Ahhh…The start of a New Year, an escape to nature. We had planned for weeks to escape the fireworks in our part of The Netherlands to a nice quiet location in the eastern woods of Drenthe.
As we hiked back to our camping site from our visit to the Hunebed D26, we experienced the natural beauty in this forested area. Every so often our silence was interrupted with a ‘bang” of carbines being shot by the locals. When we neared the campground we were engulfed by wood smoke. We had seen several campers inside the campground that had small wood stoves but we couldn’t figure out why so much smoke was covering the trail. My first guess would be that they were burning wet wood.
As we entered the campground, we saw that the smoke was coming from the center of the campground where there were four large logs on fire creating this massive amount of smoke. The forest rangers for the campground had started these logs on fire, the fire was contained inside the log fueled with air from cut holes in the sides and top of the logs. This type of log fire is known as a Swedish lantern. I had seen these lanterns before but not ones that were this large.
The entire campground of temporary New Years Eve residents were gathered around these burning logs, enjoying the warmth and socializing with fellow campers.
The forest rangers brought out the the traditional Dutch New Years Eve pastry to eat, oliebollen. This sort of Dutch donut ball is only made on New Year Eve and comes with or without raisins then covered in powdered sugar. This made the gathering very cozy.
There was also a group of campers who made another Dutch traditional New Year Eve pastry, apple begets. These were hot out of the pan and were enjoyed by the gathering of campers. After hanging out for awhile in the social group, the Hubby and I headed back to our camp site to enjoy what we had planned for dinner.
We have found that when we camp we like to enjoy the camping experience and not have to wait a long time to cook items. On a one burner camp stove it is often hard to judge when things are actually fully cooked. We now cook most items at home and then warm them up at the campsite. This has worked well for us to reduce cooking time and to make sure we are able to enjoy our other activities. On New Years Eve it was tomato soup and chicken wrapped in bacon on a stick. Both easy to warm up and enjoy within minutes.
Then we enjoyed our evening listening to the top 2000 music hits in the comfort of our tent with our electric heater.
When we climbed into our van for the night the sounds of the campers celebrating the New Year could be heard in the background but it didn’t take us long to drift off to sleep. We woke briefly at the New Year noise of midnight, texted family and friends well wishes for 2020 and drifted back off to sleep.
We woke well rested in the New Year of 2020. Made a warm breakfast of bacon and eggs. Enjoyed the campground as the campers woke from their slumber.
Then it was time to breakdown the campsite and head for home.
As we start the New Year, we already know it will bring challenges, aging parents who need attention, kids that need help getting things accomplished as they negotiate their adult lives, and our own normal busy schedules. For those reasons, we have not planned any major canoe trips or made extensive travel plans for this year.
Travel is in my near future, as I head off to help out my youngest son in Georgia. Since he owns a Great Dane who thinks she can do anything she wants, I am sure I will be in for some interesting times as I visit and have dog sitting duties. More likely the dog will be sitting on me!
I have been planning a short kayak paddle on the Ocmulgee River just outside of Macon, GA. That will surely be a blog in the coming months.
Of course my popular Hummmm folder will be back again this year.
For at least a while, the Hubby will be not be responsible for any of The Cedar Journal proofreading duties and all mistakes on this blog will be totally my responsibility.
This camping escape was a great way to start the New Year and the new decade.
Do you have plans for the New Year? Great canoe paddle or hiking locations in Georgia or in The Netherlands we should try? We would love to hear from you, please leave your comments below.
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