American June Part II

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This is where the actual end of school year occurred. 27 June. Can you believe that? It seems insane. Chilkat and Chilkoot posed for their regular end-of-school-year photos.

Les got a boat, finally — a good deal on a used ski boat. He bought it without D seeing it (apparently this is a good method for major purchases; its also how they finally ended up with a house). The kids got to ride on it; they had a good time.

We had our first camping trip of the year. We went to Twanoh State Park with the False Alarms. One of the things I find I enjoy about camping is experimentation — looking for alternate methods or tools or completely different solutions. Experiments for this trip:

  • New camping cookware to heat water for coffee in the morning. Previous trips, attempted to heat water over the fire in a pie tin. Which kind of worked. New method was much easier, but still used half a bag of charcoal to make one cup of coffee, which wasn’t satisfactory.
  • KrisDi decided we should have a cast iron pan for cooking over a fire. I think we only used it for pizza on this trip, which was another experiment. How many people do you know have made pizza dough from scratch at a campsite and cooked it over a campfire? The pepperoni pizza and the tomato mozzarella basil pizza both turned out great.
  • Color fire — I remembered from my youth that Dad had a canister of some kind of chemical we could add to the coal furnace that would change the color of the fire, which was amazing when I was a kid. Turns out, Amazon has handy little packets you can toss into a camp fire for the same purpose. Kids loved it. But it’s a pain in the ass that they burn forever, and you have to wait until they’re gone to cook over the fire.
  • Welding gloves — recommended by my little brother as a handy means of rearranging your fire. They’re insulated enough you can actually reach into the fire and grab burning logs and move them around. They also make great oven mitts. Don’t dawdle, though, they’re not heat proof, they’re just really effectively heat resistant.

Repeats of past successes include pre-made grocery store shish kebabs, breakfast burritos placed directly on coals, grilled cheese sandwiches in pie irons.

I woke up early one morning and got at least one nice sunrise photo (see above). We hiked a little bit, but mostly we hung out by the camp site. The kids played a bunch, drew or colored a bunch, spent some time crawling around on top of the False Alarms’ car (don’t ask, I don’t know), and I amazed the kids and the False Alarms with an old trick that amazed me when I was little: Put water in a paper cup, and put the paper cup in the fire, and the cup will burn down to the water level but no more. As the water evaporates, more cup will burn.

Posted by snaotheus

1 comment

Those colored fire crystals were my fault. I still like them. I’m glad you remember them.

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