Series of adventure continue, this time we went for Camping and Canoeing near Independence, VA. As usual the gang met up a Graduate Life Center and introduced ourselves. We were 15 in total and had three vehicles to go. We packed our food, camping equipments and were all set to go.
We were in the van and since we didn’t knew the way, we were supposed to follow the car. Once we had an interesting incident when we couldn’t see the car in front and thought we had lost the way, only to figure out later that we had overtaken them. Way to camping location was awesome, completely surrounded by trees on both sides with magnificent fall colors (Yellow, Orange, Red, Purple).
I had no clue till now that it was just a camping and canoeing trip, I had thought of this as trek. When we reached the location, I am mesmerized with the beauty. It was on the bank of a very shallow(currently) river with crystal clear water with trees all around on the mountains. After we had set out tents,set up propane stove, we decided to get some wood for fire. I was the first one to jump in water and surprised to find out water was not as cold as expected. After some time I took my camera in to and clicked a lot of pictures. I had a chance to go pretty close to flock of ducks.
After we got wood, we started preparing our dinner. Most of them was processed, so we just had to boil or heat it. It was getting colder by that time and Hot Top Ramen tasted pretty good. We checked with the owners there about the trails nearby, but there weren’t any. It was getting darker, best was to sit around fire and play some games. We realized that a lot of games were not known in other countries, so decided to play Black Jack. ( I didn’t knew how to play, but learnt it quickly. There is nothing to learn in it, it is just based luck )
Around 8:30 we realized that our firewood won’t last long, so went for search of some more wood. We found some but that wasn’t dry and it didn’t last more than an hour. We retired for sleep, only to figure out our tents were extremely cold. Somehow I managed to get sleep, but in few hours got up because it was extremely cold. It was so cold that when I picked up my iPod to check time, the steel body almost gave me a shock and I threw it.
Since I was not getting any sleep and from my tent I could see there was some light, I got up and came out of tent. It was extremely foggy, river was completely covered with fog, our tents and all other equipments were wet. I fugured out that what I was considering as rain at night was just droplets falling of from tree leaves because of fog. It was extremely beautiful scene and I along with Zhang went to collect some more wood and click some more photos.
We cooked breakfast and put on some fire. It was 3 hours since I was up and we could not see sun, it was under the cloud cover, but things had started to get warmer. We checked with the owners of the place and decided to go for canoeing at 11. I thought 5 mile canoeing will just take 1 hour but was surprised to find out it will be taking us at least 3 hours. ( In normal conditions when there was sufficient water in 3 hours 10 miles of Canoeing can be done)
Canoeing didn’t start well, Rahul and me has no idea how to steer it, but in just quarter of a mile we found the key. It was fun steering all around, but there was very less water. At some points our boat was stuck in rocks, so we had to get down and pull it out. Once our boat overturned and we had to throw a lot of water out. That time I realized that sometimes theoretical knowledge wont help much. Since there was some water in Canoe I thought how bad can it be, just because of buoyancy we will be able to float and move around. I was wrong, actually water imbalances a boat too much, it will just go in one direction and could tilt the boat. It was hard time steering it. Canoe trip was fun but mostly it was like ‘series of unfortunate incidents’, I liked it though.
While coming back I was so tired that I didn’t realize when we reached back home. It was a great weekend and thanks all for making it such wonderful. Hope to do same soon.