i left this morning with my parents to groton vermont, about a 4 hour drive north, to do a few days of camping at the groton state forest. we've been there once before back in august 2004. since that time, it's always been one of my favorite naturing spots. i saw a lot of stuff back then and was hoping to have a repeat performance. for my parents, this is their third camping trip this season. for me, the last time i went camping was back in 2005. i've never been a big fan of camping. for me, it's a means to a end if i want to do some remote naturing. if i had the money though, i'd rather spend the night in a cozy hotel room, hot shower, television, soft bed.
we stopped only once along the way in new hampshire to use the bathroom and buy some drinks from the tax-free liquor warehouse. i bought a large jug of cheap vodka for cooking purposes. this time around we stayed at the new discover state park at the northern end of the forest close to osmore pond. we didn't arrive until almost 3pm. the last time we came the place was pretty empty, and that was on a weekend; this time around, arriving on a monday, there was even less campers around. on the advice of the park ranger, we picked secluded campsite 24. in between setting up our tents we had a late lunch of rice noodles.
we left to explore the nearby attractions. first stop was the picnic site on the western bank of osmore pond. next we visited peacham pond north of the forest. we then drove all the way to the eastern edge of the park, looking for a shortcut to peacham bog. we went on a lot of dusty back roads, up and down through forested hills and small rural towns. turns out there wasn't a shortcut after all, and we headed back to camp before it got dark.
camping in vermont isn't all bad: at the very least i think all vermont state park campsites have coin-operated hot showers. for some reason the stall in just the men's bathroom just had a simple timer dial so that meant free hot showers. the only drawback was apparently there's no temperature limit so it's easy to scald yourself. after dinner, i took a hot shower and went to bed, reading an issue of wired magazine with a headlamp. i went to sleep, the crackling sound and pulsating glow of the campfire outside my tent lulling me into unconsciousness.