Last summer Kevin and I planned a long weekend camping trip to Assateague State Park with two friends. We were very excited to spend three nights camping. As anyone who camps will attest, time moves very slowly when you’re camping. Three nights feels like a whole week.  When you’re camping, you’re forced to relax and slow down.  It is also a great way to see your home state in a whole new light.

The first night at Assateague was amazingly windy.  Our boyscout-like camping buddy kindly set up our tent before nightfall, which is when we arrived.  We made a run to Walmart for supplies and crashed for the night.  The fresh air was refreshing.  We slept so soundly and woke up early to string of wild Assateague ponies.

A morning walk

We spent the day admiring the wild ponies and relaxing on the beach.  We spotted some dolphins off shore.  We played frisbee. We flew a kite.  We made and consumed about six meals because, why not? It was glorious.

The Horse Whisperer

Then came the second night in Assateague. While we were busy perfecting the golden brown coating on our smores, we heard an announcement across the camp. It got louder.  It was the sound of the park ranger over the blown horn on his pickup truck.  “There is a severe weather advisory in effect for Assateague State Park.  We are on full alert for a tropical storm.  If you are camping in tents, evacuate immediately.  I repeat, if you are camping in tents, evacuate immediately.”

We weighed our options.   The thought process went something like: “should we neatly pack up all of our stuff and evacuate safely? Or should we keep making smores and ignore this tropical storm warning and deal with the weather if it happens? Yeah, let’s just keep eating smores.”

We did make it out of Assateague safely, but our (lack of) thought process taught us many things.  First, not all tents stand up to gale force winds.  Also, it is very hard to pack up camping gear that is damp and sandy.  Lastly, if your tent crashes down on itself and rips, it is difficult to repair.

Before the storm

In a little over a month, we will embark on a two night camping trip to Susquehanna State Park.  We’ll keep you posted on the weather reports. But fear not, we own a military grade tent now that disassembles in 90 seconds. That’s one more smore we can get in.

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