If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

There are two things you must do to enjoy camping.

1. Cook. Everything—and I do mean everything—tastes better when cooked in cast iron over a blazing fire.

2. Manage mosquitos. This can mean bug spray, this can mean winter camping, this can mean setting up your base away from water and praying the little bastards don’t find you, or it can even mean inviting an extra “friend” or two to further divide the bloodsuckers.

I think it’s safe to say I had the cooking part handled with aplomb, but the bugs got the best of me. With my bump-riddled body I’m now paying for my lack of foresight, and looking ahead with longing to the bug-free winter camping season coming up.

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Three nights, four days, 400,000 calories, give or take. We decided early on that I would make lunch and dinner, and my buddy would make breakfast.

Hibachi beef made from a nice cut of rib eye and some Prosecco because I like being fancy sometimes, dammit.
Hibachi veggies
Big ol’ roast
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Garlic Naan bread was an unsung hero. I’d put it on the pan after cooking each main dish, and the bread would soak up all the oil and spices resulting in one hell of an after-dinner snack.
My one and only cider for the trip. I thought I was going to go through withdrawals after I finished it
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Cheese-dogs, bacon-egg mcmuffins, and every potato dish under the sun rounded out the main meals. Oh, and Rainier beer. A seemingly endless supply of Rainier.

Food was amazing, and the campsites were just as good.

We spent one night about 10 miles down increasingly windy forest service roads when we came upon a nice clearing in the woods, set about 80ft above a small creek. A backpacker came through our area and mentioned a great fishing spot about two miles though the woods, which was more than enough to get us up on our feet in search of adventure.

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The adventure dog proved his worth
We made it through the woods and onto a beautiful river
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Taught my friend how to fish with the gear he’d brought. Unfortunately that gear hadn’t included a bobber so he was dragging along the river bed. Tried tying the hook a foot above the weight to compensate, but we didn’t even get do much as a nibble.

The next few nights we spent in a new spot that we found by.... Well. Driving off the side of the road! I thought for sure the 4runner would high-center here, but I was wrong. The Toyota could not be stopped. Never in my life have I wanted an offroad capable SUV as much as I did right then.

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This spot was perfect. We spent a good hour collecting an ungodly amount of fallen wood and got our campsite ready. Did I mention we were hammock-camping? I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sleep on the ground again. It can take a while to figure it out, but once you get the hammock sleeping arrangement down, oh man. Best sleep I’ve gotten away from home.

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Just past the opening in the trees to the right is a large, fast-moving stream. An offshoot of the Tye River, or maaaaybe even the Tye River itself. I don’t know. There was a large waterfall about 50ft down from our camp

It drizzled a bit each night, but between the sleeping bags and the hammock sides folding over the top, neither of us felt so much as a drop.

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Again, it was a gorgeous place to stay a few nights. A tree had fallen precariously over the top of the waterfall, and against my better judgment I ran across to get a view from the other side.

It didn’t dissapoint. The falls were a good 60ft high, with a small pool off the one side and various trees hanging down.

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Top of the falls
Here you can see the middle section, and a small sliver of the bottom.
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Zoidberg, you were right about the planes. I definitely heard a few pretty late at night. Thankfully the waterfall masked most of it.

All trash was bagged and removed
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Tl:Dr - camping is the best. Get out there, and don’t forget the cast iron pan!

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