Sunday, May 9, 2010

Primitive camping and a connection with nature

So my family and I went camping this weekend for mother's day on our family's property in southern Ohio.  It is a 60-acre patch of land that we go down to camp on and refer to as Harrison.  We plan on moving down there but the cabin is yet to be built due to lack of funding. So we are content to camp in tents and our camper that we have permanently set up down there.  This was a short camping trip as we left Friday afternoon and came back Saturday night, but it has been over a year since i have been there so any time there is amazing for me.

Harrison is old coal land in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  It used to be heavily forested and chock full of wildlife until some idiot discovered coal.  So then, it was strip-mined to fulfill the greed of man.  Once everything of any value in the area was stolen, it was parceled off and sold dirt cheap.  Now, it is all either privately owned or part of state parks.  The trees are coming back and new lakes and ponds dot the landscape.  There are young forests forming all over and there are even a few gigantic trees that escaped the strip mining that now stand as great lords of the forest.  This is one of my favorite parts about the property.  It is proof that even through some of the worst of human's greed, nature can still bounce back strong.

We spent friday night etting up our camp and I just reacquainted myself with the area.  We sat around the fire until about midnight when the storms started to blow in, then spread the fire and moved into the camper. I stood outside until the rain became to heavy and then i moved to my bed inside. I fell asleep to the lullaby of rain lashing the camper and thunder shaking the earth around me.  It was quite an amazing experience that I have not had the pleasure of in quite some time.  The morning dawned wet and cold and we cooked a delicious breakfast of hobo pies on the camp fire.  Dad and my brother were all about the fishing so mom and I tagged along and explored the lake while they fished. I found a hole patch of wild onions and so i rooted out some onions and explored the old beaver dam while my dad and brother competed for fish.  We then moved to another lake and of course, dad and jake fished while mom and I took the dogs and explored the surrounding area.  It was a great experience.  Mom and visited and old great oak tree that I cant even stretch my arms half way around.  We discovered a ton of different plants and herbs and flowers and got quite a workout scaling the slope.  I felt so connected with nature, it was amazing.

Unfortunately, we had to come home to suburbia, so here I am blogging.  I think that spending time in wilder places is great for modern man.  I love these modern conveniences, but I've never felt at home in suburbia.  This closed-packed urban hell is just not for me.  I find myself closer to the gods and closer to myself when I am wandering the hills, discovering the treasures of nature.

Ain't that just the most redneck setup that you ever did see?
our quite cozy home away from
Me.  Exploring with the dogs.
Dad's big catch
My brother's big catch
My big find :)  A wild onion.  I was told that I'm not allowed to smile

 This is our lake, and the one around which we hiked and explored to find all of those flowers and plants above.  it was formed by a beaver who dammed up a stream.  Unfortunately, due to the greed and sheer blood lust of man, the dam was destroyed and the beaver killed, just because.  That is the story for another blog.
Here is The Lord of the Wood.  A gigantic oak tree that is so big around, i cannot even get my arms half-way around.  Standing next to this tree is an experience.  It is so old and wise, and full of energy.
My dog Chance enjoying the lake
My other dog, Jenna
The other lord of the wood, a massive beech tree that was struck by lightning and yet still holds his reign over the other trees in the area.
All of us were worn out.  Even the dogs

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