It’s one crazy summer and midweek in late August veteran camper Jake has had enough. “I’m thinking of driving down for a Kill Devils burger tomorrow. Would love to say a socially distant hello.”
It’s early evening so I counter. “We can do you one better if you like. Stay here. Uncle Donny’s suggestion. Sleep in the pub. On the porch. On the deck. The trampoline (Lewis did that one night). Pitch your tent. Your choice if any of those work for you. And then you might fit in NHPC & Surfin’ Spoon as well. And get cinnamon buns for breakfast ❤️”
He ponders the idea, “Many good options! but I’ve got to be “in class” 8am Thursday.” I remind him that virtual class can pretty much happen anywhere. He agrees but it is the first day of class. He’s in the dark as to what to expect.
Then, “Driving tonight and sleeping out doesn’t sound like a bad idea. How are the bugs?” I send him a photo of the mosquito netting tent and memory foam folding mattress inside already set up, I know he’ll make the right choice.
Jake catches the sunrise on the beach while I make cinnamon buns and more for breakfast. He attends class. We head to Kill Devil’s in separate cars for lunch. Then it’s beach time. It’s a perfect Chamber of Commerce Day.
We leave the beach planning to stop at Kill Devils. NHPC is just that much too far in the wrong direction to even pick up pizza for the drive home and get the day tripper back to Richmond in time for classes on Friday.
I’m in my car just about to pull out of the grassy access at Dowitcher that is town parking for Small Street beach access. “I can’t find my car key.” Jake’s key is literally no where to be found. It’s the kind that only needs to be in proximity to the car to start it but it’s just not anywhere. We retrace our steps. He is confident that he did not put it in his pocket. And if he had the pocket is a very deep one that would have made escape unlikely.
We ask the lifeguard. Jake even tries to find it in the ocean. It’s no where we look. Vanished. Jake calls his mom. She says that Triple AAA will be able to start it. We all know how long it takes Triple AAA to respond so I volunteer to go get Kill Devil’s while Jake car sits. When I get back I find out that Triple AAA cannot help.
Diane has a spare key but cannot afford the time to bring it, she will Fed Ex it overnight.
Jake can barely enjoy his bonus time at camp he’s so vexed at losing the key. During this act Lewis sees my video of the excellent tide pool and they decide bring Felix after nap to play in it. I spy them walking toward Small Street as I return with take out. Opportunity to play at the beach! Jake distance joins while still looking for his key. Later we even check in with the town of Nags Head and advise them that there will be an overnight car at Dowitcher. Then we reason we may as well pack more into the day and step one last time through the original hobbit door at Surfin’ Spoon.
NHPC too is now on the agenda as well as a stop at Jockey’s Ridge for a sunset sprint. And a wrap up moonrise on the beach with a lanterns launch in the distance.
Next morning Jake raises the camp flag and attends his virtual class with an awesome sound side view complete with breakfast while waiting for Fed Ex to deliver the key. We are crushed when the first Fed Ex truck to arrive on our street is the wrong one. “You’re looking for an Express truck,” the driver tells us. We’ll take any truck with the key. Finally it arrives, class is long over so we are good to go get Jake’s car and polish off the day in camp style. Our customary camp hilarity is quite present but I can’t get Jake to put anything on the joke list. “We all need to be here.” He’s right, the joke list requires Martin and Lydia in attendance.
Thanks for holding up camp tradition Jake. 2020 did not defeat us!