The title and pictures (below) are for Carmen’s sake. The weather report promised near perfect camping weather: 70s or 80s with just a chance of light showers. Instead, a major thunderstorm poured rain on us for most of the trip, half flooding our tent. Still, our brief camping trip was as relaxing as I could have hoped, and I enjoyed myself immensely. Apart from a few walks with my daughter (she was not at all deterred by the rain, though she did maintain a fearful curiosity of slugs), I spent most of my time reading, with the rain noisily bouncing off the tarp over our heads, and a cheerful fire to keep us warm. Thanks to the weather, the campground was surprisingly empty for the week of a major holiday, and the few times the sun did peak out the rain made the towering maples seem even greener. Most of all, however, I just enjoyed getting away from the internet and my other responsibilities for a couple of days.
As for my reading, I finished John Stott’s Why I Am a Christian and finally read C.S. Lewis’ autobiographical Surprised by Joy. Stott was somewhat of a disappointment, to be honest. I’ve heard good things about him, but this book seemed a rather flat and mundane defense of Christianity. It offered a few good quotes and one or two original argumentative turns, but nothing that really stuck with me. I had to force myself to finish its brief 133 pages. Surprised by Joy, on the other hand, caught my attention quickly and did not let it up, offering not only an informative picture of Lewis’ early life and conversion, but also a fascinating examination of the human condition. It was also fun to see Lewis interacting with G.K. Chesterton’s work (another of my favorite authors). Anyway, one of Lewis' points is that the attempt to capture or analyze experience inevitably fails, and that is certainly true of the trip. These photos do nothing to capture the full onslaught of the rain, nor the true beauty of the trees: