Camping, Cousins, & Batland

Happy blog day, readers!

It’s been a week of adventure, that’s for sure. Steve and I made a pact to go camping at least once a month after we had so much fun camping with friends in Arizona last month. So, Steve found a cool place (via Reddit of course) and kept part of it a surprise until we got there! I knew we’d be camping in the Northern Neck area of VA, but I didn’t know where. Truthfully, I could’ve found out where we were going if I wanted to, because Steve is terrible at keeping secrets, but I love how excited he gets when I don’t figure it out, so I didn’t try to figure it out. He made sure I had whatever I needed for the “surprise place” which was just normal camping stuff so it didn’t give anything away. We grabbed all the essentials, Buoy and her things, and headed to Saluda to grab the tent and hammocks from Steve’s storage bin at his grandparents’ house. Then we were off to Northern Neck!

It was a beautiful day so the drive was very pretty and the roads we took were all backroads with fields of yellow and green.  We were almost there and Steve looked at me and said, “do you want me to tell you or do you want to figure it out when we get there”.  So, naturally I said “I don’t know”, knowing he was very excited to tell me, and he blurted out “it’s called Fossil Beach!”  And it was exactly that!  Fossil Beach is located in Westmoreland State Park, and it is known for people finding shark teeth on its beach!  Unfortunately, we didn’t find any, but it was a beautiful hike and we had the best time skipping clay rocks on the water (no matter how bad I was).  

We hiked back and drove to our campsite, set up camp, and Buoy would NOT leave the car. We had all of the doors open and the trunk to unpack our things and set up camp. I’m pretty sure she thought we might forget her or leave her somewhere, so she stayed in the car just in case we decided to drive away. Well, then she wouldn’t leave the tent! The car doors were closed and she just stayed in the tent corner, almost shivering she was so worried. Poor girl. Steve set up the hammock on some nearby trees, she followed us there, and we pulled her up to snuggle with us so that maybe she’d calm down a bit. She finally did, though it was getting dark so it was almost time to head into the tent. We did take a long walk/hike to where we’d planned to do a sunrise hike the next morning. We wanted to see what the view was like and Buoy LOVED that walk. There was no one around, so she was able to be off leash (shh, don’t tell the park rangers!). She even spotted some deer when we made it to the scenic outlook! It was beautiful, and a wonderful end to a great day.

Something we thought was very cool while camping was the campers that were sort of next door to us.  There were lots of tents, music, food that smelled delicious, and you could just hear everyone having a good time out there.  We loved that that was something people did – have a group camping party with all of their friends!  We also decided that one of these days we would have to make that happen for ourselves.

We took a long hike the next morning, not at sunrise though because, well, we slept through it. Buoy ran her little heart out chasing squirrels and really anything that moved, and Steve and I loved it too. The leaves were changing, the dogwood trees had bloomed in time for Easter that weekend, and everything was becoming green again. It was beautiful.

We decided to pack up and head back to Saluda once we finished that hike, but we knew coffee and breakfast were our first priority.  Steve found a cute little place called “The Art of Coffee”  in Montross, VA and it was so cute!  If you’re ever in the area, I would absolutely recommend that place.

We visited with family in Kilmarnock and helped them work on their newly purchased land for a bit, and then headed to Saluda to spend time with more family!  On Sunday, Steve’s family was around for Easter and we had lots of food and lots of laughs.  The oldest great-grandson of Steve’s grandparents is a little under 2 years old, and he had his first Easter egg hunt, which was hilarious and adorable all at the same time.  He and I talked a lot about tractors, because that’s his favorite thing and his favorite word too.  Overall, we had the best weekend.

That’s what it’s all about, right?  Spending time with the people you love and doing things you love.  If we all did a little more of that, the world would be a better place.

As for the boat, I worked on it for a bit yesterday and it is coming along!  After the work Josh did, the V berth was dusty and needed a good vacuum/wipe down, so I did that and put the cushions back on and it finally looks like a real bed again!  I vacuumed the rest of the boat, under the floorboards, in the bilge area, and the engine compartment.  The sink is now clean, as well as the counter tops that hadn’t been wiped down in a while.  The head is mold free, smells better, and looks so much better.  I also wiped all of the wood down with Teak Oil for the first time since last summer and holy cow it looks so much better.  I went today to grab some things and it looks like a completely different boat.  The thing is, ever since we’ve had a hole in it it hasn’t felt like our home used to, especially after being up all winter.  So today, when I walked down the companionway, it finally looked put together, clean, like it was being taken care of and didn’t have a gaping hole in it.  It felt SO GOOD.  As much as I dread doing some of the cleaning, because there is a lot to do, it is amazing how good it feels once it’s done and it looks like your place again.  Progress people, progress!

On a different note, it may be a bit of a hard weekend. April 23 is my oldest brother’s uprising (the day he died), and it’s always a day that comes around much too fast. My mom and dad always seem strong, but I also know it’s always a hard season for them. It’s a time to be happy for the time that was shared, as we continue to grieve the time we’ve missed. I don’t know that it ever gets easier, no loss ever does, but you figure out how to manage it better. The sadness becomes joy for the memories you had or the moments they gave you. So, this Saturday, hug your people a little tighter, kiss them a little longer, and tell them you love them a few too many times.

I hope this week is beautiful and wonderful and something good for your soul.

Talk soon.


Published by skyepage

"She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the earth." -Joanne Harris

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