Bearcamp Page 1

This was the place that quite literally saved my life. Were it not for my summers spent here, I'd almost certainly be dead. I took all of these slides during the 1970s; they're among the only photos I kept from my youth.

As it happens, my mother bought the place when I was five years old. By the time I came along, she was quite close to divorcing my father, and the summer home was a way for her to get away from him; being a schoolteacher, she was able to do so for nearly three full months each year. Naturally she took me along, but I doubt very much she knew just how incredibly important the place became to me as well, for very different reasons.

Above is the cabin; it was a tiny two-bedroom summer cabin, not winterized. It had electricity and propane for cooking and hot water, but heat was provided by a wood stove. Its best feature was an enormous screened-in front porch. Surrounded by trust land, it was the only dwelling for miles.

Located at the end of a rugged 3/4-mile-long logging road, the cabin sat atop a knoll overlooking the east end of Bearcamp Pond, near the headwaters of the Bearcamp River. Below is the view from the porch; the peak in the distance is Mount Chocorua.

We dubbed the cabin "Birch Knoll" because the surrounding woods were unusually thick with white paper birch trees. On a sunny day they were almost blinding.

On clear evenings we often took a canoe ride to the other end of the pond to watch the sunset. My mother would bring our cats with us to the cabin each summer, and one or both of them occasionally joined us on our sunset rides.

The splendor of this place cannot be overstated, and I long dreamed of one day owning the cabin, winterizing it, and retiring there. But that was not to be. Without telling me, my father sold it. Consequently, I never spoke to him again.

Grumphotos > Bearcamp Page 2

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