Two weekends ago we went camping. It was perfect. September is one of my favorite months because it ushers in the Fall season, which is the best season of the year. Fall is the best season of the year because it represents the world putting itself to bed, making preparations for the coming winter. Winter is the season of turning inward. Much of Nature lies dormant and Man's role is one of internal thought and exploration. This exploration in turn leads to explosive growth in the Spring, the season of rebirth. Okay, so maybe Winter is the best season in spiritual terms, but Fall is the season where the weather starts to turn cold. There's a definite earthy scent in the air and the colors are my favorite. And that's why Fall is the best season.
So, as I was saying, we went camping recently. Unbelievably, this was the first time my wife and I have ever been camping together, which also means it was our first camping trip as a family of four. Hard to believe because my wife and I were both avid outdoorsy types before we met. Well, I was at least. Every day of every season was a good day for wandering in the woods. We went hiking every chance we got. But we just never got around to camping out together.
So, as I was saying, we went camping recently. It was a blast! We went with another couple, long time immigrant friends of ours (they're from New York), who also have two young children. We went to a local state campground, with a swimming lake and everything. I led a near-vertical hike up a mountain trail, and my wife headed up a trip to the lake-side beach. Meanwhile, my buddy and I spent a couple of hours at the campsite doing "guy stuff." Which of course means we spent the time drinking beer and talking about work and family life. Yes, guys do that second part. A little.
Our new tent and sleeping bags were awesome. The branches that I pruned from our four maple trees the month before served as the bulk of our firewood. My homegrown, organic firewood was companioned by the "city wood" brought by the other couple...remnants of 2x4 lumber salvaged from some backyard construction in their neighborhood. Their dried pine 2x4's burned more easily and brighter than my semi-green maple logs, but together, as a whole, we had the perfect campfire.
Overall, it was the perfect 2-family camping trip. The burgers and dogs were tasty, the day was warm, and the night was chilly. Even the storm of yellowjackets that was angered by the children's loud and rambunctious play was perfect because it turned out that none of the resident victims were allergic. As if yellowjacket stings aren't bad enough on their own. Tenacious little buggers, those 'jackets.
What a great weekend.
Playing on XM: something with strings and flutes, reminiscent of Jethro Tull. Ah, it's "A Raft of Penguins" by Ian Anderson.