Tower Camp Weekend - Friday

The Island King's family owns some property in the north end of our county that we use for hunting and camping. It's the perfect piece of property - 8 acres right in the middle of Blackwater State Forest. It's one of several parcels that were sold off to the public in the 1950s and the Island King's grandfather bought this piece with the intention of building a radio tower there. One acre, right on the edge of the property, is a clear field surrounded by woods on 3 sides and the back field of the goat farmer who owns a piece of land adjoining ours.

The other 7 acres are completely wooded and surrounded by Blackwater Forest property.

It's extremely isolated up in there and the trail into our property is an easement given to us by Blackwater.

This past weekend was opening day for hunting season and the Island King and the boys wanted to go hunting so we packed up all of our camping gear and spent the weekend in the woods.

The Island King and the Oldest Island Boy left home Friday afternoon about 1:30 and planned on getting our camp set up while I stayed home and waited for the Youngest to get home from school. As the day wore on, it got cloudier and cloudier and one look at the local radar convinced me it was going to rain. But, it wasn't a big squall line coming at us and looked like it would move right on through and then be pretty again by late evening so that didn't sound too bad.

I didn't feel quite as optomistic at 3:30 when it was pitch dark out and raining so hard I could barely see the front of my car. This is not the kind of weather you want to be driving in on your way to camp in the woods LOL

The Youngest and I made it to the main trail that leads up into the woods and I successfully navigated the mini van, in the dark, in the rain, down a narrow, winding trail that is much better suited for 4 wheel drive. But the trail to our property is a different story. It's not so much a trail as just a path winding through the trees that we drive on and I wasn't sure the van would make it through there.

There's no cell phone service up there so the Island King told me before he left that if he didn't think my van would make it down the trail he'd put the private property chain back across the trail and that I would need to hike in. The chain was still down so I hesitantly drove on. His truck has a lot more clearance than my van does and there were several times that I heard limbs and roots scraping across the underside of the van but I pressed on. It was raining pretty hard and I sure didn't want to hike the half mile to the camp.

I made it to the clearing and was surprised to see that even though it had been raining really hard, they managed to get the tent and the tarp over the cooking area set up and the Island King was showing the Oldest how to build a fire with wet wood.

About 15 minutes after I got there, the rain stopped, the clouds moved on and the moon came out. It was a gorgeous night. Everything was soaking wet but it sure was pretty out there.

We cooked hamburgers and sat around the fire, the boys really excited about hunting the next morning. This was going to be a long, relaxing weekend and wet or not I was really glad we were there.