Monday, October 22, 2012

Camping at Clemson

A few weeks ago we went camping with the Natiez and Leblanc/Vachon families. It wasn't your normal overnight camping trip. there were no tents, instead we spent the night in a tree house at the Clemson University Outdoor Lab. I had seen the site promoted on Facebook but figured that it would be all booked up. In the end we got a reservation for one of the few weekends that would work out for all of us. Fifty dollars and a few phone calls later we were on our way.

The site was really just a covered platform on stilts in a wooded area just a few miles from Clemson. There are lots of other facilities on site, but this is the most rustic by far. Below is a shot of Isabelle in front of the Eagle's Nest.

There were large gym mats on the floor so the sleeping arrangements were pretty good. The top was mainly screened in, although much of the bottom where the railing was was just open. In the end it didn't matter since there were few bugs or mosquitoes.

On the lower level was a sheltered area where we had breakfast in the morning. Behind where this picture was taken was a large fire pit and lots of firewood. There were some benches as well as a fire extinguisher in case things got out of hand.

The food was of course very important, as usual. We only had two meals to deal with since we were only there one night. Supper was simply tin foil dinners with three types of potato, beans, peas, onion, and either salmon or lamb chops. There was also my not so secret ingredient: les échalotes salées. I was lucky enough to get a taste of both the salmon and the lamb. I must say it was pretty good.

Here is the team putting it all together.
There was also dessert on the Outback Oven. The peach cobbler was very good although it always seems to take a long time to cook. There were also s'mores for those who wanted them (mainly the little ones).
The pictures below show the sleeping arrangements and some of the shenanigans that went on before bed.
The morning meal was simply breakfast burritos. Take some onion, scramble some eggs with cheese and peppers, wrap it up in a tortilla and add some salsa and sour cream and you have a hearty, simple, one dish meal that requires little clean-up.
In the end I think a good time was had by all. The crowd may not have been well rested the next morning but we came away with some good memories and had a good time.

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