M – People were shocked when I told them I would spend a weekend last summer in a tent. As in camping. Admittedly, I love nice hotels and good food and write about those things in this space from time to time. I loved it as a high school kid in Michigan, which, like New Hampshire, is filled with great sites to pitch a tent and enjoy the silence of a morning wake up call from the birds.
That was 1983. Now, campers wake up to the beeps of car locks. Even the accidental car alarms have replaced the robins. Twice that weekend a sleeping camper rolled over on their key fobs and woke the whole campground up at 6a.m. Never would’ve happened 30 years ago.
“A car alarm is the new reveille for today’s campers,” fellow camper Erik snickered. He’s right. This ain’t your father’s campground. A few things haven’t changed in the past three decades on camping. You still smell like smoke when you go home and you eat stuff you drop on the ground. After all, the five second food rule does not apply in the woods.
The heart and soul of life under the stars is the nightly camp fire. Our evening began with a frantic rush to make s’mores about eight seconds after we finished dessert from our communal dinner of venison and bear fat. OK, it was steak tips and Kayem hot dogs.
Have you made a s’more with those new super-sized marshmallows that look like white throw pillows? Good luck tasting the chocolate or graham cracker flavors with so much marshmallow. Plus, you’ll need a putty knife to scrape the excess goupage from your fingers once it dries.
As much as I enjoyed my time with Lady Baba’s fun and loving family, I was a bit saddened by technology’s tentacles reaching into the woods with cell phone ring tones and car horns.
And no need to bring a compass. My GPS guided me out of the woods and back home to the city where I’ll wake up to the birds tomorrow instead of car alarms.