Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Soggy Campers

For the second time this summer, the weather conspired against our camping weekend. The plan was for several of the Baltimore crew to gather in Catoctin for an overnighter. As the weekend approached, the forecast of rain kept increasing and number of campers kept decreasing.

The gaps in the storm were just enough to inspire some hope and the plans were changed from a 2 hour drive to our campsite to only 15 minutes away from a warm room if we needed it.

Jill got stuck at work longer than expected so the plans continued to change. I ended up driving back and forth to Lake Fairfax as I checked the availability, secured our spot, set up the tent, then one last time as I met Jill at Home Depot and we drove to our campsite.

The rain cooperated wonderfully. It stopped to barely a mist while I was setting up the tent and rolling out the sleeping pads and bags. Then the rain stopped completely while we ate our hot dog dinner and enjoyed the fire. Unfortunately I was not able to find a place that sold firewood so we ended having a chemical smelling fire from our compressed fire logs. The package says that they burn cleaner than firewood. I guess I should not be fooled by the strong smell of petroleum based chemicals and thick black smoke.

As we cleaned up our stuff and made our way to the tent, the rain picked up again and didn't stop all night. Several times during the night the wind and rain was very strong which made sleeping a challenge. The tent performed wonderfully and kept us warm and mostly dry. In the morning we found a couple of small puddles which is not bad considering how much it actually rained.

We laid in the tent listening to the rain come and go in waves, wondering when we should make our move. Just as we thought we finally had a break and start to get out of our warm beds the rain would come again. Luckily we picked the right time and were able to gather up all our wet gear into the car during a gap that was just barely long enough.

The gear was hung from my bike stand to dry while we got ready to meet up with Jill's mom at the Temple. We attended the Baltimore Stake's temple meeting on the 7th floor then went through a session. For some reason it took a very long time before the session started.

Dinner with Jill's mom afterwards was an adventure. We had planned to go to PF Change in Rockville, but the hour and a half wait was a bit too much. Luckily we had two other very good options with Bertucci's and The Cheesecake Factory right next door. The winner was Bertucci's since it had no wait at all, at least to be seated at a table. The rest of the evening did not go so smoothly. Apparently they were understaffed for the evening but still decided to seat all of the tables. Our poor waitress was not keeping up with the demand very well at all.

Our entrees arrived before our soup and salads, our glasses were never refilled, we had to ask for silverware, and the pork dish was RARE! The little things just added up to an unpleasant experience. Fortunately the manager did removed the pork dish, salads and soup for our bill then returned the dish to us to take home.

The weekend came to end with Tara coming over to watch a movie with us while she played with her new MAC and got frustrated with her hard drive.

All in all, we had another great weekend.

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