Monday, January 4, 2010

These are the days.

Hello All

Where to start. I love the outdoors. There is something that is freeing and comforting about doing activities outside, like hiking and camping. You carry everything you need with you, taking your day slow, listening to sounds that you normally are going to fast to appreciate. You have a chance to ponder what is going on in life right now. Really give yourself time to reflect. I love it. What makes that experience different but great is doing some outdoor activity with friends. This past weekend, some friends, Summer Anderson, Latoya Bell, Josh Peel, and Jeff Pope went camping in Ocala National Forest. What a funny and great time.

The Plan: (very rough estimate, we were all pretty flexible)

Meet at the church at 7am on January 1st, 2010

Head to Ocala and start hiking by 10ish

Hike 14 miles to camp site and camp

Leave camp site in the morning sometime and hike back to the car

Head back home by 5pm


All of us were late to varying degrees. Jeff at 7:15, me at 7:20, Summer and Latoya at 8ish, and Josh at 8:30ish.

Josh was snoozing for a half hour before he woke up to my knocking on his door...very funny.

Got on the road to Ocala at 9ish and then stopped for breakfast, so on the interstate at 9:30am.

Got to Ocala at 12 after many detours and adventures down back-country dirt roads we parked at a trail head that was different than the original planned

Stretched, unloaded gear and figured out new hiking goal and campsite.

Into the woods by 1:30pm

Hiked until 4:30pm

Stopped at Farles Lake Camp site which is a campsite 5ish miles from where we parked (Hunting campground)…men with guns

Left camp at 11 or noon the nest day

Got back to the car by 3

Drove and ate at a BBQ place that was great.

Got home at 8pm

You can look and see the vast difference in the two schedules which provided many very funny experiences along the way none of which are regreted. The four people I traveled with were each in their own way a breath of fresh air. Some quite, others introspective, others quick to laugh, and others extremely gentle.

Did I mention that it was raining all morning on Jan 1st…and it was cold. It was funny because spirits dropped as the weather got worse but we endured. After we roused Josh from his sleep and glowered at him for getting 2 hours more sleep than the rest of us…smile…we got on the road and had a funny but uneventful couple hours of driving. The funny things that happened on our way and during the whole weekend could not fairly be put up on the blog but there were more than 10 times where I was laughing for 10 minutes strait… Those of you who know me well know when something hits my funny bone I can laugh for a while and struggle to breathe the whole time. Truly a great time. We live on an amazing planet!!!


The camping trip with my friends is one that I will treasure in my memory for a long time. I am so thankful for the positivity and fun I had with my friends and feel a love that runs deep for them.


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