My family and I go on a camping trip every summer to Summersville Lake, West Virginia. When I say family it means my huge, crazy, mountaineer loving, extended family that comes from all over. Over the years, we have all fallen in love with Summersville Lake and the beauty of the area. we go to escape from our daily lives and to enjoy the mountain air, clean, clear water, and time with each other.
This year was my Grandmother's 80th birthday. There wasn't a better place to hold her birthday party than where all eight of herkids love to gather and spend time together. We gathered at Summersville Lake on Friday June 29, 2012 to begin the birthday celebration.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
Most of us were camping by the lake but we had rented a cabin from my grandmother a few miles from the lake. As everyone arrived and set up their campsites, they then migrated to the cabin to be with one another.
As the laughter and joy of being together rang from the cabin, no mone noticed that the sky had quickly turned an eerie black. Gusts of wind began laying the trees on the ground, tree limbs were being thrown around, and the straight line winds of a terrible strom that would ravage several states that evening were upon us. Several family members ran to the campground to button up the campsites. It was too late. Tents were in the lake, awnings ripped off campers, and depris was everywhere. Power was knocked out to the entire area.
The sky was a beautiful blue the next morning as we looked around and realized how bad the destruction had been. Trees were ripped out of the ground, electrical lines were down, and there was no running water. We gathered as a family and asked grandmother if she wanted us to take her home so she would have electricity and running water. Her answer was a resound "NO!" She said we came to celebrate her 80th birthday and be together as a family, so that was what we were going to do. The mood of the family quickly lightened and the laughter of the night before returned. We were thankful everyone was safe and happy to be together. We were going to celebrate grandmother's birthday and enjoy our vacation no matter what.
On Sunday afternoon, the park ranger came to our campsites and told us that with no electricity the water was running low and the park had made the decision to close. The ranger told us that everyone needed to be out of the park within 24 hours. Our hearts sank. Our summer vacation had been, and so had our time together. Looking at our devastated faces, my aunt, who lives at Lake Norman, North Carolina, immediately said "Come to our house! Bring the boats! Vacation isn't ruined! It is just changing locations!"
The next 24 hours were a mix of sadness and happiness. We packed up the campsite and waited for the 24th hour to leave. We traveled down I-77 to North Carolina and began our vacation again. Though we enjoyed our time we spend at Lake Norman, we went on the boats and imagined ourselves surrounded by the mountains full of pine trees and the clear water splashing around us. It wasn't how we planned our summer getaway but in the end it was the perfect vacation. No matter where we traveled to or what we did, we were together and enjoying time with the family.