Big Bend 2009 or Camping with Brynn

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Camping with Brynn
We hadn't been camping for a year and decided it was time to go again.  Big Bend Campground is located in the Smoke Hole Canyon section of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.  Its located on the South Branch of the Potomac River and is situated in a very sharp U-shaped bend.  Hence the name.  It has restroom facilities and running water.  No showers are provided.  The sites are generally large and shaded.  There's nothing wrong with going 3 years in a row is there?  Of course not.  We did stay on a different site though to mix things up.  I should say that our normal site was full.

About the only thing we did differently this year was to get a new screen house for the picnic table.  Its 13x15 and the old one is 10x10.  Its a good thing we did, too.  The picnic table was massive and nearly filled the new one.  The old one would not have worked.  We thought we were getting more room, not simply a bigger table and the same room.  Oh well, glad we got it.

We got there on Wednesday and got set up without any issue.  We even had the nerve to set up the tentOur campsite awning up straight across.  That didn't last long, though, with the forecast.  You have to drop one of the outside poles so rain doesn't collect.  The site set up easily and the screen house is very easy to set up.  We unloaded the chairs and Sue (The Firelady) started working on the fire.  It turned out to be a struggle.  It started easily but went out.  The wood acted like it was damp even though it didn't feel like it.  Firelady did finally prevail though.

South Branch of the PotomacThursday didn't amount to much.  Walking the trails and reading books.  Until noon anyway.  Then the thunder and lightning started.  Rain too (we knew it would rain).  We spent the rest of the day under the tent awning, in the tent or in the tent house.  It didn't quit until around 9:00 that evening.  If the weather forecast is 20% chance of rain and we show up, add another 50%. 

We did have one moment of excitement on Thursday.  Our schnauzer Bugsy was loose on his extendable leash and hangingBugsy and Sue out on the campsite.  At some point, he got a whiff of something good and wandered off.  When we noticed he was gone, we weren't sure of which direction he went but were sure he couldn't get far without getting tangled.  We called but no answer.  We wandered around the trail but no answer.  Finally I heard him up the hill from the campsite.  I walked through the woods (scratches to prove it) calling his name.  Only rarely did he yip or bark.  I finally worked my way to the upper campsites and walked down that road.  I heard a yip or two but no barking.  I finally saw a black shape in the bushes.  After a double take, I had him.  He was seriously tangled up or I don't know where he would have gone.  No more than he barked, I was lucky to find him.  Needless to say, he had a lot less freedom the rest of that trip.  Normally he gets tangled right in the campsite so I can't imagine how he got that far.

Friday was the day to leave the campground.  We went over to Seneca Rocks and had a picnic lunch.  We were going to visit Spruce Knob but it looked cloudy.  We instead went to Petersburg, WV to check voice mail and stop in at the Dairy Queen.  From there, back to the campground and waiting for Michelle and Brynn.

Dinner with BrynnThey appeared around 8:00.  We got their tent set up and fed them both.  Brynn will eat nearly anything so feeding her isn't a problem.  We still had left-overs and corn on the cob so plenty for everyone.


We only had Saturday morning to show them the campground.  Brynn seemed to have a ball.  She liked theBrynn in the river river and was happy to sit in it.  There are actually more Brynn pictures in the album than camping pics.  At one point, she dunked her hand in the water and put her finger in her mouth.  I guess you have to taste everything to see if its good.  The water had to be kind of cold but she never looked like she had a problem.  They left around 11:30 to get back home for a birthday party. 

We had everything dried out.  The tent was in good shape.  Tearing down Sunday morning was going to be a snap.  Guess what happened at 1:00AM.  Big thunder storm.  Everything wet (not us).  It was pretty in the morning so we tore every thing down and stuffed in the car.  We did go down to sit by the river a few minutes and then we headed out.  When we got home, the driveway looked a lot like our campsite.   Oh well, it was fun anyway.