The (maybe last) camping-slash-sightseeing trip has ended. We didn’t hate each other the entire time, so that’s a positive.
The camping portion of the trip was fun. We found a little campground in the mountains of West Virginia with a neat little creek running through. We took time to relax, explore the falls, study geology, talk about life, and enjoy each other’s company in the quiet of our small valley. The thunderstorms were due on Tuesday night, and we didn’t want to put everything away wet, so we decided to pack up a day early.
The sightseeing portion of the trip was not so good. We sat around a motel room most of the day on Tuesday, which was fine due to the severe thunderstorms washing out the day. Wednesday was okay, we got to see some stuff, but Nicole started having an anxiety-filled anger-fest, and she withdrew into her own world with her music and texting her friends.
Thursday turned to shit in a hurry. It was a nice day, and I had plans to visit a couple more interesting places. However Nicole was acting like a child and refused to do anything, and I didn’t want to leave her alone in a strange place. Anne decided to spend the day “relaxing”, i.e. doing nothing in the hotel room, rather than encouraging Nicole to at least come with us. I was completely irritated, and I threatened to load everything and drive home a day early. Instead I left by myself and quickly visited one place on my list, but it wasn’t very enjoyable.
Friday we came home as scheduled. We stopped at a little forest park on the way, but it wasn’t as nice as advertised, and it seemed more like a chore than fun. I chose to lighten up a little during the trip home, but I am still quite irritated that part of the trip was ruined for me. I guess I should know better than to mix in things I wanted to do, even though we talked about these things beforehand. I love natural places, and I want to share them with my family, but it never seems to work out very well.
I would like to go back to this area again by myself and see the things I missed this time. Maybe this is why I have so much fun taking a short vacation once a year, so I can watch baseball and see a little bit of a city, without having to adjust my plans for other people.
Another disappointment on this trip was the realization that due to fat and age, I cannot just charge up a moderately difficult trail like a used to. I’ve hiked up a volcano in the past, but this time I knew I wasn’t capable of doing a trail with a 20% grade and stairs and switchbacks. That really pisses me off, and it is entirely my own fault.
Yet another disappointment is the fact that the Man-child didn’t even want to come along. He hates the outdoors as much as I love the outdoors. He is (allegedly) an adult now, so it his decision whether he wants to join us, but somehow the camping and hiking genes (among others) didn’t take with him.
I had a different location planned for a camping trip next year, but I don’t know if I will mention it again. Maybe I need to do sightseeing by myself, and bring the family just for camping. I think it will work better that way.