The Finale: Camping Miracles

July 13, 2009

Next to our campfire, left behind by the previous campers, was a giant log. Someone had obviously dragged it there, with the intentions of burning it, because there was a tie strap still twined around it. They had gone to a lot of trouble to get that giant log next to the campfire, but never ended up burning it.

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(can is for scale)

We had a theory. We figured they had been sitting around the campfire late at night (there was almost definitely alcohol involved) and two or more of them had decided that burning a giant log was the thing to do. In their late night fervor and alcohol-muddled reasoning, it seemed like a brilliant idea. They set off, tow rope in hand, to go collect a giant log. Probably by the time they got back two hours later, stumbling along with a giant tree stump dragging behind them, their friends were all asleep/passed out, and the log-draggers lost their enthusiasm and went to bed themselves. The next morning when everyone got up it suddenly did not seem like such a brilliant idea. So the log was left next to the campfire, for us to find.

The boys took one look at it and said: “Lets burn it.”

We were all highly doubtful that the log would actually burn. Especially after the Great Flood of 2009, in which the log was not covered to protect it from the rain.

But since there weren’t going to be any fireworks this Fourth, we decided, “What the heck, let’s go for it.”

The boys were in charge of the log burning, as it was their idea. They were more than happy about this. We decided that we would wait until the night of the Fourth, as sort of a celebratory thing. A bonfire tribute to Lady Liberty and a grand finale for the last night of our camping trip.

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(working out the logistics of moving the log)

In yet another camping miracle, the log not only burned, but made a perfect campfire. It was rather hot, at first (we all had to move our chairs back about five feet), but it burned steadily and without the constant need for more fuel. We could enjoy it and not have to ever get up for more firewood.

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Slowly, the evening slipped into night. An almost-full-moon came out, shining silvery through the trees and the mist, coyotes howled in the distance, classic rock played quietly on the radio, and everyone sat around an effortlessly burning campfire in perfectly temperate weather. And as beautifully as it began, the Fourth of July came to a close.

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