Day 2 . . .
Smed and I got up before dawn on our first morning at camp. It was our intention to see the sun rise over the Atlantic. The sky was full of clouds, but the air was warm, bringing hope that they would burn off. The sun peeked her lovely face out above the sea and from under the billowy blanket. Sunrises are always magical.
Corn eventually woke up. It was hard not to, with the warmth of the air, the song birds filling it with music, and the faint beat of the waves keeping time in the distance. We had a bit of a breakfast. Smed and I had a bit of a puff. Corn was an abstainer of all things a little naughty. Then we all went off exploring.
The morning beaches always have fun castaways, fish, both jelly and boned, crabs, horseshoe and otherwise, and other bits of flotsam. The water was a bit cool for swimming, it being only late Spring. But getting our feet wet was still delightful.
After exploring the beach for a while, and our high feeling a little low, we went back to the campsite for a refresher and snacks. We then elected to explore the wooded area surrounding the campgrounds. At the time it was still in its wild, natural state, and marked only by a few foot paths here and there.
There is an old, unused lighthouse on Hunting Island. It was built in 1873. In 1974 it was open to the public, and still is I believe. Having explored some of the woods, we thought the lighthouse would be fun. It was a short drive from the campground. Honestly, without risking the various large life forms the deep woods did hold, there was no other way to get to the lighthouse from the campsite, except via a very long beach walk, which neither Smed nor Corn was interested in doing.
Much to our surprise, near the lighthouse there was a small, three-hole putt-putt course. No ticket was needed. There was no line. However, you had to have your own putter and ball. It was just three little holes, tucked near the edge of the forest, as if an old eccentric lighthouse keeper had built the thing out of some crazed fit, and then walked away from it.
After a good afternoon of exploring the lighthouse, we headed back to the campsite. There really wasn’t much else on the island. Water, wood, the lighthouse and the odd putt-putt course, and the campground. There were maybe thirty campsites spread over a fairly large area, with enough space between each that you almost felt alone. There was a small, all-in-one general store, ranger office, campground office building, and a separate public shower and restroom facility, and that was it. If you cannot find fun in nature, the island would not have been your place.
I understand that has all changed now, though I have not been back since. I hear awful tales of the tendrils of civilization creeping deeper into the island, the almighty dollar seeking any place it can suck dry.
After we had relaxed at the campsite for a while, Smed suddenly tells us that he is going to leave in a bit. Of course Corn and I ask him what it is all about. Smed proceeds to tell us that he met a gal recently. They met at a church retreat. The gal, Marty, lives fairly near to the coast, so he is going to get her and bring her back for our last night.
Smed then asked me one favor. While Marty was with us, if we could put the pipe away, he would appreciate it. Hey, no big deal. I could walk off with a doob if I felt the need, but we were just about out anyway. Then Smed gets up, dusts himself off, hops into Uffy and sputters away.
Corn and I relax and enjoy the afternoon. Honestly, the peace of the wood and sea left us both calmed to the point of wanting to do little. We both read a bit. I puffed a little. We walked together or alone, and snacked. I took a little time to explore the general store portion of the campground office. A task that took me five minutes, tops.
As dusk fell on the island, and the birds began to settle themselves down for the evening, the ringing chug of Uffy could be heard working her way into the camping area.
Smed introduced us to Marty. After the customary pleasantries, I found myself feeling very drawn to her. She was just that type of person. Open and warm. I don’t think she ever met anyone other than a friend. We all sat around a small fire, yes, roasting marshmallows, and talked and learned a bit about each other. Marty was, and I suspect still is, very good at asking questions of you, getting you to open up and tell all about yourself.
The night drew on. Everyone was getting a bit tired. Corn and I decided we would give Smed and Marty the privacy of the tent. I had a small one-man tent in my gear, so I set it up, and Corn folded down Uffy’s seats and made a bed for himself. The night closed in quietly. Even the big tent was quiet and calm. Just what I expected from good ol’ Smed and his new friend Marty.