Not Roughing It

You know it’s gonna be in the Top Three when you walk a few steps from your campsite and see this (first photo), and while you’re sitting there getting your mind boggled someone comes along like this (second photo) and says, “I brought you coffee.”

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In an unpaved 18-site campground in Tahoe National Forest, my first tent-camping session of 2015 commenced with small rain squalls (anticipated). Site #5, noted “good” on a quick drive-through two years previous, turned out to be “supremely awesome.” Just yards from a creek that served as our water source (with an upstream aspen-lined view), set back from the rest of the campground, trees perfectly situated for first-rate tarping of table, tent, and fireside… We celebrated with Reuben sandwiches, cheese-crisped and piping hot out of the pie iron; a bottle of Cidre Noir from a new favorite, Devoto Orchards; and perfectly fire-roasted corn-on-the-cob. This is what they call “definitely not roughing it.”

The next two days featured visitation of six lakes (including paddling on two), western tanagers, a hammock drift in the aspens, and cheesy grits with leftover vodka sauce and fire-roasted onions and mushrooms and sausages — which did not serve to lessen the euphoria.

We were ushered out by a charmingly growly sky, a concluding tiny-lake paddle, and a sighting of the most beautiful Land Cruiser known to man (“Yeah, it’s a member of the family… bought it 35 years ago.”).