(Previous Scout The Wonder Dog stories can be found here and here)
Scout The Wonder Dog was at his usual station at the window of the country bungalow that he and Sargevining, his manservant, driver, and cook shared. He was vigilantly watching for vehicles, coyotes, cows, and miscreant dogs that might approach.
"I'm going back to Fairfield State Park." said Sargevining.
"I insist you take me!" said Scout emphatically. "The last time you went on an excursion by yourself, a tree almost fell on you and there was a bloody massacre after dark!"
"The tree almost fell on Spaceweaseal", replied Sargevining, "and the massacre was only muffins."
"Yes, but I had to listen to you wake up screaming for a week afterwards." said Scout. "It was nerve wracking."
"Its a long drive from Rosenberg to Fairfield, a bit outside our usual Area of Operations. Can you handle it?" Asked Sargevining.
"One stop----that's all I'll need." replied Scout.
"Very well," said Sarge, "you'll enjoy it as the Grandchildren will be there."
"Splendid!" shouted Scout. "When do we leave?"
"This weekend." said Sarge.
Extensive preparations were made to insure that the two children would be warm and protected from the weather so that thier first experience in hammock camping would be an enjoyable one. Depature that Friday was several hours late due to a number of unavoidable circumstances, but depart they did. True to his word (as always), Scout only required one stop along the way to inspect trees and bushes.
Arrival at the State Park was late in the afternoon Friday. Scout and Sargevining made the aquaintance of their new campmate, Patrick, a former Naval person, the tables, boxes of hammock gear for Sarge and the two grandchildren were unloaded along with a good deal of other car camping impedimentia. Sargevining's hammock was set up, along with a comfy spot beneath it for Scout to occupy for the weekend.
They ventured forth into the campground to say helloes and to see the sights, but few pictures exist as Scout was travelling incognito and had requested limited press availability. As dusk approached they consumed a quick dinner, and then another short jaunt up to the top of the hill to view the lighting of the Swedish Candle.
And then they retired for an early evening with hopes for an early rising the next day.
They rose the next morning as dappled sunlight filtered through the leaves to rest lightly on the ground while muffled noises wafted in the trees as the people in the campground slowly came to life.
A trip back up to the top of the hill provided an excellent feast of breakfast tacos for Sargevining. It was evident that a few of the campground's denizens had risen far eariler than most to prepare that breakfast, and thier sacrifice and culinary skill are duly noted and appreciated.
Sargevining tarried a bit at the breakfast table to enjoy the excellent coffee and exchange pleasantries with other campers and on his return to his campsite found that the children had just arrived. Hugs and kisses all around, with Scout enjoying his share (or perhaps more).
After a quick trip to the top of the hill to get name tags, Bubba tried out Sargevining's buff as his father and stepmother began setting up their tent.
Sargevining got in the buff as well.
The kitchen was set up
And Sargevining and Scout made the aquaintance of the new Granddog
The children then set about making thier beds, with Sargevining's assitance and Scout looking on.
First, the stock suspension on the Byer's Traveller's were removed and replaced with cinchbuckle straps, trees were chosen wisely, the hammocks hung and "welcome mats" put out.
Then underquilts were explained and installed along with adjustable ridgelines, and fleece sleeping bag liners attached to the ridgelines.
Then top quilts put in and tarps hung
And then the entire affair was tested under real world conditions, and found to be excellent
"Its good to see the Grandchildren have such a good time!"
The sleeping arrangements were completed just in time for lunch
The afternoon was spent visiting with friends and walking about the campground to view other hammocks and set ups, and a short jaunt down by the lake. The time for the pot luck dinner approached and they all headed to the top of the hill to join in the festivities. A bounteous repast had been prepared of such a magnitude that Sargevining found it difficult to hold the camera steady.
None were left hungry and as darkness fell, the Swedish Candle became the centerpiece of the gathering as the assembled crowd waited for the prize drawings to begin.
Many people received many wonderous prizes, but the Sargevining family was blessed with several. Walter, Sargevining's son and Lauren his wife received an Underground Quilts tarp and Hennessy Expedition, respectively---which they will be eternally grateful for after having spent a night sleeping on roots in thier tent. Bubba got a set of Whoopies Slings from Whoopieslings.com to put on his Byer's hammock. Bethanine got a copy of 300 Zeroes, which she immediately set about reading when she retired to her hammock for the night, and Sargevining got just the right Venom Stove provided by Stove Man Dan. Sargevining is deeply grateful for all who provided these prizes as they have sparked more interest in hammock camping in his family that will result in many happy family hours in the future.
Another thing for which Sargevining is grateful is the singing and playing of music around the campfire. Singing around the campfire is something all children should enjoy at least once in their life.
A return to the campsite was made and a campfire prepared.
And after some time, the children reitred to thier hammocks and to turn on their ridgeline lights before falling asleep.
The next monring saw a hasty departure due to intermittent rain. More hugs and kisses were passed about and then they headed in their separate directions for a melancholy drive back home.
Scout the Wonder Dog and Sargevining wish to thank UncleMike and his legion of volunteers for providing this opportunity for our family to get together, and the Texas/Oklahoma Hammock Community in general for its welcoming embrace of them. There are other examples of community that our children are exposed to that are nowhere near as good as the one they enjoyed this weekend. Each of you has had made a small but positive contribution to their lives.