My sister and I decided we needed a weekend away....for some sisterly bonding time. We live in the same town, but you'd never know it. We never see each other any more!!!!
She stopped by after work on Friday night, we loaded up Harry (her vehicle), and headed on our merry way. It had be in the 40's all day, windy and rainy....but we were prepared. We're not afraid of a little weather.
By the time we got out to the park, the rain and wind had both stopped. The power of positive thinking at work!!!!
Even though the wind had died down, setting up the tent was still a bit of a show for anyone watching us. Inny wanted to put a space heater in the tent....but her extension cord was short....really short. And the electrical box for our site was a long ways away.
(To those that know me.....I only went along with the space heater because it wasn't my tent. Her tent is for a family, and is much larger = colder. I'm spoiled with our backpacking tent, we end up unzipping it half of the time because it's so warm in it.)
Anyway, because of the location of the electricity, and the length of her extension cord, we ended up having to put the tent on the end of the parking pad for our spot. Parking pad = rocks = not soft....but she also brought her big ole' air mattress, so all was well.
We spent the rest of the evening playing board games (Stratego, Scrabble, Set.....) and then finally went to bed.
The next morning, while sitting at the frosty picnic table making breakfast, I noticed something at the campsites across from us. I got out my always handy point and shoot, used my sister's body as a way to hide what I was doing......and took this shot.
Look closely...do you see it?
Yep, he's in full costume. We were trying to decide if he was a pirate (no eye patch or parrot) or maybe Lewis or Clark?
And then their camper door opens again...and this is what I saw.
Yep, another member of the gang. This one in an almost ground length emerald green cloak, and large white feather protruding from her cap. My vote was swinging more towards pirates every second!
Eventually, a third member appeared from another camper. This is what it looked like from where we were sitting.....see them standing there by their picnic table?
No - it's too small you say??
OK...I'll zoom in for you a bit.....
If anything, they looked like they were having fun!! And the costumes were awesome!!!!!!!!
After breakfast, we jumped in her vehicle and drove to the park lodge. From there, we jumped on a trail and headed out for a hike. The Hitchcock Nature Area is a park near where I live in the Loess Hills.
There is tons of hiking, bird watching, and such to enjoy. I had gotten online and looked up the coordinates for the Geocache in the park. We took the GPS, bundled up against the rain (yep, it was drizzling again) and headed out.
The views from the hike were magnificent. Trees are starting to change colors, and the rain had made all the browns and reds very deep.
We walked across hilltop prairies......
...down into valleys.....
...into tall (wet) brush....
...through the woods....
....we were poked by thorn bushes and sticky branches....crossed streams......and used Ranger Chad's name in vein many a time. :-) (He's partially responsible for the route we had to take.)
Our motto for the day became "Maybe the path curves up ahead". I can't tell you how many times we said those words. Near the end, we were so tired, we started to get a little slap happy. Even the most mundane things got us to giggling like school girls. :-)
In total, we hiked almost 4 hours. Up and down, and up and down through the hills. We were a muddy mess, and ripe with sweat....but it was worth it. That area is so beautiful this time of year. Plus, with it being cooler out, there were no bugs.....and the rain kept other people away - we had the area to ourselves.
As we left the lodge, on the way back to the campground....we saw this sign along the road.....
Instead of going back to the campground right away, we ended up doing just what the sign said...we went home. To my home, that is.
We grabbed my laptop, stopped at Blockbuster, picked up some chow at Pepperjax, and then headed back.
We watched movies the rest of the day, and late into the night. It was our weekend, if we didn't want to truly "rough it"...well then, we could. :-)
There is nothing like sitting in a tent, wrapped up in blankets, eating unhealthy food, watching silly comedies on a laptop (that we'd moved onto the air mattress so we could lay down), all while seeing your breath fog out in front of you because the temperature has dipped for the night!!!
This is my favorite time of year, F.A.V.O.R.I.T.E. :-)
After I'd gotten home Sunday morning, Mot and I headed out to run some errands. The usual...bookstores, lunch, Cabela's, etc, etc.
For lunch, we stopped at Hooters. I love their grilled cheese (yes, yes, I go to Hooters for the grilled cheese)...and Mot had some wings. While we're sitting at our booth waiting for our food....we happened to notice the table next to us.
I didn't get a picture, there was no way to do it without being seen....we were practically facing each other. But......he was wearing this....
Yep...there was a stormtrooper eating wings at the table next to us. And it wasn't some cheap costume, it was full price, adult geek costume. Pretty sweet actually.
So, Mot and I started to do some research, based on a little bit of information he had.....this man, and the other people at his table (not in costume - losers!!!) belong to the 501st Legion. This non profit group is there to (per the website)....
"...The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work..."
And, it appears, the Omaha group is quite the group...with a ton of members. They walked in the Rose Parade when George Lucas was grand marshal.
Who knew??? :-)
Last image source