Monday, July 24, 2006

Summer Camping

CampingLast weekend we spent camping in North-South Lake Campground somewhere near the Hunter Mountain. We do it about once a year, even though if you listen to us talking about camping, you can get a wrong impression that it’s much more popular activity in our midst. So for me it was a 3rd encounter of the sort in the USA. This time around we had the “inner circle” company, just 6 of us – Daniеl, me, Eldar, Maruks (Ilya and Alina) and Moisha.

When I think of our little trip I suddenly feel like a frog – traveler (idiomatic expression which origins come from a fairy tale written by Garshin V.M.). ) Fog, rain, mosquitoes, heavy rain, lake, a little bit more rain – totally frogish, don’t you think? )

The decision to go was made on a short notice. It’s hard to accommodate a convenient for everybody weekend if two of the people wanting to go have to work some weekends, and one lives in Colorado (although Eldar spends much more time in NY this summer then in CO). Danya reserved a spot on Tuesday. We got lucky – not only it was the only one available at that point, but it was a nice site close to the bathrooms and showers.

North South LakeOn Friday me and Moisha bought food and some other supplies. Alina did some shopping too, but wasn’t able to join us in our noble mission, because she and Maruk went to see “Wicked” on Broadway. Anyway, I should say that I’m very proud of me and Alina, because it was us who planned how much food should be bought (when guys do it we buy too much) and very little was wasted. We should do it next time too – less headache for guys and better money and space managing.

Saturday quite early in the morning we headed out on 2 cars – Moisha’s mini-van and Eldar’s rental Cadillac. Moisha managed to take a wrong turn (haha, good thing nobody lets me pick turns, because with my sense of direction we would end up somewhere in Florida) and lost over and hour going alternative way. Ironically we had to make some changes to the planned rout as well, because one of the roads was closed. We didn’t want to take a suggested detour because according to the map it was too long. Instead we took the local road #16. Couple of locals whom we asked for directions warned us about it being very dangerous and right they were. Narrow mountain road without any protective rail on the cliff side. Brrrr. And it was very foggy too – couldn’t see far past our noses. Exciting in a way, but on our way back we decided to skip the pleasure.

CampAs I mentioned, our camping site was really nice. We though that because of the bad weather a lot of people would cancel. Apparently, people who wish to spend some quality time with nature are not scared so easily. But our spot was pretty much separated and even though we could see some of our neighbours though the trees, nobody really was getting in the way of our experience. Except, probably the park ranger, who asked us to stop playing guitar at 10:30 p.m.,and after we moved our asses to the tent and started playing cards came again and asked us to quiet our voices down. Oh well, that’s the price for the showers!!

RainSince the forecast wasn’t very favourable (and due to the fact that we already had a bad experience with rain on our last camping trip to the same campground), we took some precautions. We put a huge 20 * 40 ft piece of plastic cover over our heads, using a rope to attach it to the trees. Unfortunately, we bought not the strongest rope. So when it started heavily raining, rope broke up in some places. I wish we had a video of our struggle with the nature! ) It was totally crazy and totally fun! We were trying to release some pressure from the cover and ropes by helping to get rid of as much water as possible, as well as not let our site to turn into a little pond by digging drainage channels down the slope.

FireWe were seriously considering leaving, but fortunately it stopped raining. Guys managed to start a fire again and we changed from our wet clothes and snickers to the dry stuff.

Later on Danya, me, Eldar and Moisha went to the North-South lake (what a name!) and checked out the water (everybody except Moisha, who didn’t think to take his swimming cloth with him). Water was very nice and seemed pretty clean. It had kind of a rusty color, I think the red mud is to be blamed for it. We played volleyball after that (there is a couple of volleyball nets near the beach). Volleyball is my favourite sport game evAr!! I used to play in high school and in the university and was pretty good for a girl (well, I’m not talking about professionals here). Now skill is almost lost, but I still really enjoy it.

MarukLater on Maruk cooked some shish kebab. We bought marinated meat for it in “Vostochnii Pir” (little restaurant on Brighton Beach), but I give Maruk a full credit for putting meat cubes on the barbecue sticks and making sure that they are cooked with the right temperature for the proper amount of time. Oh, shish kebab (lamb and chicken) was just delicious! He cooked some more of them the next morning.

CardsOne more activity I enjoyed was playing guitar and singing. Camping is not camping IMHO without 3 things – good company, fire and guitar. ) We played some cards for a little while after were asked to stop making noise, and then went to sleep. Danya says that he Lakecouldn’t sleep well because of all the noise that our plastic protective cover was making. It was moderately raining at night and windy, so in the tent it seemed like some kind of storm was happening outside. So next time to avoid all those inconveniences we’ll just rent a cabin or something like that.

Sunday was much more sad, because we had to pack. I hate packing, but what choice did we have? The road back was beautiful, we even stopped to take pictures on some little lake with water-lilies. All good comes to an end eventually, but I’m glad that our weekend was different and memorable.
In: Photography, Travel
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