Camping…. with family

All summer long, my mom had been bugging me about going on a “family camping trip.” A weekend in late September was inked on the calendar and it was on.
My brother & I planned out a nice weekend in the White Mountains, camping at Dry River Campground in Crawford Notch, and hiking up to the Arethusa Falls for some nice nature scenery and stretch of the legs that everyone in tow could handle.

Due to work commitments we didn’t hit the road until 12:00 AM Saturday morning.  Two red bulls were just enough fuel for the almost four drive.

We set up camp at light speed, and headed to bed, well I headed to bed after enjoying an adult beverage.


Nick snagged this "REI Rental" tent from a swap sale for super cheap, excellent purchase.

Our home for the weekend.

After an early morning nap, we feasted on Bacon, Egg & Cheese sandwiches.  Nick & I headed down the road to pick up some ice and firewood, while the lady’s cleaned up.  With the dishes clean and beer on ice we were ready to hit the trail.  For some it was a relaxing 1.5 mile jaunt up to the falls for others it was a strenuous plod.  It was a good measuring point for any further adventuring.

While I was Dillydallying up the trail playing with a borrowed DSLR, Nick bounded into the middle of the falls and was waiting for a prime photo op.

Nick wondering why I don't have better photography skills.

Mom & Tess hanging out under the falls.

FYI -  I did not slip.

Don't slip, don't slip, don't slip.

We decided that everyone had enough in them to head back down along the Frankenstein Cliff trail and take in some more views. Views which required some maneuvering close to the edge giving Mom several heart attacks.

Location of heart attack #1.

We managed one photo of the four of us.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!

Today’s blog is brought to you by Teddy’s All Natural Superchunky Peanut Butter and St. Joseph’s Abbey’s Trappist Boysenberry Seedless Jam. Combined you will have the best PB&J you have ever tasted, I swear by both. Back to the hike, did I mention the weather was perfect?

Glorious Crawford Notch State Park, NH

Nick's looking a little mysterious.


The views the rest of the way down did not disappoint. (read:  here is the photo intensive portion of this post)

It took us 4 hours to complete the 4.5 mile loop. A perfect day hike for our motley crew. It was a challenge for the inexperienced hikers, and a nice change our pace for the seasoned vet. I thoroughly enjoyed ambling along taking in all the sights, sounds, and photographs not worrying about reaching a destination before sunset.

Back at the campsite we snacked on some cheese and summer sausage. My new favorite snack combo. Unfortunately there was no Bear Wine to wash it down this time. We did have the treat of a modern and clean bathroom/shower facility on the campsite. A post hike shower, what a novel concept! Clean and snacked out it was on to the main course!

Master Camp Chef, Nick, prepares lasagna for us in his dutch oven.

Nick, where's the smile?

That lasagna will be done any minute now.

The lasagna came out amazing, and I literally ate half of it. There were no leftovers. I was done after the lasagna couldn’t clear any room for even apple cobbler. Relaxing around the evening campfire Nick & I plotted an early morning excursion to the summit of nearby Mt. Willey. I could not handle being in the White Mountains and not summiting anything. We were in bed by nine, and on the trail for a true alpine start. Finding the trail head was a bit of a challenge in the dark, it was tucked behind an occupied campsite. We headed north along the saco river, eventually crossed the river and rte 302, and joined up with the Ethan Pond Trail. Everything was rather easy going until we turned onto the Willey range trail towards the summit, which immediately rose above us.

Nick climbing the staircase to Mt. Willey

The stairs became very ladder like.

The views of yesteday were no where to be found.

We absolutely destroyed this hike, clocking in a time of 4hrs 45 minutes for the exactly 10 mile round trip. I think this is even faster considering the last mile up took us a full hour. It was 10:30 when we made back to the campsite and hot breakfast sandwiches waiting to be devoured.

Packing up the campsite, my stated that as much fun as she had, she had gotten all the camping and hiking out of her system for a long while. Tess on the other hand, may have been bitten by the outdoors bug.

Before returning to the reality that we all had work the next day, the classic lunch stop at the Moat in North Conway was enjoyed by all.

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