the big 40

I turned 40 this year and right up till the big day, I kinda wanted to have a camping party but all the public use cabins were booked and because my birthday fell on the weekend before the 4th of July (which was kind of a bust this year, wasn’t it, what with it falling on a boring old Wednesday, stranded in the middle of the work week), I was worried all the campgrounds would be full. But a week or so before my birthday I decided to give the cabins one more look & see if, by chance, anyone had canceled their reservations.

And what do you know: there was a cabin available. Just waiting for me & my birthday guests. And it was one of my favorites, with berry bushes growing on the roof:

It’s also the cabin that we accidentally came close to burning down this past winter but that’s a story for a different time.

We started out our stay with a walk around Byer’s Lake. It’s always alot farther than I think it’s going to be and I really resent that last mile but there’s lots of pretty sites to see along the way.

My friend Angie & I had a little party at my house the night before and put together a bunch of foil packets of food — all from this list of things to cook over a campfire. The idea was to have a sort of a campfire tapas feast.

It was a bit of a struggle to get the fire going at first because the wood was quite wet — the bringer of the wet wood shall remain nameless.

On the menu were warmed spiced nuts, warmed olive medley, roasted heads of garlic to smear on bread, garlic shrimp, lemon herb chicken, zucchini and tomatoes with ravioli, mustard dill salmon, beets with feta and mint, portobello mushrooms, and roasted broccoli. Is your mouth watering yet? And to top it all off, Angie made me a a lemon cake with blackberry frosting.

We were stuffed to the gills. People brought copious amounts of alcohol, to the point that it made us laugh and we lined it all up for a photo.

That wasn’t even all of it. There were also growlers full of beer and extra bottles of wine squirreled away here and there. Lucky for our livers, we didn’t even put a dent in all of that liquor and alot of it went clam-digging with us the next week. Mostly we sipped beer around the campfire and talked late into the night. The growlers came from La Bodega’s new growler bar. Both beers were excellent – Whaler’s Wheat from Alaska’s own Kassik’s brewery and Fireside Chat by 21st Amendment Brewery — an aptly named beer for our campfire dinner.

Happy party guest:

There wasn’t enough room for everyone in the cabin so some of us slept in tents. The mosquitoes were terrible everywhere except for right next to the smoky campfire.

It was a fun birthday party & a good time was had by all. We’ve already reserved a couple of cabins for December so it will all look very different for our next visit.

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