Some people dread winter, but for our columnist, The Happy Camper, the season couldn’t come soon enough.
I live in a small town and, like all small towns, it seems everyone knows what you’re up to. That can be fun to watch unfold at times.
A few weeks back I went shopping at the local grocery store. I was in a bad mood. True winter hadn’t arrived yet; it seemed global warming had held the cold weather back. It poured rain instead of snowing and temperatures were mild, not frigid.
Most people in town were rejoicing the mild temps… but I hated it. I prayed for a thick coating of snow to haul my freight toboggan across, for fluffy snowflakes to fall and tickle my nose and for cold nights where I could stare up at the stars. I was depressed, and the townspeople knew it.
Mid-January hit and the weather forecasters started their snow squall and frigid wind chill warnings. Most people were glued to their television sets and stuck on their cozy couches, wishing winter would end early. I wasn’t. I was so glad the summer heat waves, forest fires, smokey skies and billions of pesky mosquitoes were no longer an issue. Finally, it was time to rejoice in true winter solitude.
I went back into town to get some supplies for my first winter trek of the year. I grabbed some winter camping recipe ingredients, including a Scottish haggis to celebrate the upcoming Robbie Burns Day. When I went to the till, the cashier browsed through my chosen groceries, looked up at me and asked with a smirk, “You’re not going winter camping, are you?” I loudly exclaimed, “Yes, it’s finally time!” The rest of the staff and customers looked out the store window at the blowing snow and cold, shook their heads in disbelief and asked me to tell them all about it when I returned.
I spent four days out with a good friend, Tim Foley, and my dog Angel. Tim and I spent the days hiking the winter woods with snowshoes strapped to our feet and the nights keeping cozy in a hot tent heated by a wood stove. We read a few good books, drank some great whisky and made some amazing meals. It was a fantastic trip!
Check out my latest video on my KCHappyCamper YouTube channel to see the meals we created—including Haggis, Neeps and Tatties for Robbie Burns Day.