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Sleeping Bags and Ghost Stories

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Two of the things that make me absolutely happy are great friends and being outdoors; this weekend is going to send me over the moon. This afternoon I’ll be on a plane to Denver, and Friday night we’ll be grilling our dinner, sleeping in tents, and getting ready for what appears to be some serious river flow through the Royal Gorge! Accompanying me (and looking equally cool in the rafting helmets) are half a dozen or so great friends, some of whom I only see a few times a year, plus a hundred or so other Texas A&M alumni. We’ll wrap up our adventure with a BBQ and a great band Saturday night, and drift off, aching and tired, to the guitar chords of a few songwriters lingering around the campfire. This should be amazing.

Almost every moment of my childhood vacations was spent on lakes and rivers, water skiing and perfecting all manner of daredevil tricks with my family. In my perfect world, s’mores are a food group, every big tree would have a swing into the water, and the lake would always be smooth enough to see the clouds reflected. I think every great story I know about my family was told around a campfire, as the stars blazed through whispering pines and I tried to stay awake in my lounge chair. Skipping rocks becomes a zen art form, a hammock makes a fine bed, and if you wait long enough to get bored, that’s when the magic begins. I have another month until the great family round-up (this year at lovely lake Broken Bow in Oklahoma), but a taste of the outdoors this weekend will be my first of the summer and a great kick-off to the season.

If the camera survives, I’ll share some pictures next week…

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