COOPER DISCOVERER: Middle-earth by Montero...with Four Kids

This is a great story. Encouraging to me as I start to imagine adventures with my wife and 2 boys (3yr old and a 4 month old). Thinking of taking the 3 yr old on his first overnight camping this summer, but the post makes me think maybe we can take the whole crew (why not?!?)

I'll have to PM some of you. We are in RVA. Love camping at Crabtree, we have gone there and camped near the meadows since I was a kid. Would be great to have a group of other Christian families to adventure with in the future.


Incomplete Idiot
The Distance Between the Doing and the Telling

The Distance Between the Doing and the Telling

Began Long Ago.jpg

... ... ... hmm ... ... ...

... ... ...


... ... ... ... ... Concerning ... Hobbits ... ...

… … … hmmm?

After sixty years you could imagine the difficulty one would have in knowing where to start if trying to share the story of a long ago adventure. It'd been six decades since Bilbo had walked back into the sale of Bag End, interrupting the erasure of his estate and returning himself to a settled life of good food, warm hearths, and all the comforts of home. But sixty kinda makes me wonder why it took the old hobbit so long to sit down and write things out.

A truth about adventures is that often they're more exciting and enjoyable in their remembering and retelling than in the actual midst of their unfolding. And that's not just true for the one with firsthand experience of the tale. I'm thankful Bilbo got around to writing his Red Book of Westmarch, as I'm sure many, many more people would agree, because in its pages I've been able to have many, many adventures in Middle-earth that would otherwise have been lost on him alone. So I thought, maybe a few would benefit from me finishing up my tale...

When I came up with the ideas to take my kids into Middle-earth by way of a Mitsubishi and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia I didn't have an internet audience in mind. In fact, when I eventually sat down to scribble together this tale it was really just for me, and one day my kids. Something to cement in my mind and theirs the fun memories we'd share together. It wasn't to win a contest, or even for anyone to read on an internet forum. The idea for the trip began around Christmas of 2015 in the midst of our annual Lord of the Rings movie marathon. As the season for that annual tradition reapproaches so does the desire to pick back up where the tale was left unfinished...but only unfinished in the retelling. The adventure itself was completed over a year ago by this time (spoiler alert: nobody died, and all seven rings are gone...).

It shouldn't then be that difficult to write something if the adventure was only a little over a year ago, but as I stare into a blank white computer screen, behind which is a blank white world outside the window, covered in an early December snow, I almost wish I had some of the South Farthing's finest to stimulate my creative memory. Coffee will have to do, and maybe a little Howard Shore to put my mind back where it always finds itself this time of year...Middle-earth.

For anyone that's been waiting over a year on an update (cricket, cricket…), or maybe just wondering how this story ultimately resolved itself, you've probably long since moved on and forgotten about this trip report. I've never been one to get anything done without some kind of deadline looming, and ever since the contest deadline of July 31, 2016, life's demands and deadlines have been elsewhere. If not obvious, I'm not a professional writer. I've got a normal job, plus four young kids, and a Netflix subscription, and a million other excuses for not getting things done that don't need to get done. But as the Christmas season arrives and my mind returns to Middle-earth yet again, I'm hoping that a December 31st self-imposed deadline will help to get this story recorded, if for no other audience than me. I'd really love to remember all that happened too.
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