Sunday, September 30, 2007

At Beavers Bend

We're back from Beavers Bend, wishing we had a few more days to spare. Shana and I had a little trouble getting out of town and to the campsite: little things like not being able to find a highway entrance, things like that. Luckily we were not the ones charged with getting there early and getting us a good campsite for three tents and a teeny tiny camper. We arrived to find our group in a nice campsite at the rear of the area, full of tall trees and backed by a river.

Diane and Sharon had brought the Tab out for its maiden voyage. We had all been looking forward to seeing it in person. Sharon couldn't keep it at her house, so it has been pining away in a storage facility where none of us could see it. Everyone had looked at it on the Internet, but it's even cuter in person. It's little; when the bed is unfolded it fills most of the trailer. It's tidy and compact like a boat, with lots of little cubbies and storage niches all over. It's the most adorable little trailer ever, and we're all jealous.

Of course we had also been looking forward to seeing another camping luxury: THE OVEN! It was brand new in the box, and vintage Coleman. It's a little different in appearance from those available now, but the principle is the same. It goes on your camp stove, in this case the enviable and highly desirable Coleman Roadtrip Party Grill (item 9940). You fire it up and pop your biscuits in. Susi earned her "Queen of Campsite Cooking" badge by making us tasty golden biscuits for breakfast before we ran out to our various pursuits this morning.

Beavers Bend is a beautiful park, with a lot to do. There are stables and a narrow gauge railway, a little beach, canoe and kayak rentals, fly fishing, hiking, bike trails - if it happens outdoors this place has it in a stunning setting. On Saturday part of our group went fishing. Shana and I rented kayaks, and the rest of the party went out mountain biking. Saturday's fishing wasn't successful in terms of catches, but the spot was lovely and everyone had a chance to relax.

Our kayak trip was really nice. We paddled along on a peaceful river with beauty on all sides. I saw a pair of courting copperheads - a startling sight, and one difficult to photograph since they were entwined on a pile of sticks of nearly the same color as their bodies. After our river adventure Shana and I went for a short hike. We were looking for an easy ramble, but being unfamiliar with the trails we ended up with a challenging steep and rocky trail. The views of the river were spectacular, but more strenuous than we had planned for. After about a mile of that we turned around and came back. The mountain bikers took that trail by mistake as well, and found it to be an exhausting experience.

This is the last place Dianne saw her cell phone. She was in a bit of a hurry, and her cell phone jumped to its death. She was extremely reluctant to rescue it from its horrible fate. Although the incident was sad, I must admit we all got a great deal of entertainment out of calling her phone in the hopes of startling subsequent visitors. Dianne was a very good sport about it, but then she's had plenty of practice. This is the third phone of hers to have suffered a hideous death this year.

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