May Camping Shabbaton – In the Rain!

By Sharon Bleviss, President

This year, the annual camping Shabbaton took 20 participants to Samuel P. Taylor State Park near San Rafael. Although the weather was cool and rain was predicted, the hardy arrived Friday night for tent set-up and a short Kabbalat Shabbat service, songs, a Mexican style dinner, and time with friends. The morning brought some sun and breakfast, followed by creative Shabbat services led by Rabbi Mark. Parsha B’Har was discussed in the context of the out-of-doors. Then the troops set off on a hike along the creek, and everyone marveled at the beauty of the redwoods and other flora and fauna.

After lunch, some folks took a nap while others took a more strenuous hike to Pioneer Tree, one of the few old growth redwoods still standing in the park after a history of logging. Rabbi Mark led a fascinating study session while dinner was being prepared. As the clouds gathered and the temperature dropped, the campfire was lit much to everyone’s joy. The salmon, corn on the cob, salad, grilled vegetables, and garlic bread feast was devoured by all as s’mores melted over the fire. Alas, rain drops began to fall and so several campers rigged a huge tarp over the common eating area just as the storm hit hard. The resulting lean-to was perfect for the small group who stayed up playing backgammon and keeping warm with wine and chocolate during the squall.

The morning was dry and as tents were packed up, toasted bagels with cream cheese and lox filled our tummies. It was too beautiful to resist one last hike–to the waterfall–despite gathering clouds. Everyone returned in time to throw their belongings into their cars and say good-bye at the closing circle before the rain began to fall once again. It was a lovely, spiritual, fun-filled weekend with family and friends–and just a little soggy.

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