The balmy Indian Summer weather lingered into autumn, so some friends and I hit the road for more camping adventures!  One friend is my former schoolmate, Cindy, and the other is the same gal pal, Jill, who accompanied me on the first two trips.  We had a fantastic time!  Cindy is a fabulous cook and did much to improve our menu… homemade French toast made with bakery cinnamon bread, which she sliced thick for hearty slabs of toast, grilled lemon chicken, wonderful salads, grilled veggies, hot cider over the campfire….  nom, nom, nom…. she was amazing!  Jill is a widow who lives alone and often dines on bowls of cereal or a tuna fish sandwich, and I can’t say I eat very fancy vittles, either, so we were overjoyed to have some REAL food!  In addition to eating, we also hiked, took lots of photos, played games around the campfire, worked on arts & crafts, and talked and laughed a lot!  We also enjoyed our quiet times: listening to the coyotes howl and yap as we sat in a cozy circle of light by the fire; and one night, we heard the soft whispers and whistles as flocks of migrating ducks passed overhead… flock after flock after flock!   We searched the moon-lit sky for any sign of them, but we couldn’t see anything- yet it was an enchanting experience just the same.

Winter is still a few weeks off by the calender, but temperature-wise, it arrived not long after our final mid-October journey.  I’ve removed much of Parnassus’ camping supplies, gave her a good cleaning  and winterized her plumbing.   We’ve already had one snow storm and as I type this, it is 27 degrees- a far cry from our mild October weather.   She’ll be used for my errands, so she’ll still be on the road, but it’s going to be a long winter as I dream of next years’ woodland excursions.

9.30-10.3 Nickerson State Park 048                                                   3rd trip: great campsite and wonderful weather!

9.30-10.3 Nickerson State Park 054                                                   All settled-in!

9.30-10.3 Nickerson State Park 003                                                   Sammy looks in: “Are you coming out, now?”

9.30-10.3 Nickerson State Park 060                                                   All ready for a good night’s sleep.

9.30-10.3 Nickerson State Park 061 Everything is stowed carefully away when we’re going down the road, so it takes a little time to get organized once we arrive.

9.30-10.3 Nickerson State Park 082                    This lovely lake is at the bottom of the hill by our campsite.

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9.30-10.3 Nickerson State Park 112                       Now it’s time to hike back up the hill to the site.

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9.30-10.3 Nickerson State Park 142                                                    Cindy and Jill.

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10.14-10.17 Nickeson State Park 001                4th trip: Getting set up at new campsite.

10.14-10.17 Nickeson State Park 002                                          Cindy brings fall decorations!

10.14-10.17 Nickeson State Park 003                             Jill and her dog Baby in tent.

10.14-10.17 Nickeson State Park 006           Jill in tent; Cindy, probably about to cook something delicious!

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10.14-10.17 Nickeson State Park 025                    Foggy start to the day as the sun starts to burn through.

10.14-10.17 Nickeson State Park 028                      Our campsite and the steep ravine next to it.

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10.14-10.17 Nickeson State Park 085                        Our campsite from a slightly different angle.

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10.14-10.17 Nickeson State Park 120Packing up the last camping trip of the year is always sad.  Here’s Parnassus, all ready to head for home.