Saturday, May 2, 2009

Campout 2009! Edisto Beach, SC- Day 3

From Edisto Island Campout 2009

Day 3 everyone was eager to check out the beach. It was a little chilly still, but we decided to ride the bikes out to the ocean anyway.
Holy sandblasters! It was windy. Relentlessly windy. Smack your face windy. Push you over windy. Cold, because it was windy.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

We stubbornly stayed to enjoy the beach for awhile, and it was a beautiful day. Mr. Sweetcheeks situated himself on the dry, sun-warmed sand near the dunes. Sitting low, the wind wasn't quite as bad. He was having a great time just playing around in the sand and looking for shells.

From Edisto Island Campout 2009

Babyman was thrilled to go walking on the beach, and he wasn't even fazed by the vast ocean. He loved exploring.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

Littleman bravely changed into a swimsuit before exploring the rock seawall. He even ventured into the chilly surf! He didn't let me take pictures of him, though.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

Soon everyone (especially the blue-lipped Littleman!) had had enough, and we dusted the sand off the kids before loading them back onto the bike. Once out of the wind we warmed up considerably, and after the kids finished their sandwiches (intended for a beach picnic), we took them out for some ice cream. They were happy campers!

Next we headed down the park trails again, this time to explore the Spanish Mount, a 4,000 yr-old shell mound on the park's property.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

We enjoyed looking out over wide Big Bay Creek, and imagining life in the salt marsh 4,000 years ago.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

By the time we rode back into camp to start dinner, the kids were worn slap out.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

After dinner and a pleasant time telling stories while we roasted marshmallows at the group campfire, the boys were more than ready for bed. The adults however were eager to try some midnight bike riding, because word got around about the marvelous ride Billy and my brother had enjoyed. While Billy tucked the boys in and a whipporwill (which, upon researching, I now think was a chuck-will's-widow) sang them to sleep, I got a turn on the mooonlit trails.

It really was a remarkable experience, zooming quietly along in a line together, alternating sparkling moonlight with deep pockets of darkness. I found it most effective to let my eyes go out of focus slightly so I could rely more on my peripheral vision to guide me. Clumps of saw palmetto hunched on the side of the trail like misshapen gnomes, startling me with sudden lifelike movement whenever the breezes blew. The shadowy maritime forest welcomed us. I tipped my head back as I rode, precariously gazing upward whilst I flew along the path. The twisted branches over my head seemed to drip with quicksilver, moonlit above and in deep shadow below. Spanish moss hung down in spooky, romantic profusion. It was peaceful and exciting.

All too soon, we returned so I could trade places with Billy. Once everyone was gone I was left in the quiet campsite with the soft snores of my children and the sounds of the salt marsh wind. I sat beneath the full moon, gazing upward in relaxed contentment. Gradually all the varied sounds of the forest became known to me- the chuck-will's-widow still calling, the tiny rustles of night creatures, the nearly metallic knocking sound of the wind in the palmetto trees. Even though I could also hear the road off in the distance, it was a vastly enriching meditation.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

(To read my account of Day 4, go here.)


Robin Easton said...

You are AMAZING! Beyond AMAZING!!! Gosh, I've missed you and being here. I've been BURIED in work, just swamped. Haven't had time to blog. I LOVE these posts of your trip. This is incredible!!!! The photos are beautiful, fascinating, warmly funny (the kids) and simply thrilling. What astounding parents you and Billy are. I am soooooo proud of you. I can't tell you how much so. What you give your kids will forge their whole lives. I just love you for it.


Don Wood said...

Looks like you had fun love the idea of staying down low and you miss the wind XXX Don

Kit said...

@ Robin: Robin, you are the BEST. Thank you. :)

@ Don: Hi, welcome!! Yes, we had a blast. Check back for the last two installments of the camping trip. Thank you for stopping by!

Bird said...

Wow, the bike ride sounds PHENOMENAL. I mean it all reads pretty good... but I would have LOVED to have done that. And sitting up at night, listening to nocturnal life is a favourite thing of mine to do. So beautifully written, I feel as if I were right there with you, even though I'm actually in a cramped and stuffy room in London. Thank you, thank you!

Kit said...

Oooh, that's awesome that you felt transported, even if for just a moment. I'm glad. :) And yes, the bike ride was pretty phenomenal.