Being at work this week so far is difficult. We went camping with V & CB this weekend and after having such a great time it's even more difficult than usual. I find myself staring out the window, wishing I was lounging in the sun in a camp chair holding an ice cold beer. Or splashing around in a spring-fed creek. Or playing a game of ladder golf. Or discussing the creepy guy in a nearby site laying around by himself in his tent wearing jeans and a button-down shirt and waiting for him to kidnap (adultnap?) us while we sleep.
We went to the Paddy Creek campground in the Mark Twain National Forest - twenty or so miles from Licking, MO. It's very remote, without even running water or cell phone signals, which was great - we had a huge campsite to ourselves so we could be as loud as we wanted (overruling Q's paranoia). The weather was picture-perfect. Not a cloud in the sky for three days straight - the most amazing blue sky framed by huge trees. The night sky looked like a planetarium there were so many stars. Days spent relaxing, chilling with friends, drinking good beer, eating great food, nothing to worry about - I could get used to that.
The funniest part of the weekend (there were many - there always are when the four of us get together) was attempting to hike what we thought was the Paddy Creek Trail, a mile or so hike to a good swimming spot in the creek (as opposed to the concrete bridge - well not really a bridge but a spot where the creek flowed over the road). We got a little ways in and the trail ended at the creek, but definitely not what I would describe as a good swimming spot. So instead of taking the trail back we decided to wade the river back to the bridge. We had Chay with us. Chay's not afraid of getting wet (she'd already plopped herself down in the creek by this time to cool off), but wasn't especially happy about trudging through the water and kept trying to take off for dry land. But she kept going like a trooper. There were a few deeper sections that went to my waist that Chay wasn't able to navigate, so Q picked her up which was a feat unto itself - she does not like being picked up and hadn't ever let us do it. She put up with this twice, then put her foot down - no more. So Q had no choice but to lead her in and see if she would swim.
We've never seen her swim before, and weren't sure she could even do it. Greyhounds are so big and lanky. Some can swim, but some can't. Chay's been in the water, even up to her neck, but that's it. Her instincts took over and she swam like a pro. She made it to a part where she could stand, and stand she did, with her head held high. She totally knew she'd done something new, and was so very proud. Chay swimming is darned adorable with her pointy nose poking high out of the water. Such a cutie. We finally made it back to the bridge where we lounged around for a few hours like complete hoosiers. Letting our true colors shine through. Chay was toast the rest of the day after her little ordeal. I'm curious to see whether she'll try it again this summer at the lake.
Another interesting moment was waking up the first morning and not finding Chay's metal food bowl that I'd put a secure lid on the night before. After asking everyone if they'd put it away, we determined it'd been stolen by an animal. Yum. And animals getting into the trash cans across the way. Can't blame 'em for wanting a tasty treat, I suppose. As long as I'm not the tasty treat I'm good with it. Have at it.
I've got to find some way to live in an amazing, secluded place without a job - at least not a corporate job. Anyone? Ideas? I'm feeling an odd need to reconnect with nature and give up most of my worldly belongings including but not limited to pantyhose and heels. Early mid life crisis perhaps?