Lady of the Wild Woods

Camping in Northern Vermont

Camping in Brighton State Park

Sometimes things don’t go the way you intend…

Huiyeng and I both had a pretty hectic week at work leading up to our much anticipated weekend camping trip. Plus, she had just gotten back the weekend before from an epic hike in the Wind River Range of Wyoming to hike Mount Gannett. Brighton State Park in northern Vermont was about two and a half hours north of my house, and we wanted to leave fairly early Friday evening, so we could get there and set up and relax. By the time we had both gotten our stuff in the car, loaded the kayaks, and attached the bikes, it was close to 7:30 pm. We stopped along the way to buy firewood, but wanted to wait to have food until we were at the campsite. By the time we arrived, it was nearly 10:00 pm. We just wanted to set up, make some food, and go to bed. As we unpacked the car, it quickly became apparent that we were missing something very important. We had the bag with the tent, but we were missing a second bag that contained the poles. We effectively had a piece of cloth with nothing to hold it up.

car camping literally

Car Camping, Literally

While it was frustrating, we decided not to let it get us down. We cleared out the back of the car and inflated a mattress halfway in the back of the car. We tried it out and barely fit, plus it was a bit wobbly, like being on a waterbed. But it was still better than being on the hard floor of the car! We made do with what we had available and then turned our sights to food.

Food, Food, Food!

Despite being hangry at ten o’clock at night, we kept things pretty positive, stayed solution-minded, and quickly got the stove fired up. Easy peasy–we had a Beyond Burger and some greens. Once the food got into our systems, we felt much more relaxed and talked about ideas for how to get the tent up and running the next day.

Waking up in the car provided a beautiful view of our wooded site in the daylight! We prepared breakfast and contemplated more on how to set up the tent. Honestly, it was not that comfortable to sleep in the car, and my hip was aching, so I was glad to come up with an alternative.

We decided to use rope to hoist the corners of the tent up and place the inflatable mattress inside. We also did not have the stakes, so we had to make do with what we had. Fortunately, Huiyeng brought two telescopic poles for the tarp if we needed a shelter from rain. We improvised a tent with the two telescopic poles and four lengths of rope.

It worked for what we needed it to be the next night, and it was so much more comfortable! An inflatable mattress really makes camping more like glamping.

The next item on the agenda was to check out Spectacle Pond via kayak. We weren’t that far from the border with Canada. It was overcast and chilly for a summer day, but the views were quite beautiful. There were lily pads in some sections with beautiful flowers. We circumvented the pond and wanted to go through an inlet into the larger Island Pond, but a ginormous beaver dam blocked the way. It was the grand estate of beaver dams! I’m always astounded by their engineering.

Dinner for Hungry kayakers

After kayaking, we headed back to the campsite to eat dinner and hang out. We made jambalaya with a fresh red pepper and vegan sausage and grilled zucchini on the side. It was delicious!

Camping breakfast

The next morning we made breakfast with Just Egg, grilled toast (not pictured), Beyond sausages, and hash browns. We packed up and headed to Kingdom Trails for mountain biking!

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