Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Sleeping on a rock under a hankie, continued

So here we are in the wee hours, Daphne the Science Guinea Pig is chewing on her timothy hay and one of my neighbors is either drunk or really upset with his dog because he’s been outside for the last 20 minutes calling somebody’s name.

May is great sleeping weather, you don’t need the furnace and you don’t need the air conditioner either because you can sleep with the windows open. This time of year is also great for camping, that’s why we went last weekend. We beat the Memorial Day crowds and the muggy humidity that the midwest is sometimes known for.

We camped at Daniel Boone National forest in the Zilpo Campground. I can honestly recommend campsite H17, H18, H19 as the choice spots. On the lake, private and just far enough away from the bathrooms. At night you can hear the muskies jumping in the lake, the raccoons looking for goodies and my student crunching on crackers - all accompanied by darkness.

The one thing I can say about camping is that in the woods with all of the creatures I can possibly imagine, I’m always dog-tired, and I typically manage to find the one unlevel spot for my Kelty mummy bag. Every time I camp I tell myself I should have gone for the LL Bean Burrito Bag because the mummy bag isn’t very good for mommies. For whatever reason this sleeping bag manages to transform me into a real stiff mummy by morning. Maybe I should have paid attention to the name. However this time, I decided it was time for my student to enjoy the privilege of an “adult” sleeping bag and I would take the one that unzips completely leaving me plenty of room to toss, turn and easily grab crackers away from crunchers in the dark.

Just as I got settled in under the unzipped hankie and the crackers stowed, my student asked me to recall the time we slept at Alta in the snow. I was just getting started on envisioning tucking myself in at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, then I traveled in my mind to the The Ritz-Carlton at Amelia Island Florida and then on to Le Meridien Etoile in Paris and the New Otani in Tokyo and I was being asked to revisit this camping trip to 10 below zero weather. Sigh. I decided it would be more fun to remember the Hotel Atitlan, Guatemala and the brown scorpion we accidentally brought back from the lake country in Guatemala. We named the scorpion Ed and donated him to the local zoo but that’s a story for another day.

Also as part of our “little getaway” we took a kayak lesson with the Cave Run Bicycle and Outdoor Center . April was a great instructor and managed to get us seriously thinking about a bigger kayak adventure. As I have written before after we get our new house settled, we intend to go to Niagara Falls, though no kayaking will be involved. I read that you can stay at a lighthouse on Prince Edward Island , Canada so that is on our list to do.

The kayak instruction went beautifully and we now feel we can at least intelligently try out a variety of water craft for our future adventures. My student ended up taking the lesson, mainly because tiddlywinks are difficult to find in Kentucky, but also, kayaking it seems, is a sequential activity. Our instructor went through the concepts step by step, instead of tiddlywinks, my student went "tilt, tilt, tilt" on the dock. It seemed the visual instruction in his head and the steps presented weren't quite lining up and he was eventually forced to join us on the water to actually learn the strokes and moves. I knew I'd love this sport!

With this entry we have joined a group of other intrepid travelers over at . We're dual blogging now!