Five Senses Overload

I just couldn’t narrow it all down for a typical Five Senses Friday post. We took off for the hills earlier this week…the foothills, that is…and it was a lot for all those senses to drink in.

For example, I could go on and on about how amazing everything tasted…why is it that even the most ordinary, everyday foods taste so good when you’re camping?

Eggs. Cooked in butter, with a little salt. No big deal…certainly a lovely little number when I’m craving it, satisfying and simple…but cooked in the iron skillet over the propane camp stove, the scent of pine heavy in the morning air? Manna.

I generally make a big production out of my hot chocolate…starting with the basics: unsweetened cocoa powder and palm sugar, then adding butter, salt, and something like a pinch of chili or a splash of mint extract depending on my mood. I don’t drink coffee, so the perfect mug of hot chocolate is often a matter of great consequence for me. For the sake of convenience, I left all that ceremony behind and brought a few high-quality chocolate bars and simply stirred broken hunks of them into the milk…sipping this heavenly mixture around the campfire, I wondered why I normally go through so much trouble. I brought cream to ‘whip’ for the top, but C shook the jar absentmindedly while he paced around the fire until we ended up with a hunk of butter instead. Ha!

My hair smelled like the campfire and I hated to wash it out when we got home. I wish I could make an essential oil of that earthy, smoky scent, so grounding and comforting. Long past his usual bedtime, The Boy would sit, mesmerized by the dancing flames. Sometimes he would snap out of it and set to collecting needles and leaves that he would drop into the fire one by one, watching as they were consumed in a tiny, bright blaze.

What did we see?

Perhaps pictures are worth more than words…

Some of the pictures above are from Empire Mine State Historic Park. Take a look down into the shaft and you might just feel your stomach leap into your throat. We took a self-guided tour and, of course, The Boy was fascinated by all the decaying machinery…I’m amazed that any of the wooden structures are still standing, let alone supporting the tonnage of iron parts, since carpenter bees have made swiss cheese of it all. I could have watched the bees for hours.

We were told of a little shady place to splash around and have a picnic on the Independence Trail…we hiked forever in the hot sun and never found it. A few miles round trip is a long way for small feet to trek.

Forgive my self-indulgence…I couldn’t help posting this one.

Anyplace without mosquitoes was thoroughly taken advantage of as a place to rest. We were eaten alive at the campsite, so a grassy place on the grounds at the mine was a glorious respite.

We heard birds at all hours, deer crunching leaves, and small critters snooping about the tent at night. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my research well enough, and so we also heard a great deal of noise from the motor sports on the lake. Next time we camp near water, I’ll make sure it’s a river.

Too many chomps were felt from swarming mosquitoes…really, I have never experienced quite so many of them and from morning to night they were relentless in their pursuit of blood, especially from The Boy’s sweet face. He was swollen and itching (we all were), but quite a good sport about it.

Of course, a place always starts to feel comfortable and a bit like home just as it’s time to pack up and leave. It almost started to feel as though we weren’t in this place of limbo anymore, that we wouldn’t have to go back to our life in boxes…but alas, here we are…in boxes…plotting and planning the next step, still cultivating the patience required to get there.

In the meantime, getting back to work…

I’ve finally broken down and am offering hand dyed spinning fibers and fiber club subscriptions. I seem to be dyeing up a great deal more fiber than I can possibly spin, and I’d like to share it with you. 🙂 The link below will take you to the new club section of the shop. Other fiber types will be added soon, as well as yarn clubs!

Happy weekend, all.