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Les Vacances avec Pepe

September 7, 2007


Chers Amis,

Sometimes you just need to get away to some place green and fresh and cool and wet, where icy streams pour down dark grey walls of rock fringed by rhododendron and hemlock.   Do you have a special spot that calls to you, that offers you that respite and feeds your soul?  For us it is the mountains of North Carolina. I spent a good part of my childhood in the mountains of Colorado and my dh went to college in NC, so we naturally migrate north when the heat in Atlanta is too oppressive.   August’s drought coupled  with a full week of temperatures above 100 degrees F amplified the Blue Ridge’s siren song.  Our mini-van almost packed itself with camping gear, swimming trunks and coolers of varying sizes and shapes.  We wound our way up the familiar back roads of North Georgia through Ellijay, Blue Ridge, pulling over for a quick ice cream cone in Blairsville, on through WCU Catamount territory finally stopping outside Brevard, NC at the Davidson River Campground.  Ahh!  much cooler and this year, no rain (hooray!) We spent two nights along the river, splashing in the stony shallows, inter-tubing, and eating too many s’mores and not enough trout.  This late in the season we practically had the campground to ourselves – except for that one terrifying visitor.

One night after we had put the kids to bed, I was washing up the greasy fried potato and pepper camp plates when I noticed something moving in the shadows. Something white and eerily silent.  It can closer and I thought I could make out a white plastic bag caught on the lower branches of a bush, billowing in the breeze.  It came closer.  A cat?  Out here?  It came nearly up to me before I realized it was a SKUNK! What to do?    I decided to go directly to bed, do not pass go, do not brush teeth, do not go to the bathroom. Sleep.  Now.   

I was afraid to run away lest I frighten the intruder into defensive mode, so I slunk backwards into the tent whispering hoarse words of warning to my husband, relaxing by the fire. My dh, being a man, felt it necessary to protect the campsite.  "Just get in here! Please!!!" I urged.  Nooo.  He made hissing noises in hopes of scaring it off.  "I don’t WANT to scare it,"  I pleaded, "Leave it alone!"  Step two in the manly-man anti-skunk manual, "Make the campsite unappetizing.  Spray campsite with wasp and flying insect spray.  Spray all around cooking area and tent.  Skunk will leave."    Dh came into the tent to report his success and change clothes.   I heard him gasp incredulously when he exited the tent to sit by the fire, "It’s STILL here!"  Skunk had not read the manual. Skunks can’t read.  So as I lay on the air mattress praying, "Dear Lord, please, oh, please, please, do not let that skunk spray the tent," over and over for an hour, my tenacious better half sat, back to the fire watching the skunk adversarially willing it to depart.  Which it did. Finally.  Finally.  He believes his bug spray method worked.  I think the skunk got bored.  Finally.

The rest of our trip was lovely and I will post more later, but it is time to make dinner in my blessedly skunk-free kitchen.  There’s nothing like a good camping trip to remind you what you love about civilization.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. hélène permalink
    September 8, 2007 1:08 pm

    Skunk ne faisant pas parti de mon vocabulaire, j’ai essayé de deviner le monstre que vous avez vu en camping : un ours (non c’est bear), un serpent (non tu n’en n’as pas peur), alors quoi ? Finalement, j’ai cherché la traduction et vu cette mignonne petite bête dont les effluves n’arrivent pas jusqu’à ce coté de l’océan.
    Est si horrible que cela ?

  2. September 9, 2007 2:27 pm

    Ha! Too funny about the skunk! I recognize all of the places in your pics except, where did you see those fantastic water lilies?

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