Camping at Blue River

1. Blue River. 2. Morning's rays. 3. I spy Harold's cloven relatives. 4. Hammock view. 
5. Navigating the rocks. 6. Mule in his element. 
The army green duffel bag in the closet holds everything we need: battery powered lantern, hammock, hatchet, water jug, camp pad, two person tent, and a barely two person sleeping bag. Everything is there, ready to go to the Redwoods, or the beach, but usually just across the river in Indiana, to a walk-up campsite along the Blue River. There, under the coniferous trees along the riverbank, it seems like we're a lot farther from home than we really are. If you don't go on a sunny summer weekend, it is deserted, and all you hear is the river's gentle current and the birds. We go for meteor showers, to fish and canoe, we go to be quiet. Sometimes we go with friends and drink bourbon, a semi-circle of tents pitched on soft beds of pine needles. That's what we did last weekend. I dug my warmest sweater out of the closet. I cured a slab of salmon with sugar, salt, and dill and wrapped handfuls of root vegetables in foil pouches. I stuffed a grocery bag: one quart of apple cider, 2 Lara bars, 2 apples, peanuts in the shell, and a bag of marshmallows, those freakishly large ones the size of a baby's skull. We arrived early, then our friends showed up one car at a time. We shared our dinners and drank beer, then drank spiked cider warmed by the fire. In the middle of the night, we heard the surreal howling of a dozen coyotes, their chorus getting louder and closer. Harold would belly-crawl deep into our sleeping bag and sleep next to my feet. Every hour or so, I'd wake up worried that he'd suffocate and fish him out again. I'd place his sleepy head beside mine on our make-shift pillow (a knapsack stuffed with a jacket), only to find him curled up in the bottom of the sleeping bag in the morning. 

Top: Hammock buddies. / Bottom: Harold says, "I think I'll just stay in here, if that's ok."

Campfire salmon / stick bread / hobbit poppers

Camp Menu

Stick Bread
Made with bacon fat, raw sugar, sea salt and rosemary
Adapted from recipe found in Kinfolk Vol. 4 (See video)

Campfire Salmon
Cured in salt, sugar and dill
Recipe found in Kinfolk Vol. 4

Hobbit Poppers
Recipe below

Makes 8 foil pouches
Note: Some people call these hobo dinners, or some variation of words containing hobo. We think these are more like something a Hobbit might eat, so we've named our version after Hobbits. 

1 lb fingerling potatoes, the larger ones cut in half, lengthwise
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" disks
2 cups brussels sprouts
2 large carrots, cut into 1" disks
4 shallots, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary 
Salt and pepper
8 garlic gloves, peeled
8 tbsp butter
8 mini sweet peppers
Heavy duty aluminum foil

Put the first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper, and toss with your hands, until all of the vegetables are lightly coated and seasoned. Cut 8 sheets of aluminum foil, roughly sized 8" x 10". In the center of each sheet of foil, place a large handful of veggies, 1 tbsp of butter, one garlic clove, and 1 sweet pepper. Fold the right and left sides of foil toward each other so they overlap. Tightly roll up the top and bottom edges, until the pouch is sealed. If using a cooking rack over your campfire, place foil pouches on the rack near the flames (do not place over direct flames). Alternatively, you can place foil pouches directly on hot coals around the fire. Cook for about 45  minutes until vegetables can be pierced with a fork. (The time may vary depending on the heat of your campfire.) 



  1. I just laughed out loud at your description of Harold's sleeping patterns. So familiar! Pippin slept in sleeping bags the exact same way.

    Love the pics and RECIPES! Yum!! I wanna come on one of y'all's camping adventures. <3 You have so much fun and eat so good. :D

  2. such a lovely camping trip! such pretty picture and great recipes


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