Many couldn't come and it ended up being my baby brother and sister, Paul & myself, and 2 of my cousins. We still had fun and made the best of it.... but we had many hiccups along the way.
Getting out of Boston by 3 still didn't help us avoid that Friday traffic. We didn't get to my Mom's until 6:30. My cousins arrived closer to 7, leaving late themselves. We now weren't expecting to arrive till 9:15. Driving to the site, my cousin missed the exit, putting us back another 30 mintues. We arrived at 9:45.
Pitching the tent in the dark wasn't easy. It never is... but when you don't know if you are setting up on poision ivy or a big rock, it makes it all the more difficult. Even with a tarp for extra protection, my cousin's tent got a hole in it from an annoying little branch sticking up out of the ground. How frustrating. We stayed up till 1AM chatting by the fire eating pretzles and snacks.
Little K & I woke up pretty early and took a mini exploration hike down to the brook. We sat and chatted and climbed rocks. My brother was super pumped to be on a site all alone in the woods with no other campers for at least a mile. I have to admit, I get pretty excited when Little K & A get just as excited as I am about this kind of thing. We ate breakfast burritos after everyone else woke up and quickly got stared making sandwiches to bring on our rafting trip.
Shortly after the conversation turned into this:
Paolo: Hey, Lilia, what kind of animals do you have out here?
Lilia: Black bears, white tail deer, raccoons, possums, skunks.... a lot!
Paolo: Bears ... nooo? I want to see a bear!
2 minutes later....
Jomel: Is that a bear?
Yeah - it was a bear. A big black bear. Paul said to go to the car... I screamed to get to the car. We ran to the cars. Paul had to run back into the tent to get the keys... I was super scared that the bear may charge while he was helpless and back turned inside the tent. Thankfully the bear just seemed curious and just as shocked to see us as we were to see him. Paolo got a quick picture in as the bear was walking away. What scared me the most was the yelling, honking, car alarm, and all other noise didn't seem to scare or startle this big guy one bit. At the same time... I left those sandwich fixings on the table... hey, my life comes before my lunch... and he didnt go for it at all.
In the end we were fine, the bear went on his way, and we enjoyed a gruling 5 hour rafting trip and low river depths. Oh did we get stuck a lot. But we swam a lot too. We spotted an eagle, a craine, many eel and fish. We threw each other off the raft, we goofed off and we exhausted ourselves. I'd share pictures with you... but I managed to drop my camera in the water in the 1st 5 minutes of the trip. It's sucky, but it is what it is. And if it's between being bear meat or losing my camera- I'd pick the camera every time.
K & I went to bed at 8:30 that night after a chicken and veggie dinner while the others stayed up on bear patrol playing Uno ... until 10:30. We all got a good nights sleep... sorta. I for 1 was waking at every little crack outside. Not that I could do too much to protect my family from bear attack, but I damn well was gonna try!
Sunday morning we had some cereal and K & A took their 1st "river bath". K thought this was great! Boy is he our little outdoor lover! We had lunch... one last game of super competative Uno and hit the road.
Unfrotunately before we could get all the way home, Jomel's car decided to start making some weird noises. He ended up staying at my Mom's for the night. Better safe than sorry. We continued on to Boston. Unpacking the car and the coolers - but boy do we have a cleanup ahead of us.