Mudgeonly Monday – After Action Review – Happy Camping

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22417 – 845

Here’s the haps:

Hi Gang!

Yes, it used to be Curmudgeonly Monday but I really don’t have anything to complain about. I had a great time up in the mountains. (Hopefully, this link works and you can see the site on Google Maps if you so desire.) You can also read about the trip on my son’s blog, Brother’s Campfire.

It’s nice to go away and it’s nice to come back again. I will be making rounds again in the next couple of days but it doesn’t seem likely that I will be able to read everyone’s back-posts. That being said, Geoff Stamper, I hope you have written something good for tomorrow because I will be coming to check up on you. However, I will go through all of the blogs I follow and check on what’s going on.

Even though my photo taking skills are hit and miss, I will share some here with a little commentary. We were some of the very first campers to arrive on Thursday morning. The official campout was Friday and Saturday but several of us enjoy going early. We left at about 5:30 am and got to the area a little after 6:30 am.

The first thing we do is post the colors. We are well-known in our circle for doing this and it’s almost kind of expected that we are going to. It helps the other campers find the spot, also.

Then down the road and down the road…

We found a nice site left by some considerate previous campers. When you leave a campsite it should be better than you found it. You pick up any trash and you leave some wood in a nice spot, maybe under a tree, for the next folks. This was nice to find.

We all get to work first. It was nice having two strong teenage boys to help. They knew from years past everything that needed to be done and went to work gathering firewood.

I could have re-staked it but I didn’t bother. I like having a large tent with plenty of room and had extra room in case someone’s outdoor plans didn’t work out.

Ben dug a deep hole and set up the latrine.

Meanwhile, the hammock was hung by the one grandson and the other one got an idea for sleeping in the tree itself.

Ben made an outbuilding from tarps, just because.

We ate goblin claws. Surprisingly enough they taste like chicken.

Sometimes known as chicken feet

The tree fort was finished. I was very proud of them for doing all their own work and coming up with ideas. The one slept in the hammock and the other in the tree. Well, the problem was that when you sleep suspended in the air you are subject to cold winds from beneath you as well as around you and over you. The mountains are cold at night and around 2 or 3 am they had to come to the tent. I was proud of them, though. They were game and did what they said they would do.

This fire looks like it’s out but under the ashes are still enough hot embers the re-kindle the fire the next day. a little tinder and kindling and a few strong waves of my hat and the fire started right back up.

Cowboy Sock coffee:

Into a brand new, store-bought sock, (don’t take the ones off your feet or your feet will get cold) scoop a minimum of 1/2 cup of ground coffee and tie a knot. fill the pot with water and boil and boil. pour a small test cup out. If it looks about the color of fresh motor oil, maybe a little darker, then you’re ready to serve it. If it comes out black as used motor oil, I’ll still drink it. In the next batch leave that old sock in and add another new one (again, if you use the ones on your feet, they’ll get cold.) with a half cup of grounds in and repeat the process.

My son always makes sure we eat well. Besides chicken feet we also had a goose egg omelet, sausage links, bacon, blueberry cobbler-oid thingy, and of course, coffee.

A fine repast indeed

I’m fine, but I could use some more coffee.

Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.

(Pro 17:6 KJV)


  1. The closest I’ve come to camping was as a kid, so I don’t really remember it, but we had a pop-up camper, and I don’t remember anything about how we ate. We did have a wood stove in our home, so I made plenty of fires over the years. I slept in a tent with my brother once, but it rained and we got soaked. Bad timing! Or the tent was too small. I remember with this particular tent if you touched the sides you’d let the rain in. Or maybe it was just a bad tent.

    Sounds like you had a lot of fun! Good family time!

    • My uncle and I camped like that out in his yard and our tent had the same issue. There are campsites where they have showers and toilets and even electricity.

  2. So many wonderful camping photos. LOL. You won’t be able to have regular coffee like at home, right? Did you have to settle with instant coffee?

  3. I love the idea of the tree-bed but I can imagine how cold it would get up there. I’d be afraid I’d wake-up, still half asleep, and fall out of that tree. LOL! And goblin’s claws is a new one on me. What are they? I’m glad you all have a great time.

    • Goblin claws are chicken feet. We got them at the Asian Market. Apparently both Asians and Cajuns make soups from them. Ben seasons them and cooks them up like the rest of the chicken and then when people come around to visit we trot them out, er, so to speak. Some people are disgusted for whatever reason but others will try them. My one grandson loves them. He says they taste like chicken.

    • I like both but they are a bit on the pricey side for me so I use Maxwell House. I did do a brief post saying I was going away but it likely fell though a cyber-crack somewhere. A pothole in the information superhighway.

  4. What a wonderful outing — and wonderful family life you have. I love reading about you all. You people are “Waltonesque”. ( I still miss that show.)

    • Waltonesque. What an intriguing word. They do represent an era of more general wholesomeness than exists today. They weren’t perfect people in utopian times by any stretch but the whole attitude of the time was different as a general rule. So, thank you. I accept that as high praise indeed.

  5. The fun stuff of life. I miss going on actual camping trips with the church and youth. Did that a lot growing up. Hotels are not camping, i prefer a cabin or rent in the woods. Although outside on the hard ground sounds fun too.

  6. Camping at it’s finest! Great pics. I always enjoyed going camping with my dad and sometimes my brother would come along though he really wasn’t much for camping. I miss camping, it was so much fun. Can’t do it anymore though. So glad you had a great time together!

  7. Hi Herb! Long time since I last read anything of yours and am quite happy I found you! I will be checking back in! You look great and I’m too spoiled living in our RV so you won’t catch me in a tent! Blessings to you.

  8. I salute anyone with the guts to sleep in a tree. I guess it would be OK to snore as long as you don’t saw logs?

    I’m not much of a camper, but I do enjoy camp food.

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