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Return to Cove Lake
October 5, 2003

Stacey really talked up our recent campout at Cove Lake, and got James and Melinda wanting to go camping too. Brad, Cait and Callie squeezed into the back seat of James's new truck, while Cory and all their new camping gear took up the entire bed.
We all arrived at the little lake around lunch time and were lucky enough to get the best site in the camping area - a finger of land with a small cove on our left and the body of lake to our right. A young lady from the next campsite came over and helped us unload the trucks. She and Cait really hit it off!
Darrel and Wanda drove down to have dinner with us. They arrived early and Darrel gave Brad, Cliff and me a drive over to the hiking trail on the north side of the dam. We walked the entire loop trail back to camp before dinner. The trail left the lakeside soon after our start and wound up the side of the mountain to a place called the "lookout window" where we had a great view of the lake and Mount Magazine beyond. We could see our campsite way down below.
Just about every time we go hiking, Cliff finds a tree he wants to climb. He found a huge old cedar perfect for it. While I was waiting for him to climb down I snapped a picture of  the largest group of buzzards overhead that I think I’ve ever seen. We were on the east side of the lake when Cliff came running up to me to show me a "berry" he had found and wanted to know if he could eat it. It turned out to be a muscadine. We went back to where he found it and proceeded to shake the trees to knock the grapes off the vines, then we picked them up and put them in my fanny pack. We had enough to fill a big plastic cup when we got back to camp.
After dinner we all sat around the campfire telling stories. Stacey and I kept having to run Grant to the bathroom 'cause his belly hurt, but he would never go.
Brad, Cait and Callie had a rough night after that. James and Melinda brought their air mattresses, but they took up most of the tent floor so the kids had to sleep in the small spaces on the sides. A moderate rain came through around sunrise and the kids got pretty wet.
Meanwhile in the mooremonkeys tent, Grant had thrown up all night. When the rain came through everyone made such a commotion that we all went ahead and got up. We then realized that Grant had the worst kind of tummy problem imaginable in the sleeping bag.
After a wet breakfast, Cliff went with James and Melinda's crew to check out Mount Magazine, while I drove Stacey and Grant ALL the way home. I then turned around and drove all the way back to Cove Lake to break down camp, get Cliff, and drive home.
But the morning's events didn't make a dent in the terrific mood I was in. The rain had really cooled things down, there was some color to the foliage, and there was just that wonderful fall feeling in the air.
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