August 15, 2007

How To Tell You Had A Good Time Camping:

when the forest po-po arrives at your campsite and physically writes out a ticket for noise violations.

the end!

hee. a bunch of us went camping out by luray caverns again last weekend, but this time there was a larger group, more alcohol, and the addition of musical instruments. turns out there's such a thing as "quiet hours" at campsites and using djembes after hours is sort of frowned upon.

we were sitting around the campfire with a guitar, a harmonica, and the djembe, taking turns making up a song entitled "things that annoy you" (topics: dc drivers; people who get lost in the woods for 2 hours during group hikes, thus provoking the rest of the group to contact the forest rangers at sundown and start discussions re: the necessity of a search and rescue party; etc) when two people approached our fire. we assumed it was a neighboring campsite coming over to ask us to stfu, but it turns out it was a neighboring campsite asking if they could come hang out because we sounded fun. us: whee! yay! more singing / playing! ...then another group stopped by.

us: oh. are we being too loud?
them: no! we heard you from our campsite [1400 miles away]! can we join you?
us: whee! yay!

after this happened a THIRD time, we just waved them in and continued playing / hootin' / hollerin'. then when the next pair showed up, we sort of yelled over "hey! want to come join us?"

forest ranger: uh, no.
us: oops.

turns out those were volunteer forest rangers though, who explained about quiet hours, and how we had to shut up, STAT, no SERIOUSLY, you people are SO LOUD ps everyone hates you. (us, resentfully in our heads: whatEVER, all THESE people came to PLAY with us because we're AWESOME) anyway, we promised to be quieter. we sort of meant it. except... drunk! hee!

next, the real forest ranger showed up.

ranger: you guys are being WAY too loud. and you've already been warned. i'm going to have to write you a ticket.
me, earnestly [and drunk]: but we put the drum away!!
ranger: um, yeah, it's probably a good idea not to use PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS while everyone else is trying to sleep.
me: oh.

but! it wasn't a very big ticket, and we solved the fact that we couldn't get ten drunk people to be quiet enough for the ranger's liking by leaving the campsite and going to big open overlook off the mountain to watch the meteor shower that was going on. it was great being out so far from the city. i know this isn't impressive for people who don't, say, live in a city, but we could see the milky way and everything. and, of course, a bunch of sweet shooting stars. effing awesome, i tell you.

the hike we took the day before was really cool too - well over 1000 feet down into a ravine - but up at the top, the path went through some wildflowers that were COVERED in butterflies. it was incredible.



  1. It looks beautiful, and sounds fun. Just the way everyone should spend their days.

    Okay, stop me if you've heard this one before: A guitar, a harmonica, and a djembe are sitting around a campfire...

  2. You should have broke out the drum and carried it around the woods drumming and singing to make it harder for the forest po po to find you.

  3. Sounds like you had fun. And those are gorgeous pics too, by the way. I myself haven't ever found the good time in camping. I like my indoor plumbing.