Camping Trip March 2008

This was my first camping trip with the dojo (in Jacksonville). We had quite a turnout. There were a lot of senior students, as well as some newer ones. I recall (actually I cannot forget) the freezing temperatures and smoke from the camp fire. I would have to say my favorite part of the whole trip was the training and the food (thanks Buck). Of course the company was great too. It’s always nice to do things with your friends.

Saturday evening we had a tough time setting up our tents because of the wind (and inexperience) but we managed. Then we bundled up to go and train. I wore a long sleeve hooded sweatshirt under my gi, gloves, and closed toed shoes with socks. I was pretty comfortable in all that, despite tripping around in the sand on the beach. I felt sorry for some of the people who didn’t wear the extra clothing. That evening Buck made jambalaya with three(?) kinds of meat in it and Jerry brought shish-kabob with tomatoes onions and something else. Anyway the dinner was great. Plus everyone managed to sneak in a few alcoholic beverages. We told some stories around the campfire and ate some smores. It was a fun night.

The next morning, which was even colder than the night before (and was also the same night as the time change) I got up really early and Dee gave me the task of waking everybody else up. I managed to rouse most of our crew, and we had a nice warm up with bokken before jumping in with our usual techniques. We trained until the sun was up quite a ways. Afterward I was amused to see that I could see where I’d been training because of all the semi circles scraped into the sand. I could see also that we used quite a stretch of beach because there was about 100 meters of sand turned up from our feet, while the rest was smooth from wind and water. Despite sand in my eye I absolutely loved the experience and would do it again.

Breakfast was excellent, pancakes and sausage (venison) cooked by Buck. Coffee and hot chocolate (which took entirely too long to heat) tasted great as well.