Well, slap me silly and call me Ethel, it's that time of year again everyone.....Springbrook!!!!!
OK, for those of you that have no clue what I'm talking about, here's the Reader's Digest condensed version.
Every year, our family gets together on the second weekend in October for a small little reunion. It used to be a picnic on Sunday...but it's blossomed into a full weekend of camping and merriment. And, since our family is so small, we invite all our friends - because, after all, our friends ARE our family!!!"
I headed to Springbrook early Friday morning, with my truck full of camping gear, and my backseat full of bedding, heavy clothes, hats, etc......
Why all the extra bulk?
For the first time ever in the history of Springbrook (40+ years), they were forecasting snow!!!!
That's right, you heard me.....SNOW!!!!
I love winter, I love snow, I love camping, I love my family and friends....so put all of those together, and I'm as giddy as a high school girl on prom night.
I arrived about 10 am, found my reserved camping spot, changed to a different spot (twice), then set out on a walk with mom.
There is a trail that goes around the lake at Springbrook. It's gorgeous...especially with all the trees changing colors!!! The temperature on Friday was mid 50's, 100% blue sky, not a cloud to be found. Perfect!!!!
The path, as usual, was beautiful!
Mom and I are total shutterbugs. I'm not sure if I got it from her, or she got it from me....but you can't go anywhere with us, without a camera in reach.
This little lady and her friend watched us for quite some time before finally running away. We were downwind, and they didn't seem horribly worried that we were there.
While sitting on a bench along the lake, enjoying the day, we noticed a school bus full of kids pull up on the opposite side of the lake.
Then we noticed the park ranger sprinting for the kayak storage shed, and begin unloading kayaks.
Now, I'm all for kayaking no matter the weather. We've been known to take kayaking weekends at the end of October now and again. But these kids weren't dressed for it. Jeans, tshirts, winter coats........I had to leave before they started getting in the boats and rolling over. It's inevitable, at least one of them was going to do it, and the hypothermia that was to follow wasn't something I wanted to see.
When we got back from our walk, I set up my tent...then set up the bocce court. Mom and I played a couple games....calling each other names when the other had a good shot...laughing...enjoying life.
My sister and Emalee arrived on scene later that afternoon.
Emalee was less than thrilled about being on a leash, when all the humans were busy setting up camp. She was also less than pleased about her fleece jacket. We called it her bathrobe (as she has yet to grow into it).
I also helped dad set up the flea market tent (his nickname for that blue walled thing in this picture). Because snow was forecasted for the rest of the weekend, we thought we'd better prepare. We put 3 sides on the tent, so everyone could get in out of the wind. We put a tarp straight out from the open side, to create a roof to put a picnic table under. Dad put their camper awning out....and we started getting firewood ready.
I called dad the Brawny Man all day. I mean, come on...blue jeans, red flannel shirt, brown boots, black hat, work gloves. Do you see it??
A little later yet, the girls and Mike pulled into the campground.
Mike posing for the camera. Good lookin' kid, aint' he??
Mom made her delicious chili, then everyone gathered around the campfire. It was starting to get pretty chilly after the sun went down...but the fire kept everyone nice and warm.
It kept some of us warmer than others. Mike finally pulled up the legs on his jeans. :-)
Doug, Brandon and Lauren came to the campsite later that night, but I must have put my camera away by then.
Mom and I took Mel up to the lake dam to show her the stars. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, the moon was still behind the trees....and it's the best place to watch the stars. Each of us saw a number of shooting stars while we stood up there and talked.
By the time we got back to the campsite, everyone else had headed to bed.
I curled up in my tent with my sleeping bag and wool blanket.....toasty warm, and fell asleep immediately.
If only that sleep had lasted...it was interrupted by a very....well....a very disturbing sound....at about 3:00 am.
(to be cont.)