For many years, my brother, brother in laws, a few selected friends, and I would return to the same secluded spot in an unused part of a national forest. It was a weekend camp we looked forward to all year, even though the site was rocky and sloped. The trip was a time for reflection, good conversation, and–in the beginning–mass quantities of alcohol.
One of my brother-in-laws is a gourmet campsite cook, and the meals he prepared were always a highlight of each trip. There is nothing that compares to sleeping in tents on a warm clear evening, sitting around a roaring camp fire–which was the first order of business upon our arrival–and eating well prepared food in the wild.
At the end of each trip, we would select a rock. Not a big rock, but one large enough to accept all our signatures. We would sign and date each memento and take it home for safe keeping.
We have not returned for several years due to various complications of life, although there are always plans to do so. We are no longer young, and my brother has gone to a better place, but those memories exist. Because of those rocks our experiences will not be forgotten.
There are sixteen ordinary rocks lined up on a long shelf in my garage. Sixteen stones that have taken on new meaning, as they allow us to return to our special campsite and the many memories made there.
The included painting is my representation of our campsite–awaiting our return.
Hope you enjoy,
Jonathan G. Meyer (Keeper of the rocks)