Monday, May 2, 2011

Weaving Weekend Part 1- Where we were

The last time I slept in a bunkhouse was when I was 8 years old, and I spent a week at Camp Kiloqua (and omigod- I just googled, looking for a link to maybe an old newspaper article or something, only to discover that not only is Camp Kiloqua still in business, but it looks just the same! Give me a minute while I scroll through some pictures and get all nostalgic... okay I'm back now). So, where was I? Oh yeah... sleeping in a bunkhouse...
I'm thinking that the insides of bunkhouses look just about the same now, as they did, lo these 50 (yikes, I'm sorry I did that math) years ago. Richmond Lake Youth Camp has three huge bunkhouses (which sleep about 90 total, if you use the upper bunks, though I would sleep on the floor first). The beds are as comfy as plastic coated foam pieces on rock-hard springs can be (not a complaint- just an observation). Interesting fact: going to sleep on the lower bunk of a narrow campground bed, in a dormitory with 20 other women, made me feel like I was 8 again. Waking up in one made me certain that I was 130.

My little corner of the bunkhouse was quite homey, what with using the upper bunk as a clothes rack. I had a desk, though since there was no Internet access (and in many places, no phone reception), I didn't do anything with it but spread my stuff out even further.

I didn't take a picture of the bathroom, which was pretty primitive. It was clean, and there was hot and cold running water.. but all you really need to know is that I took a shower on Saturday morning after my run (and before my classes), but on Sunday, I decided to wait until I got home.

In between the two first floor dorms, on one end, was a nice day room with a fireplace (which we did not use, though we surely could have). It also had the furnace- a huge one, very close to my bed. A very loud, furnace that kicked on multiple times during the night (which was A Good Thing, believe me- it got down below freezing each night). I do believe that next year, I'll choose a bed that is closer to the bathroom.

The outside of the bunkhouse is utilitarian and functional...

and a vast improvement over the old bunkhouses. I will choose dark, communal showers over sleeping in one of these things any time.

Though the camp is at a lovely, small lake, I didn't get down to the water, owing to the nasty weather. It rained and stormed (thunder and lightning, though mostly in the distance) on Friday, it was briefly nice in the morning on Saturday, and then by Saturday evening, we had sleet, and 40mph steady winds, which lasted through the night and past my drive home on Sunday. But I did run on Saturday  morning, and saw some pretty trees

and nice trails

and evidence that the lilacs know which month it is, even if the sun doesn't.

The lodge, where we ate and laughed and hung out and had our spinning circle, is a lovely old stone building (with absolutely no phone reception inside- we all periodically trekked out into the nastiness to connect with the outer world).

Inside the lodge is lovely too- with a huge working fireplace, lots of room, plenty of chairs and a fully stocked kitchen. And food? Well, if you've ever been to a Pot Luck with Midwestern women, you know that we didn't lack for pass-around dishes, or fruit, or salads, or breads, or dessert. Or coffee. Connie made cinnamon rolls for Sunday breakfast. From scratch! Lots of food, enough to feed many more than we had, though we made a good run at devouring it all. And wine too...

The kitchen was stocked with a hodge-podge of pans and dishes and cutlery- enough to put together our meals with ease, though the lack of some pieces and the excess of others was puzzling. The camp must have gotten caught in the Great Tong Shortage of '03, and vowed never again, because there was an entire drawer filled with more long-tongs than would be needed by your average mid-sized town.

The grounds were lovely, the bunkhouse was rustic in just the right way (picturesque without being actually Pioneer), and spending a weekend immersed in fibery pursuits with like-minded new and old friends was exactly what I needed.

Tomorrow: What we did!

1 comment:

Cyncalla said...

"Great Tong Shortage" made me laugh.

It sounds like much fun (mostly) so far!