A few weekends ago, I embarked on an adventure with my sweet girl. We went on a camping trip with her Girl Scout troop. I will be honest with you: I was not looking forward to going. I had been camping a few times in my life, but never as an adult with creaky knees and hips. I borrowed a tent, and some sleeping bags, and off we went to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The drive up was beautiful; there is nothing like the gently rolling mountains of Virginia. We arrived at our campsite, and unloaded all of our gear. It was like we were moving in for the next month, not just two days. I took my beach buggy to help haul all of our stuff into the woods and to our assigned site. After checking out the bathroom situation (all you mamas know the importance of that), I realized quickly that I did not want to have to get up in the night and trek up to the toilets. After getting our site set up and our tent very cozy, I took my sweet flower to grab some supper (Friday nights you are on your own for supper). We enjoyed some very good BBQ on the restaurant’s porch looking out over the mountains. It was beautiful.
As we made our way back to camp, it began to get dark. Flashlights in hand, we made our way down to our site and realized we had a bit of time before the Girl Scouts were ready for their campfire. My girl and I got all snug in our tent and played cards by the light of our lantern. We then made our way through the woods to the leader’s campsite and settled in to enjoy the campfire, s’mores, and scary stories. It was a very nice night.
We left the campfire and trekked up to the bathrooms to brush our teeth and potty before bed. It was well after 10 p.m. at this point, and my girl was getting sleepy. We went back to the tent and got comfortable. We did shadow puppets on the walls, and I told her a story until she fell asleep. All should have been well. But, I could not sleep for the life of me. Every twig snap brought me awake full force with adrenaline pumping through my veins. I knew by midnight that it was going to be a LONG night for Mama.
Of course I’d drunk sweet tea with my supper that night, so off I had to go to the bathroom multiple times in the night. I was not a “happy camper.” Around 3:30 a.m., I was starting to doze off when I heard eerie howling in the distance. My hair stood up, goosebumps appeared, and my eyes were wide open. I was frozen with fear in my sleeping bag. I had not even thought about wolves or coyotes! I could just picture one slinking around my tent ready to attack at any moment. I know this is highly unlikely, but it was the middle of the night, and I was scared to death!
I made myself get out of my tent and look around with my flashlight. After another trip to the bathroom, I got back in the tent, settled in, and finally slept for a solid two hours before the sun rose. I was so proud of myself for making it through the night! That morning, a few other mothers came over and asked if I had heard the howling. Apparently I wasn’t the only one frozen with fear in a tent that night! We laughed about it as we had a wonderful breakfast of drip coffee, bacon, eggs, and many other options, all prepared by the girls. Eating outside around the fire on a crisp morning in the woods is one of my favorite things now.
After breakfast, we all went to Carter Mountain to pick apples, and the day was pretty perfect.
Despite my misgivings about camping and my fear from the howling animals, I have been bitten by the camping bug. I have already been looking at a family size tent for the Lashleys, and I can’t wait for our next adventure!