Looking for a place to camp out overnight close to Keene, New Hampshire led us to Willow by the Pond. The property looked beautiful, the location was great, and the weather looked…well, good enough so we went for it anyways. When we arrived, our host, Karissa, and her friendly dog, Tanks, greeted us and directed us through the woods (thank you Subaru) to our campsite.
The campsite was situated in a mowed field that featured a few trees and a large pond lined on one side with some nice wildflowers that reflected nicely in the pond’s surface. With Karissa’s friendly “Camp anywhere you want” invitation, we chose the closest flat spot to where we had parked to set up our tents, accompanied by Tank who helped us by sniffing everything we brought. Directed to a large pile of brush to scavenge firewood, we began cracking sticks and hurting our heels trying to break pieces of wood for a small camp fire. Once we had our tents set up, a stock of fire materials, and some leisure time on our hands until our other friends arrived we went about relaxing. Crickets chirped, birds sang, the wind wafted through the trees, and the absurd amount of crawfish in the pond did whatever crawfish do. Seriously. There were billions of them. It was really cool to watch them all scurrying around. When my girlfriend Hannah and our friend Caity showed up, there was plenty of room in the driveway to park the extra car and Louiza and I helped them carry the food down to the campsite past a very excited Tank.
Displacing the two very nice wooden benches from their home by the pond, we formed a nice hang out area and set up our kitchen. Firing up a two burner camp stove and organizing all the ingredients that just arrived, Hannah set about cooking up a phenomenal dinner of Thai peanut tofu burritos. I had shredded a cabbage and carrot mix earlier in the day, we had whole wheat tortilla wraps, a block of tofu, fresh cilantro, and a store bought jar of Thai peanut sauce. Hannah (masterchef and woman of my dreams) cooked the tofu in some of the peanut sauce on medium heat for a while then assembled some awesome burritos for the crew.
Spread out on some sleeping pads, happily munching away on dinner and sipping beers, we chatted about life, jobs, friends and everything in between. With our stomachs full, we decided it was dark enough to light the fire and continued our conversations.
Caity then threw a giant curve ball in the evening by telling the group about peach bombs. Quickly setting down our beers for a momentarily more significant concoction, we began assembling what should only be known as a new essential food group. Taking a peach and cutting it in half, you simply replace the pit with a marshmallow, wrap it in tin foil, and toss (gently place without burning yourself) onto a good bed of coals. Wait approximately a bottle of beer minutes until you get a stick and roll it out of the fire to cool. Be careful when unwrapping and stuffing your face with this treat (think molten peach if it’s still hot) and I would recommend a spoon. Nevertheless, this neat snack is something to make to impress everyone you know.
We doused the fire with water (twice) and cleaned up camp. Knowing rain was coming, we decided to all snuggle in one tent and put everything else away before hitting the hay so the morning pack out would be super quick…because, rain. Waking up a couple times to the pattering sound of rain on the tent is better to waking up to snores or flatulence so when the damp morning arrived I was perfectly content in my dry sleeping back after a restful night with my friends. Packing was quick. We loaded up the cars, cleaned up the campsite, dropped off the garbage/recycling and water jug and hit the road.
Benjamin is an avid weekend warrior and loves all things outdoors, adventuring, and bad jokes.
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