We are back from our camping trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and I am feeling semi-recovered – it was quite an adventure! First off let me share that it is extremely exhausting to take a thirteen month old, active, curious baby on a camping trip. So. Very. Exhausting. The good news is he loved it! Bixby had a grand time scooping up rocks and dirt, making mud, playing in the tent, walking up and down stairs, hills, etc., etc. The first night it was just me, Bix, and Benny, so we really had our hands full keeping up with him!
The drive there was beautiful, it felt great to get out of town and onto the open road. This shot was taken near the campsite in Franconia Notch – I thought this van was adorable with the daisy license plate, daisy stickers, and even fake daisies wrapped around their antenna! I love that with no other cars around, this looks like it could have been taken in the 70′s :)
At our campsite we were quite comfortable. Benny and I have been camping many, many times over the years, so we have gradually stocked up on all of the things we need to make car camping trips run smoothly. This time we added a high chair and jogging stroller to our packing list! We were considering skipping the high chair, but I am so grateful we brought it: it was the only time we didn’t have to worry about Bixby getting into trouble! Of course we weren’t counting on trouble of another kind…
That first evening, just after I got into the tent to put Bixby to bed, and while Ben was still sitting at the picnic table, A BEAR payed us a visit!! Ben turned around to see the bear literally two feet behind him. We were still snacking after dinner, so there were a few things left out on the table – we had been warned there was a “baby” bear in the area, so we had every intention of putting our food in the car for the night – we just didn’t expect the bear to arrive while we were still eating!!
I could see the bear through the tent window in the dusky light as he put his big nose over the picnic table and picked up a bag of chips in his mouth, then wheeled around and ambled off to savor the treat. This bear was NOT SCARED of us in the least. Ben ended up honking our car horn and flashing the lights to scare it off. Later on (after Ben somehow convinced me to stay rather than take off for the nearest motel, ahem) the bear came back once again, this time snuffling around our stuff as we lay in the tent. This time he didn’t find any food, and moved on. In the morning I snapped a picture of a bear paw print on our picnic tablecloth, seen above.
On Saturday when Ben’s sister and Mom arrived (after getting over the shock of our bear story…), we took a lovely little walk down a bike path to a lake. Wading in the shallow, cool water was a big hit with little B. I love this shot of him. Thank you Auntie Amy for taking it! We stayed a second night, even with the bear nearby, but we built a big fire this time and made lots of noise. I think it also helped that the campsite was full the second night, because the bear did not return.
In the morning we were rewarded with breakfast out at Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, a family tradition. Blueberry pancakes with real local maple syrup, smoky bacon, and lots of hot coffee.
(all images by me, Laura Gaskill + one by Amy Rasmussen :) )