over a campfire tastes yummy.
- My mother-in-law was right, campgrounds entertain kids for HOURS.
- Always, ALWAYS be sure the bag with your clothes makes it in the car.
- I need better sleeping bags and a bigger tent!
- Despite being cold, and grungy, it's still possible to have a great time -- your muscles don't collect the IOU until you get home!
Sooo, I'll be tent shopping this winter in preparation for the family trip in the spring. Duncan is already asking to go back next weekend!