A few weeks ago, Brittany contacted us with an idea for a film to capture some memories at her family’s camp. She wanted to preserve this carefree time in her children’s lives, the relationship they have with their grandmother, and this place that has meant so much to their family.
It’s spring and WV, and this year it’s been particularly rainy and wet. We anxiously watched the weather to try and plan for a good day, picked the best one we could, then set our for the family’s camp outside of Moorefield, WV. As we left Moorefield and started toward the camp, the sunny skies clouded over and thunder rolled in.
There are two entrances to the camp. The front entrance requires driving through what is usually a very shallow spot on the South Fork River. The river was swollen from all the rain, and completely impossible, so we traveled over two loosely constructed bridges with rattling boards, through some fields and across a smaller, yet still pretty swollen stream to reach the family’s camp. We waited out the storm alongside the river, hearing stories about the camp from when Brittany, and her mom, Jenny, were kids. The camp itself is a simple 3 room cabin, and Jenny had stories of being a child, bunked down with countless cousins under piles of quilts to keep warm from the crisp mountain air.
Once the storm passed, we set out up the mountain to a small lake on the property. On the way up, Jenny shared that when she was a child, her dad had purchased an old green school bus and repurposed it into a camper for hunting excursions on the top of the mountain. She rode along as he wrestled the bus up the steep and narrow road. Every once in awhile, he’d ask her to get off and walk a bit. Once the bus was safely parked at the top of the mountain, she learned that he’d made her walk the particularly narrow parts, where he was worried the bus might slide off the road into the ravine!
The lake sits behind an impressive land dam, built to help protect towns down the South Fork river from raging flash floods. The passing storm left low flying clouds and mist floating around, and as we filmed the kids finding turkey feathers, running through the grass, and searching for tadpoles, we became one with the clouds. It’s one of those “magic of filmmaking” moments….it happened so slowly that none of us noticed while it was happening, but while I was editing the footage from the evening, I could watch the mist get heavier and heavier.