Saturday, November 13, 2010

Inked Fly & Island Camping

 The other day was my daughters birthday and when my wife and I asked her what she wanted to do for her special day she responded with a request to go camping.  Imagine my pride as my now five year old little girl asked to go camping.  It was enough to bring a tear to the eye. So on the day before her birthday we picked her up from preschool - van already loaded - and headed down to our favorite camping site, on our favorite island, on the beach.
 Hunting Island SP is a little know site in SC that my wife and I discovered many years ago and have since made a yearly trip down to enjoy its solitude and natural beauty.
 Literally the only thing on the island is a campsite, a lighthouse, very few campers, and all the palms pines and sand you can ever want.  Walking the desolate beach on an early morning is truly a wonderful experience. 
 Even with a cool 74 deg high and cold Atlantic waters lapping the shores, the kids still had to get their toes wet while looking for shells and sand dollars.  The only down side of the trip was the limit - 2 days - and a freak raccoon invasion of our food.
 When we arrived the ranger told us to make sure we close our windows at night because the raccoon's will get into everything to find food.  Honestly my initial thought was DUH.  who in their right mind would leave the windows of their car open at night in a campsite.....  Well I guess the answer is me.  I distinctly remember closing them and whether there was a malfunction, some sort of sabotage, or my own mistake both windows were left open so when I woke I was greeted with a trunk full of muddy paw prints, empty food wrappers, and a the general evidence of a party I wasn't invited to. 
I had brought a surf rod with the hopes of doing a little fishing but instead I spent most of the morning cleaning up and doing inventory of all the food we had left.  Luckily the little critters were unable to gain access to the igloo cooler which held the breakfast so at least some of the morning was salvaged.  This picture was taken during the cleaning proccess.
On the plus side, all the little bandits did was eat out food, leave some muddy tracks all over the car, and waist my morning.  No permanent damage was done and no... no raccoon felt natures call while raiding the car.  So in the span of less than a week I have been reminded of two key lessons regarding critters:
1. Check your chimney before lighting a fire.
2. Close your windows while car camping, then go back and check them again, and then one more time before hitting the hay.

Over all it was a good trip and the raccoon party failed to dampen my kids excitement or fun at yet another camping adventure.  I am just glad the beach of SC has no bears - That would be a mess I am not sure I could clean up.

5 comments:

troutrageous1 said...

Glad it was only a little mishap. They make for great stories. Happy birthday to your daughter, great job Dad.

John said...

Stopped in after seeing your comment on my blog. WOW beautiful work you do! Nice to meet you,and those prints of the Browns..Primo!

Bigerrfish said...

It might be time for a squril tail fly with coon dubbin..
Sounds like a fun little camp trip...
Question though Joel, How do you get your van to an island?

AYearOnTheFly said...

Troutrageous - The kids loved it. I am blessed to have such great kids.

John - Glad you liked the art. thanks for the comments

Bigerrfish - the island is connected by a bridge and is realy only seperated by salt marsh and the intercoastal waterway. still fairly isolated though.

Leigh said...

Joel,

This brought back some fun memories. When I was a kid we went camping in the Smoky Mtns. A bear broke into our cooler and ate 2 dozen tamales. The ranger said the bear came down and asked for Rolaids.

This trip was also the first time I fished for trout.