It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

And that pretty much describes a good portion of our Courageous Women’s Summer Camp last week. :)

We packed up in the afternoon sun, and headed north for what I hoped would be four days of peace and beauty, with a healthy dose of good old fashioned fun.  After weeks of hot sunny days with scattered afternoon thundershowers, we were eager for the cool green of the mountains, and it was just fine if we got a little rain.

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That’s part of camping too, after all, so I wasn’t too worried about that.

And we did have fun. Great fun – riding the Virginia Creeper Bike Trail and trying out the famous Barter Theater.

But we also got three unusually gray days, plenty of cool temps, and actually, a LOT of rain.

And thunder.

And lightening.

And…well…let’s just say a little unexpected excitement. :)

Thus began the lessons of this particular Adventure.

Over the next 4 days, we learned a lot about how to camp in the rain, like how to keep your belongings dry and your tent cozy.

–How to hang a big tarp to sit under, and light a lantern to push back the dark..

–How tiki torches can turn a campsite into a (bug free) living room.

–How to build a fire with wet wood, and cook a hot meal even in the dampest of conditions.

When the weather changed on a dime and a couple of us got caught in a storm on our bikes – we learned about advance planning, emergency shelter, and great ideas about communication.

The Virginia Creeper Bike Trail

When one of my dear friends became unexpectedly ill, we learned about seeking services in unfamiliar territory, important preparation skills, and the kindness of strangers. (She’s fine by the way – but we needed to make sure.)

Oh – and once, after taking a wrong turn, I got an unexpected refresher course in backing up a trailer on a crooked country road with a drop-off and a creek on one side.

That part was pretty funny.

And I’m really, really glad you weren’t there to see it. :)

But we also learned this.

–That once you have the hang of it, a bad day camping is better than a good day at the office – any day.

–That attitude really IS everything.

–That a nice, warm fire makes all the difference on a gray day – whether that’s a campfire, a tiki torch, a lantern, or a candle.

–That taking in a funny, sweet play in the middle of a soggy trip is a wonderful way to dry out. — Though I actually bought the tickets weeks ago. :)

Yes, THAT was the Secret Adventure.

–We learned that sitting under a nice tarp with a gentle rain over head, a blanket in your lap, a cup of hot coffee and a journal in your hand, can be a really nice way to spend a morning.

–That deep connections happen among women friends who spend any kind of time together in almost any kind of circumstances. And how special that can be.

We learned that Intention is a Powerful Thing.

(Because each of us, in often unexpected ways, found OUR intentions coming true all weekend long.)

And perhaps more than anything else, we learned that when we move forward in our lives with quick, decisive action, no matter what the skies say, things have a way of working out.

The clouds clear. The sun comes back. And Adventures unfold as they should.


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