Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
I generally try really hard to avoid the cliche of telling people how busy my life is, but this school year has been pretty crazy for us. Between Noel breaking his arm and me moonlighting as a middle school teacher (more on that later) life has been pretty bananas. Still, it was necessary, vital really, that we find time to squeeze in one last camping trip this year. Despite time constraints and the forecast predicting chilly temperatures we marched on with our plans, loading up the car with our gear and locking the door on our catastrophe of a house.
After setting up camp, Noel and I debated whether he should go to the effort of setting up an awning since there was only a 20% chance of light rain. Fortunately, we opted to go to the effort because 15 minutes later it started raining, then sleeting, and finally snowing. Morale was a little low as we huddled under the tarp cooking our hotdogs over our stove. (At one point Ellen scream-cried, “We should NEVER go camping in the snow! We should stay home!”) We knew it would be even more miserable to take the tent down though, so we turned in early and stayed warm and cozy until morning. When we woke up, everything was covered in a layer of snow that contrasted beautifully with the fall leaves.
Usually, morning is our roughest part of camping where the kids whine incessantly about how it’s cold and they’re hungry, but even though this was probably the most miserable conditions we’ve camped in (excluding Noel who has gone on several Klondikes), the kids loved it. They threw snowballs and drank hot chocolate and eventually did return to the tent to rewarm themselves, but with minimal crying. We then went on a hike (10 miles according to Cooper, 1.5 according to my GPS watch) and saw some of the most gorgeous fall colors. Up to this point, our experience had been fairly solitary (we were the only people at the campground and only ran into a few people while hiking), but as we headed back to pack up camp we ran into throngs of people. Then when we emerged from the campground we were met with a sea of cars that literally wound down the mountain for miles. (Luckily, the sea only flowed up the mountain so getting home was a breeze.) At that point we definitely felt like our hardcore camping had paid off.