Under the Milky Way tonight

I got a call at work from my sweetie late Friday afternoon:

Her: Do you want to go camping this weekend?
Me: Sure.
Her: OK, that’s all I wanted to know.

So come Saturday, we found ourselves once again in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, camping just outside of Littleton. Specifically, here. And unlike our other attempted camping trip this year (mid-May on the Cape), it did not dump three inches of rain on us and our tent (yes, tent—that’s right, we’re old school). It did, however, decide to be in the sunny and in the low 70s, with overnight lows around 50. In other words, it decided to be perfect camping weather.

Things we did this weekend:

  • Spent the night in a tent, camped out next to the banks of a river.
  • Roasted marshmallows over an open campfire for the first time in umpteen years.
  • Discussed the finer points of roasting said marshmallows. Namely: Catching the marshmallow on fire is not good; burnt ‘mallows taste bleah. What is good is finding a good hot spot over the fire (or, preferably, over some red-hot coals), then slowly turning the marshmallow until the outside is a nice, even, bread-crust brown. If you do it correctly, the inside will have just turned completely to goo—but here’s where you have to be careful because if you go just a little bit too long, the perfectly done marshmallow will slide right off your skewer (inside is all liquidy goo, remember?) and into the fire, which would be a tragedy. But if you’re careful… if you do it just right, you’ll be rewarded with a perfect roasted marshmallow, with the first bite through the slightly toasted outside giving way to the completely melted inside. A little crunch, and then it’s likely biting through air. That’s the perfect roasted marshmallow.
  • Saw a nighttime sky full of stars for the first time since lying out in a field in the Yosemite Valley back in 2004.
  • Checked out the caves at Lost River Gorge. Not the kind of caves where you walk into cavernous rooms and point out the stalactites and stalagmites. No, these were the kinds of caves where you crawled along on your belly through barely-passable crevices like a seven-year-old. In other words, these were the really cool kinds of caves.
  • Hiked the Welch/Dickey Trail (WARNING: 80KB PDF download) in the White Mountains National Forest, in the process discovering that when your trail guidebook points out that the ascent to the summit isn’t as difficult as it looks, the guidebook is flat out lying.

Things we did not do this weekend:

  • Watch TV.
  • Sit in front of a computer.

I’d almost forgotten how good these are. You should never forget that.

My sweetie, while roasting marshmallows over the fire

This interlude brought to you by Reasons Why We Moved Up Here, episode number 1,234.