Always striving for ways to unplug, I jumped at the chance for us to take a short “fall break” camping trip up to north Georgia at the end of September. It wasn’t very fall-like; the temps hovered near 93 most of the day and the leaves were a crispy green, struggling to hang on. Nature was past her bloom, waiting with anticipation like a paratrooper standing at the edge of an open cargo door.
“You’re almost done!” I wanted to scream as I layered on another coat of deodorant. “We’re almost done,” the weatherman had said before we left. “Cooler temperatures by the weekend.”
This was Monday.
Sweat condensed at my brow.
Somehow, two boys joined us for this trip. It was a hard sell. The creek up there was running low. The bugs were over-abundant. The humidity at 100%. Night time temperatures in the upper 60’s.
“We’ll burn a fire,” I suggested, realizing the idiocy of it as it rolled off the tongue. Eyes rolled.
“Okay. We’ll do a photo walk,” I offered next. “Bring the 80D.”
Teenagers think that carrying a big camera and lens suggests that you are actually somebody important that can take quality photos. I didn’t want to burst their bubble. Basically, when you carry a big camera, there is an expectation that you can actually take pictures. You’ve got to keep the camera equipment scaled back so you don’t let people down. “Oh!” They’ll say. “That’s nice, but his eye’s out of focus.” Or, “Great composition, but her face is blown out.”
So, to avoid all that, we bring out the big guns to practice when the crowds are far away. A North Georgia campsite would be a safe place.
Nature, on her last leg, was our first subject. Drooping flower heads and leaves riddled with holes caught our attention. Squatting down in the creek to shoot water cascading over muddy rocks cooled the buns a little.
Then, “Mom, take some sick shots of me holding the camera.” So, we did that for awhile.
The woods provided some shade and little relief from the heat. Maybe this was bearable, just slightly.
No tick bites.
One more sweaty meal at the picnic table and it was time to vacate the site.
Was this a fun trip? Kind of. It was really just a media, homework, laundry and dish washing break. Yet, being unplugged gave us pause to notice the workings of late season bees on shriveled flowers, extracting one last sip of summer. We were doing the same with cameras and a tent, capturing one more outdoor adventure. Tomorrow would be October.