Here's my take on the biking/camping trip.

With last year's notes, it was actually pretty fun planning camping meals for 14 people, the vast majority of which are young men.  I only made two mistakes, one was forgetting oil for the eggs (we used some butter from the mountain pie supply) and the other was getting half the amount of peanut butter and jelly (which turned out ok because half the crew left before the second lunch.)  The other mistake was not my fault - the number of slices in the bacon packages were not what was on the label, but that worked out also with just a couple of guys getting one slice instead of two.

Noah helped me finish packing up on Friday morning, and we left the house right on time, 12:30.  We stopped by a couple of stores to get some forgotten items and then were on our way.  We arrived in Ohiopyle in good time and I had no trouble checking in even though the reservation was in Jon's name. 

It was not until I got to the parking lot that I realized there were messages on Jon's phone (which I had so he wouldn't have to carry it biking.)  The reception was rather low and definitely flaky and it took several attempts before I successfully heard the messages.  The important one was Jon calling an hour earlier wondering if Jonathan would make it (call me when you get this); the second message was only the sound of bike tires on road...  It took me a few attempts to call back but eventually had a conversation with Jon and they were almost there!

The sites were walk-in which is nice for being secluded, but hard for carrying all the stuff to the site.  Faith was not happy about being without me and so after a couple of attempts at leaving her somewhere (car/site/with Noah) I ended up carrying one item in one hand and Faith in another.  That was very tiring.  But soon the happy, tired biking party arrived.  They did a great job of unloading the rest of the stuff and helping me set up.  One of them said, "My arms aren't tired, load them up!"

During s'mores that evening, the guys were talking about how great it would be to just do this all the time, and too bad you have to have a job to earn money.  That's when I exclaimed, "This is my job!"

The rain started during the night and was pretty much constant (with a few short respites here and there) until Sunday morning.  By Saturday morning, several places in the tent floor were wet, including our towels (and I almost suggested the night before that we put them back in the car!)

Everyone was a good sport about the rain, and we all had fun with ponchos.  The young men were very diligent about keeping the fire alive in the rain.  After our dinner escapade downtown (the blue part of superman ice cream stains mouths), we arrived back to find two spots in the roof of our tent leaking, one into my sleeping bag and one into Noah's.  The worst corner of the floor got even more wet and Jonathan's pillow (including all the boys's socks) was dripping wet, as were the towels that we had not already rescued from that corner.  Jon did a terrific job of setting up a tarp over our tent.  The boys switched to sandals, and a couple of the young men just went barefoot.  We had some sneaker-cooking at the campfire, too. (:

We had a great conversation over the campfire that evening with the young men who stayed.  Unrelated to that, Faith and I got voted "the man" for being the only ones without ponchos during some light showers.

Jon's tarp did its job so that we had only a damp night (leftover wetness) rather than a soaking night. I really enjoyed the adventure of the whole thing, thinking, really, what a fun job I have even if it is a lot of work and even if it does get soggy sometimes.  The sun started coming out Sunday and that was so nice!  We took a leisurely breakfast and packed up the wet stuff as best we could.

We said goodbye to the bikers and then drove to Connellsville.  There we ate our lunch and played around until the bikers arrived.  Jonathan was raring to go, but was a good sport about not continuing.  When we got home, we set up all the tents and spread out the tarps all over the front yard and driveway.  Jonathan did two of the tents by himself and enjoyed every minute of it.  The sun was hot and did a good job on the tents, so that when it was time to pack up and bring them to their owners at the end of the trail (well, really, the Lewis's house) they were nearly dry.

The cleanup/dryout has been the most work of the whole trip, but the laundry is done and our car is beginning to smell better.

It was a fun trip overall and now it's time to dream about DC, or who knows what other adventure!

Posted by Heather Daley on May 25, 2010, 8:03 pm | Read 3639 times
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The best attitude in the world!

Posted by SursumCorda on May 25, 2010, 9:46 pm

Sounds like a crazy fun trip with some fantastic people! My family biked from Cumberland, MD to DC, and it was a fantastic experience. If you decide to do the DC trip and want some company and/or help, let me know!

Posted by Laedelas on May 25, 2010, 11:14 pm

We are definitely planning on the trip, sometime in August. Just trying to figure out how to go about doing it.

I just got an email this morning from a bike company who thinks they would be able to get us a bike within our budget. (the really cool bikes cost $20K, so a bit high...) :)

Posted by jondaley on May 26, 2010, 6:08 am

Wow! Let's see...the trailer holds two, so by the time Faith needs to move out of there, Jonathan will be able to hold his own independently.

Frankly, I'll bet he's close to that now, if you're going to be pulling the rest!


Posted by SursumCorda on May 27, 2010, 10:35 pm
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