I have so much to say, I don’t even know where to begin. In my last post, I told you that my husband and I were going camping at a state park nearby. Despite the weather forecast for storms, we did indeed go camping.
We stayed in a screened-in shelter that was right on the edge of the lake, which was nice. My tent camping days are behind me. I guess I got spoiled from all the years of camping in the back of a horse trailer at horse shows. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I was pretty creative in setting things up with many comforts from home.
Anyway, the screened-in shelter was big enough for me to set up two cots side by side and then put a queen size air mattress on top. I bought a new air mattress after looking at the ones now in the stores. Let me tell you, air mattresses have come a long way in recent years; I even bought one with an electric pump built into it.
After we set up the campsite, we decided just to fish from the dock because it was really too windy to be in a boat. We knew that there was a storm coming, and hoped that the fish would be biting. They were biting but, unfortunately, all we caught were little ones.
We decided to have an early supper, go to bed, and try to get some sleep before the storm rolled in. My husband treated us with steaks on the grill, and sliced potatoes and onions on the cook stove. It was the perfect end to a tiring day.
On my last trip outside, I saw a medium size raccoon walking through our camp. It ran off when it heard my voice announcing his presence to my husband. The raccoon looked as shocked as I was to be that close to one another.
I had a hard time settling down once I made it into bed. I thought it was just the fact that the wind was still blowing around 30 miles per hour and I was concerned that it was going to blow rain into our shelter and onto our stuff. And I was also concerned that the forecasted low temperature overnight was lower than when I had packed; I really hate being cold.
I’m sure my discomfort was attributed to all those things as well as the mattress being too hard. I didn’t think it was possible to get too much air into an air mattress, but like I said, they have come a long way in the last few years.
At around 2:00am, the storm blew in. There was lots of lightning and thunder along with some heavy downpours of rain. I drifted in and out of sleep. I awoke once to my husband moving in bed as he was shining a light on the wall. When I asked him what was going on, he said that he was watching a rat run along the upper part of the wall. We watched it run down the door frame and out the crack at the bottom of the door.
The morning dawned crisp and clear as if the world had been washed clean of the working peoples’ worries and problems. After breakfast, we packed our lunches and launched the boat on the lake. We fished every pier as well as our regular fishing spots. The fish were biting and we were catching. Most of the fish we caught were not big enough to keep, but we were happy to be out on the lake on such a beautiful day.
We enjoyed another lovely evening at the shelter with my husband grilling chicken leg quarters and sautéing organic squash and zucchini. We sat out by the water until the sun went down. Before we turned in, we were both outside when a raccoon came walking along the edge of the camp. He was checking out where my husband fileted the fish, and the minnow bucket floating in the water; we chased him off.
Soon after we got into bed we heard what sounded like two raccoons squabbling behind our shelter. It was brief but it was obvious that they were going to check over the entire campsite.
In the morning, we took our time packing up. We fished a little from the shore. There were large boulders which provided a really unique place to fish from. The largest fish was caught that morning right out in front of our campsite.
I had taken a walk and as I was coming back to the shelter, my husband was very animated and talking fast telling me about his encounter. He told me that he had walked down to the water’s edge to rinse off his fingers when he was surprised by a small snake that swam by very close to him.
Having been a little unnerved by the close proximity of the snake, he started walking back towards the shelter when he heard a kind of hissing noise. Fearing it was another snake, he quickly cleared the area (dare I say he may have performed a little dance).
Curious about the hissing and clicking sound, he turned back to see if he could identify the source. What he found was a small brown bat that was lying on its back, wings out stretched, and very much angry. One of the bat’s wings was trapped under the stalk of a bent over plant. Apparently, my husband had stepped right over the bat which is what caused it to hiss at him.
Of course, I wanted to see this nocturnal wonder of nature so he showed me where it was. Knowing nothing about bats, I assumed that if I freed it from its trap that it would just fly away. Using a stick, I managed to get it turned over so that it could get its feet on the ground. After a few minutes, it simply folded its wings up and laid there like it was asleep.
I called the state park office asking if they had animal control. They called a group in the next town who rescues bats. Four very eager women arrived in what seemed like a matter of minutes to pick up the bat. They said that she appeared unharmed and that they would try to release her that evening.
I can say that it was the most eventful camping trip I have ever been on, and all of it was fun. I had such a peace about me when we returned home. I look forward to our next camping trip.
Numbers 6:24-26 ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace’.