My birthday’s when we say it is.

23 Jun

In my (herd’s) world, if we weren’t experiencing a global pandemic, this would have been major furry-prep time.  I have to acknowledge it.  Anthrocon, the fur-tastic event that gives me all the wags was missed this July but (furry) puns and thoughts are a year-round constant for this Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever doggleganger.  And, going camping for my birthday was a purrfect op-paw-tunity for distraction.  Thanks to a rain delay, Collin and I actually went camping a few days after my birthday, which worked out even better.  We called it my ‘birthday weekend’ (even though it was the middle of the week).  And our celebrations lasted for almost 10 days (culminating with this trip).  The rain delay meant prolonged birthday festivities and I was able talk about our camping trip with friends before, helping build my excitement and anticipation.

The day of: Europe officially barred U.S. travelers due to covid-19.  My club was closed. We’d been trapped in the Dreamflat for MONTHS.  This had (probably) been the longest I’d gone in the past decade without packing a bag for an overnight trip; I was rusty, out of practice, and itching to travel…four months with zero overnight trips.  As I put my toothbrush in her to-go container, it felt magical to be stretching my atrophied packing muscles.

That morning, (even though it was July and my birthday is in June) Collin, wished me a happy birthday and then ‘we’ made one of my favorite breakfasts. (Does it seem like I often say “my favorite breakfast”?  Is this because 1. I love breakfast or 2. Collin spoils me by almost always making – I mean, ‘we make’ – my favorite foods.)  This time we had a deconstructed egg roll bowl with no left overs. Never mind that I accidentally melted a plastic spoon onto our wok while cooking, I’m the birthday girl.

We continued operation camping-prep and headed INTO THE WOODS! It was rHonda’s first time off-roading (as far as we know).  Col and I both kept looking for a clutch (shout-out to Mouse.)  It was a two night camping trip, which was nice as our first night wasn’t our last and we left the tent set-up.

 

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Moraine State Park, Bear Run Campground.

 

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Primitive camping.

 

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A birthday party for two.

 

“We’re in it now, Trav”, Col told me as we drove up.  It was the most perfect campsite; I hopped out of our car overflowing with joy.  My eyes sparkled as they took in ALL THAT NATURE!  To live in the present, I put my phone on airplane mode, something I hadn’t done in awhile.  I realized I had truly been missing not having cell-phone service.

 

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This is.THE.BEST. (Thank you, Bill, Collin, and campsite P-15!)

 

A HUGE thank you to Collin for being in charge of the fire. The tomahawk – now called hawk – came in handy — and not just for target practice.  Col worked hard to get the fire-resistant wood ignited (daily) and tolerated so much smoke in his eyes (it burns!) for the sake of providing good cuisine and entertainment.  It was because of him that we had mouth-watering subsistence and s’mores at every meal.

That first night, when it got dark, I rediscovered how downright cool I feel in a headlamp.

 

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July 1st 2020, what a way to mark that this year is half over.

 

Above: That’s our breakfast cooking.

 

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“You really nailed my birthday present” – me

 

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Just your average glow-up.

 

“Good morning, I love you! Now, am I sore because I worked out with Molly on Zoom yesterday? Or, because we fully slept on the ground?”  These were the type of rhetorical questions I asked as we woke up to the birds chirping, and took deep breaths of fresh, forest air.

For breakfast, Collin taught me what a Moon Pie is and I’ll never be the same.  We sat by our morning fire watching the eggs, veggies, and our eyes get smoked.  Crackles of burning wood complimented the scene as I took a moment to absorb the serenity.  It was a happy birthday weekend.

When breakfast was over we gleefully headed on a drive to see the entire north shore of Moraine State Park.  The scenery and roads were like a natural amusement park for rHonda.  We stopped to pick wild blackberries and I said “This is so fun, babe!” approximately 33 times that day. Which is how you know the trip was fun. We took a stroll on the beach, checked out multiple marina’s, and spent at least three hours driving around the entirety of Lake Arthur.

 

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This is how Lake Arthur looks from the north.

 

After a long day of exploring, we chose to hit up Shmily’s for some well-deserved ice cream and continue our geographic expedition by checking out the rest of the Bear Run Campground. Only ONE time during our entire stay did a car did pass our camp site and it was very memorable.

For dinner, Master Chef Collin made steaks in a cast iron pan over a fire that (take a guess who started?) he started.  Super sexy.  Those two nights in the woods were enchanting.  The sleeping on the ground situation could be improved upon (next time) but other than that it was darn.near.perfect.

 

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Steak, butter, shiitake mushrooms, toasted ciabatta and onions. Is your mouth watering?

 

In the evening we played Pandemic Legacy TWICE and WON BOTH TIMES!! This really was a charmed trip.  In the morning, before we left, we wanted an adventure on foot and chose to hike the southern part of Lake Arthur.  I, personally, preferred the southern shore; it’s smaller, prettier and has better views.  The trail we chose was called Sunken Garden.  Now and forever whenever we pass the Portersville exit on I-79…I’ll think of this ❤

 

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Lake Arthur from the south.

 

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Leavin’ me beggin’ for s’more.

 

 

As I always say, I’ll never take sleeping in a bed for granted.
I hope to smell like smoke for a week.
Love,
smokey ‘mi

 

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Rugged, happy campers.

One Response to “My birthday’s when we say it is.”

  1. Laurel Dickey August 12, 2020 at 9:29 pm #

    I totally LOVE the photo of you and Collin! XXOO

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