RA Trip to Bent Tree

April 29-30, 2005

This month's Royal Ambassador outing was an overnight campout at Bent Tree. Here are Jonathan Jones and Michael Callihan with Johnny Huffman. Johnny and Rod took these two boys up on Friday night - this picture is at our traditional picture spot on the dam overlooking Lake Tamarack.

With many competing activities and the threat of severe weather, we only had two takers. The four of us traveled to the Bent Tree Campground in the VW van and built a nice fire for roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. With the forcast of severe thunderstorms moving in during the early morning hours, we decided to just do our supper and enjoy the campfire but then go up to the house late to sleep inside. The boys enjoyed the hotdog and marshmallow roasting and then we gathered around the fire for ghost stories.

Michael and Jon enjoyed ping-pong and games at the house, but we were wondering whether we had made the right decision to abort the tents since the night was mild with a couple of stars showing when we left the campground. But just before six the next morning with the lightning and crashing thunder and the downpour, we were glad we did. The thunderstorms were just what the weather service had predicted.

Through the early morning storm, we were dry and comfortable and well-fed with the fine breakfast that Brenda and Sherry made for us. After breakfast and some more ping-pong, we put together a couple of puzzles and played Parchesi with the boys.

The thunderstorm brought the cloud down on the mountain where we were and lent a magical air to the lush deep woods. The rain continued for a time after the thunder passed. It was a great time to just stay indoors and play games.

The yellow violet at left is one of my favorite early wildflowers at Bent Tree. It tells you how wet the day was.

About 11 AM the rain stopped and we decided to drive down to the lake. This is the view from the spillway side, looking toward our house which is far up into the cloud.

The stream to the spillway was running full after the hard rains. There was a honeysuckle bush in full bloom close to the stream. Tiny purple flowers about a quarter-inch across were abundant along the stream.

The bank by the falls has always had an abundance of worms, but this time we came up nearly empty. Mysterious! Maybe the thunderstorm drove them down or washed them away?? They finally came up with enough bait for Michael and Johnny to do some fishing.

These ducks on the lake reminded us that it was their kind of weather today!

The falls were running strong after the hard rains. This is always a dramatic place. Michael and Jonathan took a look, with Johnny and Rod watching them carefully.

After a picture at our traditional spot, we went back to the beach area pavilion to have shelter for lunch.

Michael got in a little more fishing there before we headed back toward Atlanta.

Mother's Day

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