Sunday, November 30, 2014

Turkey Day Camp 3 at Tree Farm

After two consecutive years of camping on Thanksgiving, it has become a sort of tradition. This year, Olivia, my cousins Elizabeth and Michael, and myself all jumped into the Jeeps and drove into the wild dark. It was after sunset when we departed, and the road was very atmospheric. We stopped at the Cheaha scenic overlook, and then drove down the road until we reached the subtle turn to the field which constitutes the Tree Farm camping area.

We set up the big tent and got a fire going.

For dinner we ate hotdogs and I made a large packet meal of hamburger meat, green beans, and cream of mushroom. I got some complements on the taste, though it could just have been the cold.
Dad and Ashley brought Rowan and Lydia to join us for a time, and we conversed for a time. It was a very quiet night, with a clear sky and millions of stars. There were owls and coyotes vocalizing throughout the night, and I heard a deer walk through the camp. My three companions were apparently very cold throughout the night, as it got well below 30 degrees. I stayed warm, as I set my hammock up on the ground and made a tarp shelter against a fallen log, and then used the underquilt with my 20 degree mummy bag and was quite warm. I also remained fully layered upon going to bed.
It was quite cold.

The next morning we loaded up and went to Ihop.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween Family Campout

Halloween, Hallow's eve, Samhain, whatever you want to call it, its one of my favorite yearly events, this day is the day of horror, of the macabre, of the celebration of dark humor. It's also the day of candy, trick or treating, and costumes. My family from Birmingham came over to go trick or treating at Anniston's main street for such things, Glennwood Terrace. The next day, despite cold weather predictions, we went camping out by the pond. I donned my 'coonskin cap and we set up our tent city in the field just south of the pond, which is dry this time of year.

Dad and the kids set up the big tent, and we made a fire in the middle of camp.
We're a pretty close family, and it's nice when we're all together. 
We started the fire earlier than usual due to the cold. The recent rains brought with them a sudden cold front.
As the light lowered, Clarence started grilling.
Leah arrived just before dinner to join us camping. She's pretty awesome. We have been going out for 3 years now.
The kids were full of energy, as kids oft are. They ran and played. The field was perfect for such things.
We ate dinner as night fell. Sophie wished she could have Dad's dinner.

Cassiopeia is visible in this one.
We all sat around the fire and hung out for a while longer, until we all trickled off to bed.

The next morning, we ate bacon at the house.
Leah and Rowan played chess on the Kindle. He has gotten pretty good at chess.
After breakfast, we went up to Cheaha to explore a bit.

Talladega is visible in the distance from the restaurant.
This is looking toward Mcdill point, which we have hiked to several times before.

It was a wonderful weekend, full of family and laughter and nature. It doesn't get much better than that.
Perhaps next time we can go camping on the island of Trucks & Tacos. Won't be so cold there.