Monday afternoon and Carolyn and I are back home, safe and sound from our weekend camping adventure. But apparently it was very near thing……
Most of Vermont got slammed fairly hard by Hurricane Irene Sunday, and we only missed it by hours, having decided to pass on a miserable day of rain and wind to leave for the warmth and comfort of home well before dawn that morning. It’s probably a good thing too. I don’t think being stranded in the mountains was exactly what Carolyn had in mind for her first woodland experience.
I sort of had the feeling we should make ourselves scarce, once the rain started falling late Saturday night, and this lil’ Catgirl is all about following her instincts….. Luckily it was easy to convince Carolyn she’d probably rather spend the next couple of days lazing about the apartment with lil’ ol’ me than risking a longer stay in Vermont. All in all, we did have two nice days in the woods (and two nice nights cuddling in my cozy sleeping bag….) so I’m still considering it a success.
Want to know just what sort of fun we did manage to squeeze into the two days away? Then you’ll have to follow your instincts and “Read On”…….
Our trip started out late Thursday night….. with the packing of the car that would let us get on our way super early Friday morning. Even then… although I was still a bit in denial, I sort of had the feeling that we wouldn’t avoid problems with the weather, and I wanted us to get as much of a chance to have some time to really explore once we got to Silver Lake.
The drive was uneventful, with us able to stop along the route for breakfast and refreshment breaks that still had us at our destination just slightly after noon giving us the whole of the afternoon for a leisurely walk around the lake before picking out our lean-to and settling in for a late afternoon BBQ with some chicken and steak strips I’d marinated and squirreled away in our cooler with all our icy cool wine coolers. Foil wrapped baked potatoes slipped into the fire ring to roast by the coals and we split some yummy pasta salad to round it all out. “Roughing it” never tasted soooo good!
Not surprisingly…. the nearby campsites were nearly empty, with only a few brave souls there for the day despite a sunny warm afternoon and other than the forest service volunteer making rounds, we really didn’t see anybody at all that afternoon. It was like having all of Nature to our own…. Night eventually came, and we sat around the fire planning the next day’s hike, roasting s’mores and sipping wine, all cozy and close till well past 10:30 or so. It was amazingly relaxing, enjoying the cool clear mountain air while sharing the moment together. Eventually we decided to turn in and, as expected…. my sleeping bag was more than well able to accommodate us both comfortably. And yes…. that cozy closeness was so intoxicating that some intimate playtime was most definitely impossible to pass up. It got fairly cool in the mountains that night, dropping into the upper 50’s F, but trust me, neither of us noticed it….. 😉
I have a tendency to wake early most days… and in the woods, that normally happens before the sun comes up. Zipped up in our sleeping bag and cuddled in so super close I couldn’t activate my “Catgirl Hyper Stealth Mode” to get up without waking Carolyn. Problem was… all the wine coolers from the night before had finally worked their magic and I needed to pee soooo… darn… badly!! After 15 minutes or so, I just couldn’t keep from squirming around so much any longer that I finally had to just slip out of the bag, waking her in the process. She was groggy and sleepy, and I’m not certain she knew what was going on until I told her I was off to “the spot I picked out for us… you know…”. It was foggy and cold…. and I didn’t care if Bigfoot himself was going to peep at me…. I just had to go….. right then. Thank goodness the woods were so deserted, I probably made quite the sight scampering off half naked with that roll of toilet paper into the forest! They never tell you about that sort of thing on those adventure/ survival shows on the Discovery Channel…..
Eventually I returned, and as the first person up, it was my task to get the fire going again and make some hot cocoa and start frying the bacon for breakfast. That wonderful smell finally roused Carolyn and we set about planning our day hike up Moosalamoo. I’d been up that trail years before, and I knew that although it was a fairly steep incline at times, it would be fine for a novice like Carolyn…. and there was the view at Rattlesnake Point…. definitely worth the effort. Saturday started of foggy and cool but soon warmed up and was just gorgeous. I had the first opportunity to wear my “Raccoon shorts”… the pair of old jeans I’d been wearing the night of my run-in with that nasty forest critter last month. Although the right leg had been well shredded and stained with blood, they were just too comfy a pair of jeans to throw out, so frugal lil’ me decided to make a cute fringy pair of cut-off shorts out of them, alá “Daisy Duke”. With our day packs and a lil’ snack for the trail we were ready to go… It was soooo much fun. I got to show Carolyn all the little secrets of the woods…. like where the salamanders hid in moist leaves alongside the trail, and how to spot signs of other wildlife. Most people never realize just how surrounded they are by animals when they are in the woods, but they are just plain everywhere if you know how to look for them. We even got to see a bobcat!! At a safe distance, mind you…. perched on a fallen tree well off the trail. He saw us…. and I saw him, out of the corner of my eye, just in time to point him out to Carolyn before he decided to slip away into the trees. Now that’s the way fuzzy woodland critters are supposed to act around people…. and just how I prefer to meet them.
After a few hours, we reached Rattlesnake Point, and the view was as amazing as I’d remembered it. Perched up there we had the whole of Lake Dunmore to see and just the perfect spot for lunch. Good thing too…. because I could tell Carolyn was getting tired. She had been keeping up like a trooper, but the climb was more, I think, than she was used to. It’s a good thing she’s in good physical shape, but hiking uses different muscles than swimming or running so I figured we’d stay for a while and start back to camp instead of finishing the climb all the way to the peak. Moosalamoo isn’t an open peak, if I remember it right… and I didn’t think Carolyn needed to wear herself out just to see a survey marker (if we could actually find it…), so it was back downhill to our comfy lean-to for us.
By the time we got back down I was feeling tired, but poor Carolyn was most definitely worn out. That was OK…. I whipped us up a tasty meal from our cooler, marinated portabello mushroom caps with fire grilled peppers and onions on crusty sandwich rolls… Mmmmm!! We feasted and talked by the fire till bedtime, which came early that evening, being as tired as we were. While I gave my sweetie a soothing back-rub in the sleeping bag, she really made my whole day by telling me just how much fun she was having, here alone with just me…. and that we should definitely squeeze in another trip like this together sometime. Talk about a perfect evening….
It was right around then that I started to get the feeling we should be leaving for home early. It had started to cloud up early in that evening and the wind picked up a bit, nothing serious, but enough for this lil’ Catgirl to know something bigger was definitely on the menu for Sunday. So we both just snuggled up close and let sleep steal us away to get the rest we’d need to make an early start the next morning.
Seems that was a good choice too…. We left around 4 AM, and by then it was already raining. We saw lots of that during the trip back home, but the storm didn’t get the chance to really get going before we slipped out of it’s path. From what I see on the news, had we waited, we’d probably still be in Vermont, trapped by road and bridge wash-outs. Luckily, this wee Catgirl’s “Primal Instincts” rarely lead me astray…. so we made it home late Sunday afternoon without incident.
Not too shabby for a weekend excursion…. and having the rest of the week to enjoy being lazy around the apartment together isn’t a bad thing. We’ll have time to go shopping, maybe see a movie or two, even do dinner one night, just for fun without worrying about having to get up early for work. Sounds heavenly.
So anyway…. that was our “vacation get-away”. Pretty dull stuff, I know…. but it was fun and relaxing, just like I’ve been needing these last few months. So, until next time I decide to bore you all and spill all my personal secrets, “Meow, meow, for now!!”