Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

I had a really short work week. Thursday was my birthday, and Wednesday night, we headed out to go camping. I spent most of my evenings earlier this week figuring out where all our camping gear was.

First off, let me explain something. When we go camping, it's usually an ordeal. This isn't a backpacking trip. It's kind of like a party but with tents. I have a feeling we would fit right in at Burning Man or Toorcamp. In fact, a few years back, some hacker friends of mine did camp with us. Maybe we should try that again sometime soon.

Our site was very close to a nest of Grackles. Grackles are interesting creatures. They remind me of little Crows. They'll eat darn near anything (such as the pancake I burned Friday morning). They have an interesting shrill call that reminds me a little bit of a modem handshake from back in the day.

There were at least 3 different Grackles feeding the babies in the nest. The nest was built into a thorny Locust tree, and the Grackles' ability to make very precise flight patterns made for some fascinating entertainment. On several occasions, I saw them apparently hover in mid-air. This one was gliding over to the nest from an adjacent tree.

Yeah, I was really "roughing it", with coffee and Internet access...

And yes, we had to recharge our gear on Thursday.

My dad took Friday off, so my parents joined us at the camp site on Thursday.

I wish I could have gotten a better photo of this. An old rickety pickup was hauling this huge pontoon boat to the ramp. There were about 6 guys with fishing poles riding in the pontoon boat and drinking beer while the thing was still on the trailer.

Long exposure of our tent. It's a modified dome tent that's bigger than it needs to be for just my wife and I, but it's a cinch to set up, packs small and we've actually had 5 people crash in this thing all at the same time with a surprising amount of room left over.

Long exposure of thesky Thursday night. This shot makes it look brighter than it was. I didn't feel like setting up for HDR, though.

Near our camp site, we saw a Robin's nest (with a few babies) built atop a lamp.

Stag Beetle.

We saw this toad near the parking lot every night we were there. He reminds me of Hypno Toad from Futurama. ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNO TOAD!

Our camp neighbors had the oddest arrangement I've ever seen. They set up a huge mobile car-port, one you could easily park a short school bus under. They then proceeded to pitch two tents beneath it. After nightfall, they had some obsession with dumping flammable liquids on their fire by the gallon. This made for tall licks of flame followed by a "Whooosh" noise and a mix of laughter and "oooh!" sounds from nearby campers.

Meanwhile, we were making smores over a reasonable-sized camp fire that I must say I'm quite proud of. It's probably the best campfire I've ever made. It lasted many hours and provided an even, hot coal bed while keeping a pleasing flame all the while.

Dad and I kicking it by the fire before calling it a night. My mom and my wife were around the fire, too, but out of frame.

We only stayed out 3 days and 2 nights. I'm spending the rest of the weekend working on the honey-do list and geeking out.

I just realized a week before my birthday that my drivers' license was going to expire. I'm officially not legal to drive until I find the time to get around to renewing it. That's okay by me, though. I don't have a care in the world!

CommuterDude posted a photo of some tasty stuff in the trunk of his car (on Facebook, not his site, at least not yet). This was in response to his photo. I'm really liking Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat. I first tried it at Flying Saucer downtown a few months ago. I finally got around to buying a sixer of 312 today. It's a great beer for a hot summer afternoon! Roasterie Nitro is my go-to coffee. I used the last of my Nitro making coffee at the campsite Friday morning, so I had to buy more.

No comments:

Privacy Policy

This site is driven by software that uses third-party cookies from Google (Blogger, AdSense, Feedburner and their associates.) Cookies are small pieces of non-executable data stored by your web browser, often for the purpose of storing preferences or data from previous visits to a site. No individual user is directly tracked by this or any other means, but I do use the aggregate data for statistics purposes.

By leaving a link or e-mail address in my comments (including your blogger profile or website URL), you acknowledge that the published comment and associated links will be available to the public and that they will likely be clicked on.