I woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of rain violently beating against our little moss-covered cabin. I’m convinced that drifting off to sounds of rain while safely tucked under wool blankets in a cozy little cabin is one of the greatest joys in life. I laid awake listening to the rain until it died down or until I drifted back to sleep, I am not sure which came first.
We ambitiously set our alarms to catch the sunrise at Myrtle Point, but when the alarm went off, I opened the door to find a cloud-covered fantasy world, so different from the previous day. Secretly relieved, I crawled back under the covers and went back to sleep. At 8am the breakfast bell rang and, thankful we (Sly) had packed warm layers, we pulled on pretty much all of them and made our way to the dining hall for breakfast.
I mentioned in a previous post that dinner at LeConte Lodge was pretty disappointing. Breakfast, on the other hand, was pretty decent. We ate heaping plates of pancakes slathered with apple butter, scrambled eggs, grits and biscuits, washed down with a tiny glass of Tang and lots of hot coffee.
Immediately after breakfast the camp became a ghost town as everyone scurried off to various day hikes. This was more our style. Sly and I took this as an opportunity to relax once more on our porch and slowly ease into the morning. That, plus we needed some time to digest the plates of food we had eaten for breakfast.
I was in the cabin packing up some of our things when I heard someone tapping on our cabin door. It was our neighbor, smiling from ear to ear. “There’s a deer over by the cabin if you want to take some photos,” he whispered. “I know you guys are really into photography — It’s really close.” I sort of hesitated for a brief moment. Did I really want to get all my gear out again to photograph a run-of-the-mill deer potentially hundreds of feet from camp? I sort of felt obligated seeing as my neighbor had gone out of his way to tell me about the deer so I reluctantly grabbed my camera and followed my neighbor — still smiling — to the side of his cabin.
Now I know why our neighbor was smiling so much. Back at home we see deer all the time in our greenbelt backyard, but this was different. It felt somehow magical watching this little deer delicately tread through the tall dewy grass completely indifferent to us. We were in its world, not the other way around. We all watched its every move, completely transfixed and giddy, whispering excitedly to one another with overly-animated faces and huge goofy grins. Us, our neighbors, we were all BFFs in those moments, sharing an experience that was as simple as it was beautiful. And then the not-so-common creature walked deeper into the forest giving us one last long look before disappearing into the fog.
For more info. on LeConte Lodge, click here.