I took last Friday off with the intent of going camping in Pawtuckaway. Well, let’s just say it didn’t go quite as I planned.
I woke up early (normal work morning ritual), did some things around the house, and then called Pawtuckaway to see if they had any spots available. This very friendly girl said she had three spots left, but they are “first come, first serve,” so I better get there fast if I wanted one.
I thought sure, I can be there in just under an hour including the time it takes to pack my jeep. It was still early on Friday. I’ll beat the weekend crowd for sure – no problem.
I went outside, loaded up all my gear (tents, chairs, stuff, bags, beer, etc.) and headed to the park to get my spot. After about 30 minutes of driving back roads into New Hampshire, I pulled into the main parking lot at Pawtuckaway State Park. I parked my Jeep, walked inside the main building, and just as I stepped up to the counter – the girl put out the “campground is full” sign…
I said “awe, c’mon!”, and walked back out to my truck – defeated. I had missed my chance, but was not going to take it lying down. I was already in NH, had a Jeep packed with gear, and my Viking instinct was craving fire burgers and beer. There had to be somewhere else I could go.
Bear Brook State Park came to mind. They offer similar camping, and were only about 30 more minutes away. It took zero time to make the call. I plugged the address into my GPS and headed off.
After driving once again for ages on back roads, I came to Bear Brook State Park. I parked my Jeep, went into the main building and asked if they had anything available. They did! Well, sort of. They had two spots. One was just behind the bathrooms. The other, the polite girl informed me with a faint helpless smile, “flooded when it rains and is a little cramped”.
I drove around the park to check the two sites out. Neither were any good. I mean, not at all. I would be surrounded by RVs, playgrounds and Bathrooms… no thanks.
I left the park, resigned to the fact that I failed on the day – miserably. I was an hour from home with a truck packed for camping. And, not to mention, the day was half over by now. Some day off! I just gave up and went home… fail.
That night, while playing Bioshock, I decided that I’d give it another shot tomorrow (Sat.) morning. This time I’d drag someone else along with me to share in what would certainly be another failing mission. I mean come on, how could I expect to find a camping spot without any notice? It was a beautiful weekend during peak camping season. I had thought taking Friday off would help me beat the weekend crowd, and ask me how that turned out. Now I was going to try to find a spot on Saturday? What’s wrong with me…
I figured the only way it would work would be to go somewhere that offered tons of spots, thus making the chances of finding an opening better. I sent JG a text he and said he was up for it. I packed up the truck again (because I had of course already put all my crap away) and went to bed early. It was going to be a funny day if nothing else.
At 7:30am I got in my Jeep and headed to the White Mountains. One quick detour to pick up JG and some coffee and we were off. Camping, fire, beers or BUST!
to be continued….