Yes, yes, the weekend was awesome. Wanna hear all about it?
You know you do.
First off, an explanation on names. Every staff member at Dad/Kid weekend or Day Camp has a camp name. My camp name is Starfish. Jason is Merlin, and our dad is Professor. My Dad's friend, Skip (short for Jose), is Skipper, and his daughter Kerrie (senior in HS) is Bob. Her older sister Erin is my age, and she's Tic Tac. The Mercers, who have been running Dad/Kid since I was born, are Martha (Miss Marty) and Larry (Larry). Their 27 year old son Scott is Engineer, and their 25 year old son is Bookworm. Bookworm moved to Cali a few years ago, though. So anyway, that's the cast.
Woke up on Friday to a beautiful snowy morning (Seattle is gorgeous in the snow...and none of the buds froze, yay!). Shorecrest was 1 1/2 hours late, so Merlin got a reprieve. Dad went to work. I went to camp. I threw my stuff in the car and booked it down to the Fauntleroy ferry dock, singing awful oldies songs at the very top of my lungs. Have you ever heard "Timothy", by the Buoys? It sucks. But it's a great driving song. Traffic was light (and the minor hydroplaning on the wet roads sped me up a little). The Kitsap was in the dock when I arrived, and I got on just in time (it was running at only half capacity). I was on the ferry and moving in about 45 minutes, when it usually takes 2 hours, what with the traffic and the waits and the lines and all. Sweet.
Stopped at Thriftway in the town of Vashon (population: small) to get some food for breakfast and lunch the next day. Carrot, Fuji apple, starfruit, some chocolate chip muffins (SO good), a box of soy milk (tastes good outdoors), and four Cadbury Creme Eggs (it's that time of year again!). Proceeded through the busiest intersection in town (a four-way stop) and headed to camp.
Nobody was there when I arrived except the skeleton staff that stays there year round. I unpacked and spent the next few hours hiking up and all around camp. Took the Blueberry Hill Trail up to the top of camp, walked by the archery unit, through the Wrangler cabins, and towards the stables. I was actually messing around in the presumably empty paddock when I discovered that it was, in fact, inhabitated. By the caretaker's horse, Comet. Big beautiful chestnut gelding. I decided it would probably be best to leave, and did so, just as the caretaker pulled up in the van. Dammit.
It started to snow right about then, but it was a light snow and didn't stick at all (Vashon hadn't gotten any of the snow the night before). It was beautiful to see it come down through the trees, though. There's something about the uppper Sealth woods that is unlike any other forest. Beautiful tall Douglas Firs, with most of the lower branches gone (makes the forest light), small hemlocks, ferns, salal, and ancient Madrones. It's like a cathedral.
Wandered out of the Wrangler area (Comet followed me along the fence and then posed for me on the top of the highest hill, trying to look cool) and headed for Dupar Meadow. Wandered around all the little windy maze-trails that ring the area and run between the perimeter campsites (Cassiopeia, Rainbow's End, Norman's Hangout, Function Junction, Labyrinth). I also followed some light between the trees and found an entirely new meadow that I didn't even know exisited. It wasn't flat and bare like Dupar, but had lush grass and flowers, small hills, and was entirely ringed by thick forest. It was beautiful. The South Rim Trail (which I have never done) bumped into the SW corner. I checked a map later...apparently, it's Hartman Meadow. I'd never even heard of it.
Left those meadows and ambled along the clay road for a while, picking up red rubber bands that seem to be strewn around the entire camp. I went and checked out the old Wrangler unit, which I hadn't seen in about 10 years. The old stable had been dismantled and the clearing had grown up into a weedy meadow with prickers. A lot of the trees had been cut down. Half of the fence from the old riding ring was still there, though. It was cool to see that. Some cedars had been planted too, so I think they're trying to help the forest recover the area.
After trying to play in the challenge course for a while (the swinging rope was locked up. Bastards!), I headed back down into new Wrangler and skidded my way down the Sylvan Trail into Village. Village was mostly the same, except they finally took out the old eroding bulkhead and replaced it with a slumped wall of non-native rock. I learned later that doing this took 6 inches off the beach, which was unacceptable to the Washington Dept of Natural Resources. The road is eroding so badly that they couldn't take the 6 inches from there, so they multiplied the 6 inches by a quarter mile length of beach and took out a big square of land next to Shutanka, which looks really weird. That square also happened to be the site of the wishing well, which is now gone, along with all the trees between beach and road.
Miss Marty and Larry showed up right about then, so I helped them move in and shift tables around in Rounds Hall (dining hall, site of most indoor activity). Engineer followed about an hour later (hey, he finally moved out!) After that, I set up a chair on what was left of the upper wraparound deck of our cabin (they cut off a lot of it) and was all set to read my book, but then Dad showed up with Merlin, Skipper, and Bob, so I piled in too and we went to dinner. Sound Food, where we traditionally eat (home of the bike in the tree) had changed hands again, and now closes at 3. We settled for some little cafe in town, two doors down from a used bookstore, which I promptly investigated (Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and Olive Ann Burns' Cold Sassy Tree. I had a massive plate of Fettucini. Dad and Skipper made fun of the waitress, Merlin made futile attempts to pierce the skin of his chili dog, and Bob complained about school.
We all headed back to camp. I was supposed to be figuring out how to make Jacob's Ladders with Engineer and Merlin, but they decided to play chess instead. The usual Uno game was set aside for rematch Chess games. I finished, kicked Merlin and Engineer out of my room, and went to sleep.