Showing posts from January, 2010

Snowbound, part two (the pictorial)

For details of my attempt at camping in arctic temperatures, see the previous post. If you want the quick version, with pictures, this is the place.

Arriving at White Pines Forest State Park. The fords on the regular road are dangerous this time of year, so the ranger directed me to this alternate entry.

I had my pick of campsites, but had to carry my gear a bit from where the car was parked. After struggling with setting up in the bitter cold, my tent was finally ready!

Only a few pictures of the scenery before my camera battery froze to death...

At night, the temperature dropped too low to sleep safely, so I gave up and went to a motel. Even with the heater on high and my husband's special Bears blanket, the motel room was as chilly as a tent in autumn.

Day two found me suited up and back at the campsite

doing camp stuff.

Don't be fooled by the sunshine, it didn't really go past about 15 degrees in the warmest part of the day. This is Chet,…

Snowbound, part one (the epic)

Winter camping holds charms that can't be matched in any other season: the solitude; the stark beauty; the contrast of warm clothes, fire or sleeping bag on a frosty night. Many fans would also note the absence of pests encountered on summer trips. There are no bugs, no snakes, no bears, no rowdy camper neighbors keeping you awake half the night.
For years, I have enjoyed occasional trips in the winter months, happily alone through cold and snow. Though I have had my share of complications - frozen boots, six-inch snowfall overnight, a four day stretch of freezing drizzle - I have met these challenges with a smile. Nothing is quite as soothing as a long evening watching snowflakes sizzle in the embers, and nothing is quite as magical as a ghostly-silent deer passing through the silvered brush just yards from your camp.

So, after hearing about the beauty of White Pines Forest State Park, I planned a cold-weather camping trip there. My original plan was preempted by a family eme…

Raising a Book

I often hear it said that writing a novel is like giving birth. Having done both now, I can see the similarity, but I think the experience is closer to raising a child than to birthing one. Both involve work and pain, but there is a difference in determination. If you decide in the middle of labor that the struggle is too great and you would really rather not do the baby thing, it makes no difference. You're in for the full ride, and there's no going back. By contrast, raising a child requires a more active participation. We choose to be a good parent. We choose not to abandon the effort when times get rough. We work at molding a child who will be capable of going out into the world without us, and we hope that our child will be both well-treated by that world and also a benefit to it. This is, I think, a more appropriate analogy for our literary children.
Together, my husband and I have produced a novel, written primarily for the pure goal of telling the story, but wi…