I went camping with My Girl last weekend.
We went with the youth group from church, and there were about 20 kids and 6 adults. We set up our camp at a beautiful spot near West Jefferson, on some property that is owned by a retired minister. His property is probably about 1-2 acres, set right along the New River. In the far corner of the property is his cabin, which was built in the 1800's.
I absolutely fell in love with the place. It was built from rough-hewn logs, and had these gorgeous stone steps leading to the front porch.
I loved the lichens and moss that were covering the steps. Everything about the place said "comfort" and "welcome". It was surrounded by huge trees and wildflowers. There was bee balm growing wild right behind it -- the same bee balm I paid over $6 a pot for at my local garden shop.
The rest of the property was a large grassy field where the owner allows friends and church groups to come and camp. He's even set it up with water and power hookups.
He's also got a permanent fire pit installed, and we kept a nice fire going most of the weekend.
On Saturday, we spent the day on the river.
We put our inner tubes in right in front of the house, and arranged for two of our adults to meet us a few miles downriver. None of us had ever tubed that particular stretch, but a neighbor told us where to pick up, and he said it should take us around 3 hours. We all slathered on our sunscreen and plopped our fannies in our tubes and set off.
It truly was beautiful. We saw a total of about 6 houses along the way, and all the rest of the scenery was forest or meadow. Every so often you could see old fenceposts that had been forgotten. I thought I could have stayed on that river floating all day.
But then the 3rd hour came and went. We were supposed to be picked up at the "3rd bridge." We had passed two bridges, but had no idea when or where we would see the 3rd. Some of the kids were starting to get antsy, and sunburned. Luckily we had taken snacks (thank heaven for "dry bags"!) but even I was starting to turn into a prune.
The 4th hour came and went. Still no 3rd bridge. There were some spots where the current was almost non-existent, and that's why it was taking us so long. You just never know what the river's going to do!
Luckily for us, the guys who were picking us up came and looked for us. They took the road back from the 3rd bridge and were able to follow the river towards us for about 1/2 a mile, and they waited there for us. We were so happy when we saw Mr. Rick standing on the side of the river waving us down. Even I was ready to get off the river at that point!
Still, the trip was a lot of fun. I shared a tent with My Girl and two of her friends. We had a great time!