Take me home. West Virginia. Mountain highways.

I should have known the weekend in Harper's Ferry would be memorable from its auspicious beginnings. When it was determined we would let a machine that had been dubbed Phyllis show us the way to KOA, I might have questioned the logic in not relying on our own skills to plot a path. When Phyllis had us passing signs clearly marked Harper's Ferry with a giant right arrow, I might have done more than shrug. I wasn't really made aware of the tenor the trip was going to take until we were hugging the curves on a teeny, tiny back road and Allie came mere inches from running her car (starting with the side carrying the precious birthday cargo that was me) into a tree boldly displaying its orange and red. The simultaneous intake of breath and exhalation of 'oh!' by Colva and me was followed nervous, yet freeing laughter at our brush with death. I didn't even have the capability to text Scarlet if we had crashed because large parts of West Virginia hates T-Mobile.

And so began our weekend.

The rest of the weekend followed in similar fashion. Lunch at The Anvil where our boisterous group scared the natives. Breaking into teams and racing through Wal-Mart gathering our supplies. My team (Ravena, Scarlet and Ali) were the clear winners. My convincing everyone to hike down the valley to the river while simultaneously warning them it would mean a return trip up. Colva sitting said hike out. Allie calling me grandma as I complained about my knee on the way down. Allie's fear of the setting sun and arrival night critters driving her to race back up the mountain. My solitary diet coke break on the trail.

Back at the cabin, there was drinking and board games and fire and grilling and drinking. Margarita shots where Allie tried to convince me her splash of margarita made the tequila less strong. Board games that required poetry and hand holding and hands on the ground. Scooter and Rooster and Scarlet's tears of laughter. Tice showing up after 9 in his mountain man hat. Scarlet later wearing said hat with her pajamas.

More drinking. Colva pulling a Serena. Tired campers getting ready for bed. Sitting on the dock of the pond with Tice. Being so cold on the air mattress I kept forcing Tice to cuddle with me. Sleeping like a baby once someone threw a sleeping bag over me. Being called mama and papa bear the next morning. Tice reminding me that I knocked his hat in the pond and not him. Accusing Scarlet of snoring when it was really Terra.

For more stories of the weekend, check out my old twitter updates and flickr.

It was a grand birthday.