Picnic Turns Into Disaster

My girlfriend and I have started up a new tradition. Each year, we try to determine the best date to go out for a Fall picnic. This is no ordinary picnic. This particular one included steak, home made pumpkin pie, cheesy scallop potatoes and Hawaiian rolls. The weather forecast for Monday was perfect. A high temperature near 75 degrees with a calm wind, mostly sunny with increasing clouds during the day.

After working my usual 9PM-5AM shift, I hit the sack at about 6 AM. Woke up at noon, prepared the materials we needed and headed out the door at 1. Picked up the girl at a quarter after 1 then proceeded to stop at BP to gas up, buy a 20oz of Mountain Dew and clean the windshield. That is pretty much my routine anytime I take a decent road trip. We were on the road by 1:30PM but our plans had changed.

I received a phone call from a buddy of mine who spent the night at Salt Fork State Park. He told me about all of the muzzle loaded hunters that were in the area. After checking the park map, sure enough, just about the entire park was considered public hunting land. Because I didn’t want it to be my last day alive as I know someone out their would probably mistake us for deer, I decided to take the girl to Wayne National Forest which is where I do my Bigfoot related research, hike and occasionally camp.

It took us three hours to finally arrive at the location. As soon as we unpacked the car, I poured a quarter bag of charcoal onto the grill. Because the bag became empty, I threw the empty bag on top of the charcoal to help get the fire going. This was my first mistake. My girlfriend and I decided to do a bit of hiking as it was getting a bit late in the afternoon and the charcoal needed to burn through it’s surface layer before it would be ready to cook anything.

We went off on our hike and took some wonderful photos which I’ll link to in a little bit. After about a half hour of hiking, we decided to head back to camp. As we were retreating back to the car, it started to rain. The rain was not expected to be in the area until late evening, so it was rather disappointing that we traveled over 150 miles just to be in the rain.

When we returned to the grill, I noticed that my first mistake of putting the empty charcoal bag on top of the charcoal had diminished the effects of the charcoal. As it the rain started to come down a bit more heavily, I decided to throw the steaks on the grill anyway as I didn’t think they would take that long to cook. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough heat to properly cook the steaks and the rain just kept coming down. Thinking how much of a drag this entire situation had become, my girlfriend and I finally decided to leave the steaks on the grill and ditch them. She ended up tossing out the scallop potatoes she made and all that was left were 4 rolls and a pumpkin pie.

We decided to head to a McDonalds that I swear has the best food out of any of the establishments I’ve been to. If your ever in Woodsfield Ohio, stop by their McDonalds. Every time I’ve gone into that particular restaurant, they have made the food fresh, as you order it. I think thats the difference. At any rate, on the way home, the rain continued to come down. I almost hit 5 different deer and some idiot household let their dog loose which decided to run at and chase my car, forcing me to slam on my brakes because I thought I was going to hit him. I’m glad I didn’t.

Over 350 miles were driven for a hike of about 45 minutes, a ruined picnic, and unexpected, wrongfully predicted rain. Not all was lost. I managed to grab two videos. One of me driving down Interstate 77 South and the other from within Wayne National Forest. I also managed to grab quite a few foliage photographs from the area. That was one of the major reasons of driving this far down south as the trees are plentiful, filled with a variety of colors. My girlfriend and I had a chance to spend some quality time together, although most of it was within the confines of a car. My car was washed and I nabbed some good photos. Things turned out alright in the end!

Click any of the images to see a larger size.
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Click here to see a slide show of this particular photo set.

55 Seconds From Within Wayne National Forest