Monday, May 09, 2005

Weekend Fun

It was fun for my two nephews that’s for sure. The fun for me on the other hand, was constantly preparing meals, setting up camp, breaking down camp, washing faces and hands, preparing meals, sorting through the dirty clothes and clean clothes just so they would have something to wear home, etcetera etcetera!

Drake and Lance, 5 and 7 years old respectively, are now considered hard core campers. They managed to lose quite a few marshmallows to the fire, a few hot dogs, and have not yet worked up the courage to ‘poop’ in the woods. Drake however, has announced that he absolutely loves to pee outside. This is the first time he has done that, and asked my permission the first few times. After he realized he could pee anytime he wanted, and anywhere as long as it was away from camp, he would laugh hysterically as he did his business.

I tell you it was the funniest, cutest damn thing I have seen in some time.

They had a few ticks on them, managed to scratch their arms and legs up pretty well, and maybe later today or tomorrow I’ll hear about poison ivy rashes.

The one thing that makes them hard core campers was the rain. It rained on us for about an hour before dark. It got cool and foggy and everything was wet. This did not seem to bother them at all. They gleefully played in the rain and dried off by the fire.

They both handled a
snake I found, which was a first for the both of them. We found a bat hanging upside down snoozing, some turtles, some frogs, some very large spiders, and they marveled at the geese that honked and flew over in the morning.

They did a lot of exploring and hanging out by the pond, but this never lasted more than 30 minutes and they were back at camp announcing that they were bored. That lasted about 15 minutes before they were off again. All I had to do was ask them to help me pick up the trash around the campsite or help with something or anything and suddenly they found something else to do.

The one thing I noticed was the difference in stimulus between them and myself when I was their age. I grew up next to a swamp, literally, and that provided me with a wonderful, pristine environment in which to play. Today’s kids seem to be stimulated by electronics more than anything. When I was a kid, I would leave for that swamp at first light and would not come home until dark. These two could not find enough to entertain them for more than a half hour. They decided to leave their bikes at home, and maybe next time they will bring them.

It was a great experience for all involved. It was nice to get away and it was real cool watching these two boys adjust to their surroundings. Even though they were bored bored bored, they want to camp for six days next time, and Drake wants to come and live with me now.

The next camping trip will be in the mountains near
Sherando Lake, a place where I trained for mountain bike racing a few years back. It’s very rocky with plenty of trails that are super rugged (click on any of those pictures to get the idea). Have found the Timber Rattler here, as well as black bear, white tails, and my personal favorite, the ruffed grouse. I came across a covey of these birds one spring and instead of flying up like quail do, they run away. It was something to see; these eight or so birds the size of chickens with their head down and scurrying like mad through the underbrush. If you have ever walked up on a covey of quail, then you know how that can scare the shit out of you when the fly off. It's the same effect with the grouse, only they run! You'll find yourself laughing after the fact.

Anyway, I’m hopin’ to at least see a rattler and show these boys how the snake behaves when it senses danger or is aggravated. Lance knows the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes from text books, but he has never seen the differences up close. The pictures don’t always tell the story. For instance, the
brown water snake looks just like a water moccasin (cottonmouth) to most people, but they are worlds apart in behavior and venom.

In other news:
While perusing my favorite blogs and some others today, I’ve noticed that the blogosphere, like a lot of –spheres, is yet another big picture of high school, x number of years later. Same cliques different names. This clique poking fun at that clique, that clique jealous of this clique, that clique over there spreading rumors and lies about that other clique over there, and some cliques in their own world oblivious to the rest of the world.

As much fun as I could’ve had with tags with that last paragraph, I’ll leave that up to you!

1 Opinions:

Blogger Dr. C speaks!

Good read, RJ. I used to camp a lot as a Scout in the Smokies, etc. Good times back then.
I was interested in your comment about what keeps kids entertained these days. There is a very timely review of a book in the current New Yorker. The gist of the book is that the average IQ has increased dramatically in the last 100 years. The author attributes this to the nonlinear content of, among other things, video games. Almost tongue in cheek, but still with some possibility, he also claims that if video games had been invented before books that we would have contempt for books. That video games have multiple story lines and that books are too "linear."
Now I have some very strong ideas about this but would be interested in your thoughts.
Dr. C.

11:20 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home