Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Come On Baby - Don't Light My Fire

Stepping out of the Airstream at seven this morning to walk the dog, I noticed a neighbor at the nearly-deserted Tennessee campground stirring his campfire and adding wood. What's with this fascination with wood fires? Last night, several groups sat around in lawn chairs, wearing parkas, staring at their campfires. It was 45 degrees out.

I've studied the fire habits of folks in campgrounds throughout the Southwest -- and am still amazed at the efforts folks go to. The state campgrounds in Texas are denuded of firewood and camp hosts sell bundles. Lots of folks bring it with them, even though it's prohibited. I saw a big motor home the other day with a half-cord of split wood in a side compartment.

The Texas bass fisherman at Choke Canyon probably win the prize. They put their money into big bass boats so most of them tent camp. They have roaring bonfires and laugh and drink half the night -- and aren't the best neighbors.

The Louisiana fisherman we saw a few days ago are also pretty avid. They camp in clusters of motorhomes/trailers and between the lights hanging up and the roaring fires, it looks like broadway. Country music wailing and loud talk complete the scene -- fortunately we were parked far away.

A Louisiana guy told me that he'd camped at our site earlier -- and had left me some firewood. I told him, "I heat with wood all winter -- so we don't do campfires." He understood.

So, no smoky clothes in the Airstream. I suspect, once we get the grandkids to come along, we'll be back at the fire, 'smores, and scary story scene again. Till then, we'll leave the firewood for others and admire their work ... from afar.

Photo by wili_hybrid

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