Friday, August 20, 2010

Allegany State Park Vacation Part II

After a huge fry up on Tuesday morning, we got on our bikes again to go and check the development of the bridge. A large crane was in place lowering concrete supports and we managed to get pretty close to the action, but I did get a bollocking from the foreman when I walked up as far as the crane cab even though I got a huge smile from the crane operator. We then cycled down to the gift shop to nose around the paraphernalia there and sat outside for a bit just watching life pass by. Idyllic.
 After sitting and chatting and generally just enjoying doing nothing, we went back to the cabin to do some more of the same but this time accompanied with some snacks. What a life! We then discovered that as well as our fragrant skunk buddy who was a frequent visitor, we also had some smaller neighbors.
We fed this chipmunk scraps and he came daily after that chowing down on nuts, bacon, chips, bread and anything else we'd throw his way. A buddy of his also arrived and even jumped up onto the porch weaving around our feet and poking his nose into the cabin before leaping back to the ground.
A trip to the grocery store was needed for more munchies and ice after which we drove around the park to enjoy the scenery.
Rob spotted a bench and commented on how great the view would be, once he was laying on it of course. Naturally I agreed and got my camera out! A little later we had to return to the cabin as a nap would be required before the next outing which was Pasta Night at Robin's cabin.  We got there early, grabbed a table and very soon the place was filled with family and the delicious aroma of Italian food. 
I was feeling more comfortable now with Rob's relatives and enjoyed chatting with them, especially Mark above, who was the spitting image of Chevy Chase and just as funny. He had me howling with Ship High In Transit stories and tales of cow pies and short fuses. He even informed me of the difference between different dandelion flowers. We ate and drank vast amounts ensuring we could be classed as active members of Camp Consumption. 
As it got dark Rob and I wandered off to the picnic area and swung on the swings. We could see our cabin neighbors across the creek up on the hill sitting around a campfire strumming guitars and singing. Rob cupped his hands over his mouth and emitted a loud but low bear growl. I doubled up snorting as I tried to suppress my laughter. Across on the hill, the guitars and singing stopped. Rob growled again and the guitars picked up but this time louder and faster as though to ward off any would be intruders. Another bear growl stopped the music once more but this time, the flashlights came out with beams searching towards us. Rob continued sporadic growls and after about 5 or so minutes the bear patrol truck drove towards us with its searchlight flashing through our dark trees. Rob insisted we lay flat on the grass just in time as light beams shot over our heads. We were both laughing hard now and needed to escape so trying to avoid potholes but keeping our own flashlights off, we headed back to the cabins.
Along the trail we saw a family group enjoying the night air on their porch. Rob and I hid behind a large tree and once again, bear growls broke the happy chatter. Their flashlights stroked the ground near our tree and a male voice commented, 'It's too early for bears.' I was having a really tough job trying to keep my laughter quiet as we heard footsteps head towards us and a light beam sweep in front. As he reached our tree, we sprang out and Josh headed skywards at least 6ft. We all roared with fits of laughter and Beth gave up a nearly full bottle of wine to us. We were also presented with a large bowl of popcorn so we took our bounty down to Lori's cabin where we recounted our japes and chatted a bit longer. 
And then it was back to our cabin where by now I was desperate to see a bear and so I left a pile of strawberry wafers on the windowsill hoping to entice a shuffling snout. Rob complained but not too much so the biscuits stayed by the window.  
We sat outside a little longer and shared more wine and laughter until we were completely beat. The babbling brook below our cabin lulled us to deep sleep and dreams of bumbling bears munching on strawberry biscuits.

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