Thursday, February 09, 2006


I haven’t done it decades. I wrote an email to someone just yesterday recalling how when I lived in Poland, my parents were, for a number of years, cash poor. Still, they wanted to revisit Italy and so we packed a tent and drove down and pitched it at a campsite on the beaches of the Lido. In the morning my mother said: leave me home the next time.

Independently, I camped. In Poland I kayaked with university friends and we would pitch tents on riverbanks and get cheese from local farmers and cook canned junk and always always boil potatoes – on the days we did not roast them. When I was in charge of supper I made sandwiches with bread and yellow cheese and I’d stick a flower on each sandwich. People thought I was crazy, but hey, Alice Waters did it at Chez Panisse a few years later and she got called the queen of the new American cuisine, how fair is that.

This morning a friend asked me if I would go camping this summer. At once I thought of laptop issues. No blogging? As I listened intently to descriptions of scrubbing the scalp and body with 32 degree water (from the spring) and of canned soup being made over a portable stove because, I was told, it makes little sense to build a fire when you are dead tired from hiking all day, my once rampant now dormant love of camping ...remained dormant.

Still, at lunch another friend described how his whole family gathers with tents and gourmet foods each year in the mountains and how they hike and cook and eat and sit around a campfire and suddenly I envisioned myself grilling things with garlic and olive oil out there in the vast emptiness, under stars and I thought: maybe it’s worth a shot, cold spring bathing notwithstanding.

Do any of the national parks have WiFi?