Growing up, we were not a “camping” family. At least, not in the canoeing, hiking, living-out-of-a-backpack-for-days sense.
As a child of the Midwest, bonfires on the family farm (about 20 miles out of city limits) were frequent, and one-night stays at the lake did happen a few times each summer; even on those trips, however, a flock of parked cars or a couple of cabins were always nearby. Those nights weren’t as much about escaping into nature as they were a chance to get rowdy—after all, it’d be tough to carry that much beer in a backpack.
Image: Courtesy of Eat Well. Party Hard.
That said, I’m not sure exactly when I became a “camping” person. Was it after last summer’s Bonnaroo excursion? Maybe (that obviously wasn’t hardcore camping, but come on, it was good fun). Was it that time Stephen’s and my plans to stake out a spot in a Pennsylvania mountain reserve were foiled, and we found ourselves pitching a tent—in the dark—somewhere in the woods of what was probably someone’s private property? Which, of course, did not stop us from lighting a small fire, drinking whiskey and Spodee and singing Tom Waits songs about campfires and cans of beans? Maybe.
Though I don’t know for sure how long my Nature Girl side has existed, here’s something I do know: hiking through the Chinese countryside is one of the most rejuvenating, soul-healing things I’ve done in a long time.
Note: today’s post is part of Eat Well. Party Hard.'s participation in Vegan MoFo 2013! The theme over here is All No-Bake, All the Time (because, uh, I have no oven in China). Check out this massive participant list to meet other cool people + nab some amazing recipes.
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