I decided I could go over and spend the night in a nearby hotel in as much as it's a little under 2 hours from home. So off I went Saturday morning. Got to Fort Payne, made my reservations but didn't go into the room. Desoto was right down the road. It had been a pretty ride over. I couldn't wait to see them.
When I found their campsites, all was quiet. I thought it odd because I know at least one is up and at it before dawn every day so that surprised me. As quietly as I could I backed into one of the sites put my iPhone on and sat back and waited for everyone to get out of bed! Well, all of a sudden, they were ALL there--pups and all! They had taken a walk. I was so surprised for a minute that I thought they had all awakened at the same time and come out of their trailers at the same time--pretty amazing was my first thought. After happy greetings we went over to Bama Deb's site (my friend from Gulf Shores) and gathered around the fire.
This group of women is very special to me. We all actually belong to a larger group and we have camped together as often as possible. (I've been the absent one in the last year or so because of my trip west, Jack, and my back). I have made wonderful, lifelong friends-two of my best friends live pretty close by and aside from many camping adventures, together, we get together for lunch when we can. Without getting overly dramatic I'll say that they actually saved my life, I believe. They gave me a reason to keep going when each day was so bleak that I didn't want to go on, and they showed me that I could laugh, again. If I make the trip out west, I won't be with them for another year, but I'm hoping to be well enough to camp at least a couple of times in December--IF PT or surgery doesn't interfere. Then after the trip west, I hope to join them for many more campouts in the east and midwest.
We had a day of great conversation and laughter (always laughter in this group) around a great (roaring) fire and good food. They had brunch planned and dinner! One gal in the group is an amazing cook (chef really), and some of the most delicious meals I've ever eaten have been while camping with her. She is Saffire's owner (her blog is on my sidebar, as well).
Jack enjoyed his day; being the usual clown that he is. The gals remarked about how healthy and happy he looks. He got to see his friends, and I realized just how much I had missed them all. Some of the pups are pictured in my blog when I was in New Mexico and we all met in Santa Fe, and one, Molly, when I camped in south Georgia last November.
I had about ten miles or so to drive back to the motel. One is right next to the other. I dragged everything up to the second floor and spent 20 minutes trying to make the key work in the door. No go. I lugged everything back down to the truck, drove to the office, and the lady made me another key. By this time I thought my back was going to break in two. She said she'd meet me at the door. Well, I didn't have the wrong key--I had the wrong motel! The motels share a parking lot between them, look the same, and the gentleman who had checked me in told me it was all the way to the end. Both motels have Room numbers 237 one near the end and the other at the end. Well, glad that "adventure" was over. Lugged the stuff up the right motel stairs, came out and got Jack out of his seat belt, walked him, and we went up to the room. I think it took me five minutes to nod off. I awoke a little after 6 a.m. so we were on the road within in a short while after another walk. Stopped for breakfast and we were on our way. Ran into Teresa (and Molly) as she was figuring out her route. She had an eight hour drive back to Florida. Deb left for Gulf Shores. Diane and Luanne were on their way north to Virginia and Illinois. Patricia was going south to spend some time with friends or family (forget which) before heading back to St. Louis. So, you see we come from all over--from the east coast to the west, and from far north to far south.
Unfortunately, I left my camera behind. I had it with my other things so I wouldn't forget it--but walked off without it. I hope they'll send me pictures. Patricia did put one on Facebook and I'm shamelessly stealing it. Desoto is a lovely park.
|L-R Me, Luanne, Diane, Bama Deb, Teresa (Varietal Times) (and Patricia taking the picture)|
I'm sure they'll be posting pictures on their blogs. Jack usually writes about our travel, but he's lazy and sound asleep after his big day, yesterday.