Monday, March 24, 2014

Let The Camping Begin!

In the midst of this never-ending winter, we snuck in a camping weekend at Medoc Mountain State Park. I felt like we pulled a fast one on Mother Nature. She must have been busy elsewhere, causing floods or droughts or some other nastiness. For a change we had sunshine and blue skies.

 I've written before about the beauty of this park in North Carolina, and how we only visit in early spring and late fall because of a certain insect overpopulating the woods. Honestly I thought this time we'd be safe from the ticks, due to the many below-freezing nights we've had. But we still saw a few of the loathsome things. Fortunately I had applied Toby's topical prevention in advance. We didn't let the bugs deter us.

We arrived Friday afternoon and quickly set up our forest green tent. I spread the vinyl tablecloth over the scarred picnic table, unfolded the camp chairs by the fire pit, and filled Toby's water dish. Ted unloaded the cooler and bought wood from the camp host while Toby and I gathered a nice stack of kindling. With hours of daylight left, there was plenty of time for a hike. It felt great to get out on the trail after sitting in the car. 

It was chilly once the sun went down. Toby slept all night, nose curled under his tail. At seven he was ready to start the day, which he announced by pushing his nose under the sleeping bag and snuffling excitedly all around my head. I buried myself deeper, hoping Ted would get up and take him out (and make the all-important coffee). Which he did. Morning people. What would we do without them?

After a pot of coffee and cereal (us) and kibble (Toby), we packed lunch. I filled a water bladder for us and two smaller ones for Toby to carry in his backpack along with his foldable bowl. Ted had planned a 9 mile hike, taking us on all of the park's trails but two. As the sun rose it got steadily warmer...and then actually hot by lunchtime. 

For much of the day we hike along the Little Fishing River. I was hoping to see river otters but we had to settle for a water snake (not a poisonous one). The little rapids in the river were roaring, glittering in the sun. Very few people were out on the trails. Toby rarely had to be leashed.

Watching a dog enjoying himself, tail up, eyes bright, big grin with tongue hanging out, is a great way to spend a day. He took a nice deep sleep when the hike was done, under the picnic table in the shade, as he loves to do. Ted and I drank our beer and watched the sun go down over the trees. On Sunday we got another hike in before barely beating the rain home. 

My consolation, now that it's cold with more snow on the way, is that weekends like this will start happening more and more as we roll into summer.

 Let the camping season of 2014 begin!


  1. Woof-hoo for the start of your camping season!!! Ours is almost over until Autumn (because it is just too hot)! We do love camping and hiking...being in nature is sooooooo relaxing. I hope you get more great weekends for your camping trips soon. I cannot wait to hear all about them!
    Happy Monday!

    P.S. Please come back and enter my giveaway. The giveaway you won was our Scoop That Poop giveaway...much different than just my straight alone one! You know you need that seat cover!!!!

  2. beautiful! so glad the weather cooperate for you guys! :) It's freezing here again, too. bleh. SOOO over winter!

  3. Looks like so much fun and do warm. I used yo live camping as a kid. My husband is dead set against it
    Retro rover

  4. How pretty and sounds like a fun time! I'd love to try camping with Rita, but I think she'd be a terrible camper. She's always on such high alert, and I'm afraid she'd be barking at every little noise and annoying other campers. Hoping some day she'll mellow out a bit more and we can give it a try!

  5. You guys are brave to go early in the season, my Mum would probably have been moaning about the cold! :) It looked lovely, I hope you get to do lots more adventures! :)

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  6. What a great trip for you all and we bet Toby had a wonderful time. Glad you managed to enjoy yourselves despite the bugs. Roll on Spring proper so you can get out and about for more adventures. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. PS left you a message yesterday on the previous post.
    Best wishes Molly

  8. What a beautiful weekend you had too. I must admit to not knowing about Medoc Mountain Park State Park...but I will research it.
    Toby does look very very happy...
    Here's to more memorable camping trips.
    hugs madi and Mom

  9. We love camping too, but we starts at the Easter. Can't wait.


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