For the first time since Saturday, I'm sitting inside a house. I also took a shower and rubbed aloe into my sunburned shoulders and anti-itch cream into my bug bites. That's right, folks, Lance and I went camping.
It seems we never get a chance to just camp, so I took a few days vacation, and off we went to part of the Ozark Highlands Trail (OHT). We left Saturday morning, arrived at the trail head, and strapped on our packs to hike 5 (or so) miles to where we'd be hanging out for a few days. I was very sore from playing two hours of Ultimate Frisbee (as well as recovering from a sinus cold), so by the time we reached the Hurricane Creek Wilderness Area I was tired and congested. We first had to find a campsite, however, and when you're camping off a trail, there's no tidy place to set up a tent, let me tell you. We finally settled a nice outcropping of rock next to Hurricane Creek, so we built a fire, ate some dinner, and settled on the rocks to sleep.
About 5:45 am on Sunday, we awoke to discover a front moving in--RAIN! We got up, ate some breakfast, packed up our gear, and stood in a wooded area to wait for the rain to pass. It did. So then we took a nap on our rocks. We noticed that the rain looked like it might return, so we decided to find our campsite for the next couple of days. After wandering around on the river's edge and in the brush above it, we found a clearish spot with good river access, and set up camp. It then began to rain again while we were setting up the tent, so once it was up, we crawled inside and took another nap--it took a while for the rain to pass. Once it did, we worked on gathering firewood, setting up our camping area, fishing, and fixing dinner.
Monday dawned and we set out to explore the along the water, setting our sights on some interesting rocks. We did lots of things I'd never done before, including hiking around off a trail, clambering over rocks, and swimming in really, really cold water. We played in the water for as long as we could stand, then headed back to camp. Lance took off to get a piece of oak to make bows, and I played around more in the water, eventually falling in but having a blast. The day was gorgeous--and to top it off, I got to do a little star gazing. Amazing.
Today, we pretty much got up and hiked the 5 miles out to our car. I felt much more energetic (my legs weren't sore and my cold is almost gone). It was a nice hike out and a nice drive home--and I'm glad to be back home. Camping was wonderful, though, so I look forward to doing it again, perhaps in the fall since it's about to be too muggy and buggy to enjoy being outside for three and half days!