Apr. 12th, 2017

Camping

Apr. 12th, 2017 06:56 pm
dmilewski: (Default)
We took our first camping trip of the season over the last few days. We hied ourselves down to Matoaka Beach Cabins, a former Girl Scout camp with no frills, located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, just north of Calvert Cliffs. This meant good fossil hunting.

We camped with Tony and Maggie (Tony being a childhood friend of my wife, and Maggie being a current childhood friend of my daughter. This has worked out well.)

Tony set a goal of finding 150 shark's teeth, but only found 100 or so. Looking in the water, I found none, but using a sifter, managed to find a few.

Some things proved a little harder than we expected. Their upper water spigot wasn't working, so we had to hit their cabins to get water. Also, their latrine was somewhat hidden away, meaning that we had to go hunting for it, with most of us passing by it.

The weather proved nice, if a tad hot on the first few days. The evening all proved mild. We were a little chilled at night, but not by much.

The fun part about camping with others were the food chores. We split them, which means somebody else got to make breakfast on the first day. Yay. We also got to see all of Tony's portable stoves in action. I've been looking at one for us as we always seem to need an additional burner.

The fire pit proved a circle of cinderblocks. I approve. I rearranged the blocks to cook dinner on the first night, shish-kebabs. As we had no grill, I had to span the cinder blocks with the skewers. Together with charcoal, this worked out unreasonably well. The arrangement worked slightly less well on the second breakfast when I cooked bacon. I just didn't get the heat that I expected out of the charcoal, so I think that some of it was just a little too old. Adding a few sticks, I got the fire hot enough to fry some mighty nice bacon and also fried some polenta using the bacon grease. 

In wildlife, we spotted a bald eagle on the first day circling near the camp. We also saw a groundhog living behind the vines near the beach. Maggie dubbed it Gimli.

We brought all sorts of games, but we wound up playing charades. I haven't played that game in forever, and my daughter had never played it. We had a riot of a good time. That was self-entertainment at its best. We also had long bamboo poles at the sight, which were promptly converted into two-handed swords. When I fought against them, the girls didn't fight fair. The same with Tony. 

My car decided that using all its cylinders wasn't that good of an idea, with me getting worried about the car on the way there, and nursing it on the way back. In the middle of a day on a Wednesday, we crawled back through three traffic jams, only to meet up with the most fire engines that I've seen in one place blocking the very intersection that I needed to use.

All told, we spent Monday afternoon through Wednesday lunch down there.

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