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Posts Tagged ‘camping’

Go West, Old Man! Go East, Young Man and Old Man!


I am breaking my "blogging fast" to tell you about the trip I made the week after school was out. One of the sons of long-time friends of ours has been living in Oregon for three years, first doing an internship in a church, then completing a masters degree. After visiting family here in Greenville over the Christmas break, he and his wife realized how much they missed both sides of the family and decided that they wanted to move back here when David's school year was over.

When David's dad Rick and I were talking after church the first Sunday in April, I asked about their upcoming move. He told me that Hattie and their soon-to-be-two-year-old son Apollo were going to fly back later in April. David was going to drive their car, towing a big U-Haul trailer back to South Carolina the second week of May. Rick wasn't excited about his making the trip alone. Knowing that I wouldn't want to make that trip alone myself, I told him I would be happy to drive back with David, if I could get my body to Oregon. Rick said he would fly me to Oregon if I would drive back with David. Becka thought it was a great idea and said she was glad it was I who was making the drive and not she. Rick checked with David, just to be sure he was willing to spend 5 days on the road with me, and he was!

The least expensive ticket I could find had me arriving several days before David would be able to leave, so I contacted one of my roommates from my college days, Tim, to see if he would be up to a visit from me. He said he definitely was, and he would love to see me and to show me a little bit of Portland, Oregon. So within several days, my one-way ticket was purchased, and I would be on my way out west in about a month. Tim and I would have just an evening and the following full day together before I needed to leave the following morning to join David in Bend, Oregon.

My flight took us over part of the Grand Canyon. I wish it hadn't been so cloudy. If you look carefully, you can make out the canyon beyond the wing of the plane.

Grand Canyon from Airplane

You know you have a layover at the airport in Las Vegas when....
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Camping and Firewood


It's been a while since I last posted. This past month has been a very busy one. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I will let you read about it in Becka's most recent blog post.

This past weekend I went camping with my son Mark, 4 year old grandson Ryan, Mark's friend Wes, and his 4 year old son Charlton in the mountains in NC. We had a great time, all in all. The hardest part was sleeping — my air mattress had a small leak and none of us had sleeping bags that were rated for the 32° temps (27° real feel) during the night. And then trying to get our fingers moving to prepare breakfast in the cold morning temps was another story! To say that that part of our camping trip was miserable would be a major understatement! During the day, though, the weather was beyond perfect, and we had a great time! How can you freeze and get a sunburn the same weekend?! 🙂

Here are the frozen boys trying to warm up in Wes' car in the morning.

Frozen Boys

We went fishing at a trout farm near Brevard. Here are the dads and sons fishing.
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Camping Tips – Take 2


picture of a tent

Monday morning Becka and I left to go camping at the Davidson River Campground, near Brevard, NC. Although we have done lots of camping throughout our adult life, this was the first time it was just the two of us — we've always had children with us when we've camped in the past. Family and friends in Greenville who knew we were camping were concerned about us while we were gone because it absolutely poured here. We had only a little rain (normally all it takes to bring drought relief to an area is for us to go camping there). But when we got home yesterday our rain gauge had a little over 3 inches of water in it, but we saw nowhere near that amount up in the mountains.

All in all it was very pleasant, but it really is more entertaining with younger people along. We knew how to do everything to put together meals over our campfire and Coleman stove, and we enjoyed some simple yet delicious stuff. The hotdogs cooked over oak embers were nothing short of amazing, and we have to report, in all humility, that we experienced S'mores perfection during our camping trip. But I think future trips will need to include grandchildren. If Megan and the kids get to visit us this summer, I'm already planning to sleep one night in the tent with Drew, just in the backyard without all the work required for a full-blown camping trip. He's already excited about it.

Below are some camping tips. For the most part, this is a republishing of a blog post from October 13, 2008. Readers posted some good tips and comments there, and I hope there will be others who do so to this post.

I'll start off with a camping story that is not ours.
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Scented Candles for Men


picture of scented candles

Are there certain aromas that you love? I could name some that I don't love, but I'll spare you. Some of my favorites, though, are outdoorsy smells, many of which are part of camping. If someone could capture those fragrances in scented candles, I might appreciate them more. Some candles aren't too bad at all, but I find some scented candles annoyingly overpowering — too sweet, too strong, or too something else.

This past weekend my son and I went camping in the mountains of North Carolina, about an hour and a half from Greenville. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time together and doing things we both like to do. I'll tell more about it after the humor, for those who are interested in our exploits. One of the enjoyable aspects of camping is the great smells. Those aromas started me thinking about some of the smells that we men like most. Instead of all the flowery or fruity fragrances of scented candles, we men would be more likely prefer some of the following.

Scented Candles For Men

Leather Jacket

The Woods

BBQ

New Car

Gunpowder

Freshly Caught Bass
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Seeing The Forest for More than the Trees


picture of autumn beauty

There are not many things I enjoy more than being in the woods of Western North Carolina in the fall. Becka and I go up there several times each fall, just for the day. If you're a long time iv reader, you know that I try to go camping up in that area one weekend each fall with my son Mark and with my friend Phil and his sons. This year our various schedules just don't mesh. Read about last year's adventure in my post called Camping Tips. This year instead of going camping, Mark and I will be going to a men's retreat at the Wilds this weekend. I'll tell more about it at the end of this post.

As I look forward to this weekend, I decided to post some humor from our nation's Forest Service personnel and rangers. What follows is comments and questions from visitors.

Forest Service Complaints
This list circulated for a while among Forest Service employees. These are supposedly actual comments on Forest Service registration sheets and comment cards by backpackers completing wilderness camping trips:

"A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call."

"Escalators would help on steep, uphill sections."

"Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness."

"Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands."
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