Things are cooking at camp. Literally, with both woodstoves running the temperature is almost 80 degrees!
Here I am out in the Great North Woods of New Hampshire! During the winter months camp is only accessible with snowshoes or a track runner. Maybe a snow machine if the snow is just right. Good thing we have access to all three. There is no electricity, or running water at camp. We use a gas refrigerator and stove. Gaslights allow for late night board games. An old wood cook stove and a barrel-type stove provide plenty of heat. Camp is small, consisting of 2 rooms on as many floors. A counter separates the kitchen area from the dining/living/sleeping area. The three built in seating quarters double as beds. Upstairs, if you can manage yourself up the 30 degree ladder, houses a oversized king bed, table, chair, dresser and a chamber pot complete with a remarkably comfy wood seat. Most of the time when nature calls we trek out the side door 20 feet or so to the outhouse. It is a nice little two seater with a urinal. Three people could actually use the outhouse at one time. To my knowledge that has never happened. When my daughter comes to camp she insists someone (me) goes with her to the privy and if I am going out there I may as well use my time wisely. The seats are back to back so the designer had some modesty in mind. The surroundings at camp are just as pleasant inside as they are outside. The interior is mostly wood with a few areas of roughly spackled white walls. There are 4 entry doors each one hand made with a unique wood pattern. Windows cover most of the wall surface. Twenty windows grace the main floor plus three more windows in the doors. An unusual porthole window offers a peek to the outdoors on the west side. The upstairs has a rather unusually large round window with six petal shape windows surrounding the inner circle. The detail in the window trim work is exquisite. Not including the previously mentioned window, the upstairs boasts as many windows as the main floor.
We arrived on a Wednesday and will depart two days later on Friday. These few days at camp will consist of; walking the loop that the boys make with the snowmobile, sledding, snowmobiling, knitting, reading and deep conversation that only seems to happen at camp. I have often thought that camp is so very relaxing it lends itself nicely to helping one find a deeper connection with themselves. My family talks a lot. We enjoy debates and discussion, even a good healthy argument now and then. However our “camp talks” are different, they are deeper. When we are at home it seems as thought there is always something waiting that needs to be done. Those thoughts of impending tasks take up space in our heads and don’t allow for the level of clarity required to have a thoughtful conversation as a family. Even if only one of us is distracted the conversation loses it’s focus. At camp there is hardly ever anything that has to be done by a certain time. In the evening with the supper mess all around us we sit and talk and talk, as if we haven’t seen each other in years. Camp talk is interesting and stimulating and one of the many features I look forward to when coming to camp.
As you sit by the woodstove and look west the mountains of Vermont fill the skyline. Winter offers the best view in my opinion. Every day the view changes. Spots on the mountainside that were bare become covered with snow or the reverse happens as the snow melts and white covered areas slowly become bare. At night the few homes on the hillside light up. Over the past ten years I have noticed more lights on the hillside and bigger bare spots as people move north and build their homes. Camp is roughly ten minutes from town and only a mile or so from a small store but it feels like you’re a hundred miles from anyone when you are here. As I look out the window a see the homes miles away I realize that the secret must be out. I imagine within the next ten years the view will be littered with new construction. As long as we don’t get any close abutters if that happens we might consider another move to a camp further up North. Although that would mean a Canadian citizenship.