Monday, May 28, 2012

Happiness is...a road trip!

I had a wild notion to go camping. It's been years since I've gone actual tent camping and I convinced my roommates and a few others to join me.  We decided on Ohiopyle, a state park in Pennsylvania. The planning fell through on several stages, we lost participants along the way and nothing seemed to go as we'd hoped.  All in all a typical camping trip!

In the end it was just the roommates. We drove up in two shifts Friday, one group setting up camp, the rest of us getting there just late enough to crash into our sleeping bags. Saturday we started our excursion at Falling Water, Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpiece. 

We followed that up with some lunch at a local grill and some fabulous hikes around the area. The weather was perfect, the company was fabulous, the food was amazing. It was a lovely day!

 The next day was a bit more adventurous. We lost one who went home early and then the rest of us set off to explore some of the waterfalls and trails. There were near death experiences (yes, that was plural), moments of absolute serenity, a lot of sweat and sun, gorgeous scenery, loads of laughter and the kinds of conversations that only come about after minimal sleep and hours of silence. It was fabulous!
We made it back to camp thoroughly exhausted and ready for our delicious campfire dinner. But the weather had other plans. It all started with thunder that shook us to our bones. I've never heard anything so loud! And then came the lightning, followed by, you guessed it, the rain. We spent an hour or so trying to keep the fire from dying and eventually seeking shelter in the car, abandoning camp for pizza in town. The rain stopped and we assessed the damage, finally deciding that things were far too wet to be comfortable. So, rather than staying til Monday afternoon as planned we did the best we could to dry things off and pack them up. We left about 11 and drove the 3 1/2 hours back home, chasing one storm and being followed by another.

The lightning storms lit up the sky all around us, sometimes coming down in sheets throwing reflections off the clouds other times reaching out great electric fingers along the horizon or down to the ground.  We had an incredible show for nearly two hours of our drive.  It was quite distracting! (But also helped keep me, the unprepared driver, awake.)

It didn't all turn out as we had planned or hoped but it was a terrific trip nonetheless. It's always nice to have a chance to commune with nature and get away from it all. Now, where should we go next?

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic outing. I adore Falling Water and it looks like you picked a perfect day to go.
    One of my favorite adventures is Sky Meadow State Park. Easy enough for a day trip, but out of the city and a chance to commune with nature. (Plus the bakery in Middeleburg is such a fun stop along the way.)

    Happy summer travels!