Ready to Rough It!

Yay! Tomorrow begins my annual college-friends-Memorial-Day-weekend-camping extravaganza. Every year the five of us get together over the holiday weekend for hiking, kayaking, s'mores, and lots o' fun. Last year we really did rough it at Fall Creek Falls State Park where we decided to tent camp at a primitive site (meaning no plumbing and no electricity!). This year we have rented a cabin on the Ohio River in the Hoosier National Forest. Our "cabin" has three bedrooms each with it's own bathroom, full kitchen, wrap-around porch, balconies, washer and dryer, and a hot tub. Just say NO to outhouses! - is our new motto.
Here is what Joanna had to say about our trip last year (apparently I was a bit of a hiking nazi...heh.):

Notes from the trip:Cathryn's style of hiking can only be described as Tigger on crack. The first day we embarked on a punishing hike along the Gorge Trail to the falls, then down to the falls, then all the way back up. (Think Mountain Dew commercials, where people drink Mountain Dew and then turn into uncostumed Spidermen, able to stick to the sides of cliffs and things.) The trail guide listed it as "Medium" difficulty. Not sure what they would classify as "Difficult," but expect it would involve a volcano of some sort. The second day, after two hours of paddle boating on the lake, we went to hike the Paw-Paw trail. Do not be fooled by lyrical sounding names - this trail is also a beast. Wondered about the geography of the region. How is it possible for all trails to be up hill? How? Cathryn was also the only member of our hiking party who seemed to feel no after effects from leg deadening paddle boat activity. Third day we hiked Piney Creek Falls trail, first down to the overlook, but were then assured by Tigger on Crack that the alternative trail (twice as long) provided a better view of the falls from the middle of the suspension bridge. After hiking back up from the overlook, down the alternate trail, across the Indiana Jones style suspension bridge, and finding that you couldn't even see the falls from there or from the other side, Cathryn then urged hiking onward on the unmarked trail in search of the mythical better view. All other members of the party voted no. Thank goodness for Sara and Alison, as I needed all available oxygen for breathing, and could not mount much protest.

Note to self: Am never hiking with Cathryn again. If we are eighty-five, and she wants us all to walk to the edge of the nursing home lawn to get the newspaper, refuse!

Tent camping rundown: Sara developed silver dollar sized ant bites on her right arm, which oozed ominously, but she was assured by a park ranger that she wouldn't "wake up dead." Sara spends rest of camping trip sleeping in the car. We were all kept awake until 4AM the first night by neighboring group of very loud Ukrainian campers. They were, over many bottles of vodka, trying to explain to locals about being from Kiev. The locals response, "You mean like the chicken?" The forest is a very noisy place, between birds and woodpeckers and Ukrainians. Woke up on the second morning to the feeling of my back spasming. Argh. Next year there is talk that we will meet up at a day spa.

Hee. See?, we're not really into the whole "roughing" it thing. Hence the luxury cabin we'll be staying at this weekend. I'll report on our annual retreat when I get back to civilization on Monday!

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