One Friday after work I drove to Rochester to pick Kristin up and we raced up to the Kanc to find a camping spot. Our goal was to spend two nights up there, but the weather promised thunder storms, so we decided to swing at least Friday night.
There were two spots at Blackberry Crossing, both in the middle of the loop so we passed. Some of those spots are right off the road and hidden by only thin birches and the walls of the RVs next to you. Then we passed Jigger Johnson but it was full. It was about 6:30 pm now and we were getting nervous. We skipped out on Covered Bridge campground because Kristin went online and concluded it was booked.
I drove onward to Passaconaway campground. Out of 33 sites, 32 were booked and Site 33, a nice site -- near the road, but still private -- was available. The last space! We got it and I set up the tent. We put the tarp over it, un-pegged, and it proved to be effective, keeping us very dry & snug in the late rain.
As we got the fire started, a weird little guy in a golf cart approached us, then walked to our site. I walked right up to him and said hello. He was our host and wanted to remind us not to leave our food out because we were in bear country. He also told us the ranger is a “stickler” for the rules, so I assured him our food will be put away safely in the car. I was hoping he didn't stick around, because my car was filled with old wood slats from a part of my house I recently gutted. Some of our fire promised to flash green, if it ever got dark out. Of course, now I had this ranger to worry about.
I imagined the ranger with aviators and a poking stick and a big FISH & GAME badge “inspecting” our site – poking things with his poking stick. THE STICKLER. Played by some comic actor who is able to come off as slightly serious. He never came around, just a fear tactic. I'm not proud of myself for smuggling in all that nasty firewood, but I did it then and whatcha gonna do about it now?
We played with the fire until about 10:30 and then both crawled into our sleeping bags. Droplets of rain began to fall very soon after. I dozed off to it. I love the sound of heavy, mountain rain smacking a tent -- especially if I'm dry. We slept soundly until eight in the morning, which is late for camping.
When we woke, it wasn't raining anymore, though it was wet and very raw, so we decided to make a run for it. If we were set up for camping all week I'd have embraced the rain. We'd have a dry comfortable tent and a tarped-off picnic table to enjoy – but we weren't. So I pulled up the tent and tarp and we drove off, to the Starbucks in North Conway.
Coffee and reading and people-watching is always fun. Rain really does put a damper on things.