City girl camps

Here’s the thing. I never camped growing up. EVER. I am from the city and it’s just not something we did. I was probably 22ish the first time I ever went camping. I went with my ex and her friend late on a Friday night to the woods, about 45 minutes from my house in Jersey. It was dark by the time we all got there, and pouring rain. They set up the tent in the downpour while I was inside blowing up air mattresses and making beds. We had Frosted Flakes for dinner and then went to sleep. It’s a memory I look back on fondly, but I’m not really interested in repeating. After that, our tent camping became a little more high tech until eventually we got a camper. SUPER HIGH TECH! We were able to take the dogs with us, have air conditioning, and keep the bugs out. It was my kind of camping. And then, we split and the camper was no more.

Back to tent camping.

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I actually love tent camping. You know what I DON’T love? Setting it up.

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It gets me cranky just thinking about it. The tent is awesome, and both Brooke and I know how to put it up, but it just takes a while. It’s a big tent! There are lots of poles to put together and rods to snap into place and a million straps to tie. Uhh, and that’s just the first thing! This year, we bought a canopy to put over the picnic table. Yea, it’s a lot of work, but it almost always rains during camping season (and especially when we camp). This allows us to cook and get out of the tent no matter what the weather.

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After we set up the canopy, we start getting the kitchen together. Also new to our camping gear lineup this year is a camp stove. Brooked cooked exclusively over a fire before this. And although we still do that, sometimes it’s nice to be able to cook on the fly, especially if there’s some other things you have planned for the day. And see that fancy kitchen table thing it’s sitting on? We found someone who was selling it last year for super cheap, so we bought it from them. A camping chef’s dream. At least, I imagine.

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For instance, I’d rather be doing this than setting up the campsite:

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You know what would be nice? If we could hire someone to show up before us and have everything set up by the time we got there. And then they could come take down camp when we’re done and drop it off at home. And while they’re at it, they might as well put it all away. What? Oprah did it.

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The setup is usually always worth it though. We went to Ricketts Glen State Park over Memorial Day weekend, and it was sweet.

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Sticker that was holding on by a thread on Brooke’s kayak. We lost her after this trip

Ricketts is also home to incredible hiking and waterfalls. We only did about a mile hike, but still saw some beautiful nature.

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Camping is awesome. Camping at this state park is even more awesome. You know what would be even more awesome? Getting a pop-up :)

Look at this. This is some fun shit.

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Skyline Drive Road Trip

A few weekends ago we took a very impromptu day trip in the middle of the afternoon, and headed down 81 South to Shenandoah National Park. Over an hour later, we started our trip on Skyline Drive at the beginning, in Front Royal.

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Even when I lived back home in Jersey, I wanted to take a long weekend to camp down here, as I had heard how beautiful it was. The drive was pretty peaceful most of the way, as there wasn’t a ton of traffic. I imagine in the fall it would be beautiful & crowded.

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There was a storm in the distance that we could see when at the overlooks on our left (I’m not sure what direction that would be. East maybe?)

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The lookouts on our right were still pretty sunny, although we could see the fog rolling in.

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I can’t believe we’ve lived this close to the park for a year and a half and haven’t been here. We bought a season pass, good till next May, so hopefully we’ll get some good use out of it.

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Then, the fog came. And it made looking out at overlooks sort of difficult.

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I REALLY wanted to see a bear. Like, especially since we were in a car and not hiking. No bears, but I did see two forms of wildlife:

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Getting away from the house, doing something different, and exploring nature is good for the soul.

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We’ll be camping in two days at Rickett’s Glen State Park in upstate PA, where we’ll be able to hike and kayak and see lots of nature. I’m looking forward to it.

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Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

Biking is great exercise and great cross-training for derby. Plus, it’s fun. Ever since we moved to this area we’ve been told to check out the C&O Canal, but we’ve been putting it off. Some friends invited us to bike with them a few weeks ago, so we finally did.

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It was early Spring, so the weather was beautiful. We set off from Brunswick, MD, for a 5 and a half mile ride to Harper’s Ferry, WV.

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The canal is really historical, built between 1828 and 1850. It runs 184.5 miles between Washington, DC and Cumberland, MD, and lots of people bike the whole way through in one shot. I’m not sure that kind of a ride is in my future, but maybe sections at a time : )

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The towpath was along the Potomac River, which was pretty.

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It made me want to go fishing.

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Harper’s Ferry is a cool little town. It’s about 25 minutes from where we live, yet we’ve never been.

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(Doesn’t this look real?)

We ate lunch outdoors with appropriate beverages.

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And walked around some more.

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(Do you see the advertisement on the side of the mountain?)

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(I make my loved ones pose)

It is a really historical town, very much a part of the Civil War. It reminded me of Old City in Philly a bit, minus the steep hills and mountains.

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We ended with some ice cream, and then strolled back across the bridge, back to our bikes.

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An 11 mile total bike ride, plus exploring a new place, plus a great lunch, plus friends = WIN.

Springy

The kittens love the sun, and so far, Spring has not disappointed.

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(Maybe if I cleaned more instead of took pictures that door wouldn’t look so grimey).

All of our plants are popping up, and some are starting to bloom.

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I take zero credit for how our yard looks. It’s all Brooke’s doing. Sure, I may have some great ideas, and yea, maybe even help out from time to time. But I have no green thumb and no knowledge of most things plant-related, and that’s ok with me.

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We have a jade plant in the living room that the cats are obsessed with, and constantly try to destroy. I was getting ready for work the other morning and heard a loud thump, to come down and see that the whole plant and the very large ceramic planter it was in was knocked over and on the floor. They are evil. You see? Evil.

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All of this warm sunny weather and new plant growth and birds chirping really make me crave change. And I’m talking something a little more than a deep spring cleaning of the house. But what?

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I’ve already started roller derby, something I never thought I would ever be able to do – and yes, I still have a long way to go with that – lots of improvements to make and work to be had. But still. I feel a little antsy.

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Something will come to me. I hope.

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My team plans this weekend, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed that I won’t be bouting with them. Healing and coming back from injury is HARD. Also, it would help tremendously in this endeavor if you were a patient person. And me? Wellll, I have stronger qualities, for sure.

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Look at those ladies! So kick-ass <3