May Durkovic, VA

Senior Writer

May’s love for writing was ignited when her fourth grade teacher entered one of her class assignments in a writing contest, and she won first place. She has been writing ever since and embarked on her professional writing career in 2011. As a freelance writer for two online newspapers, May has interviewed numerous members of the community and highlighted their noteworthy talents and accomplishments. She is passionate about documenting the life stories and legacies of others. In her spare time, she enjoys learning about history, kayaking, and travelling with her family.

As a Story Terrace writer, May interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

A Wild Adventure

My husband loves camping. I’m talking hard-core, carry a hundred-pound pack on your back while hiking ten miles uphill backcountry camping. The kind of camping where the only running water is a stream and a bear, snake, or skunk sighting is highly probable.

Now I am not new to camping. As a kid my family and I camped every Labor Day weekend, although I have to admit it was a little more luxurious than backcountry camping. My dad parked a few yards away from our campsite and we lugged our tent, air mattresses, and sleeping bags down the even, well-traveled trail to our assigned spot. At the time, I didn’t realize car camping wasn’t the only way to camp, and while I had never gone backcountry camping before, I figured it wouldn’t be that much different. So when my husband, Derek, invited me to join him on a one-night backcountry camping trip a few months after we started dating, I readily agreed.

Looking back, I had it pretty easy that trip. Derek planned what to bring, researched the trails we would hike, packed everything up and scouted out potential campsites. All I had to do was show up. The drive up the mountain was enjoyable, and I was honestly looking forward to spending time in nature while learning more about Derek. It was all going so well until I stepped out of the car and he handed me a heavy backpack to wear. After the first 100 feet or so, I became painfully aware of the differences between backcountry and car camping. When we did make it to the site and set up camp, I was again reminded of how isolated we were when a black bear and deer circled our campsite for what seemed like an eternity. (Okay, maybe it was just five minutes, but it was a really long five minutes.)

Despite the heavy backpack and wildlife visitors, I was still open to backcountry camping in the future. Until I woke up the next morning to the sound of rain beating down on our tent. A few hours later and four miles into our five-mile hike back to the car, drenched and sore from the weight I was carrying, I decided backcountry camping was not for me. I guess Derek agreed because we haven’t gone since.

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