Today is a good day to reflect on what is good in life. I started camping in my early 20’s with my boyfriend. We started out in a tent, which at the time, seemed wonderful. I have always loved being in the woods and there is nothing quite like sitting at a campfire at night and waking up to the birds singing while surrounded by nature. We eventually got married and decided to upgrade our camping environment. We bought a very cute tiny trailer that had a bed and a bunk on top of it. Whatever else was in the camper didn’t work but we had a comfortable place to sleep and a way to stay out of the rain. One of the wonderful things about camping is that there are innumerable state and private campgrounds. The state campgrounds tend to have a larger access to nature such as a lake or trails. We lived in New York State where there are so many beautiful state parks. People who camp are a very friendly bunch so you often made acquaintances with other campers, perhaps sharing a campfire and helping out where needed. This is always an added bonus to camping. Campers love being outside in nature and this is often the subject of conversations such as the last camping trip they had or what excellent trails they have found on the current trip. My personal favorite part of camping are the trails. There is such unique beauty on each trail. There is always the wonderful smells of nature and the incredible feel of walking on old earth which is special in that it feels lighter than packed soil when you walk on it.
We eventually upgraded to a 28 foot travel trailer to accommodate a growing child who needed a real bed rather than a tiny bunk. This afforded us indoor cooking for salads and other foods not cooked on the grill. We also had a shower, heating and air conditioning which seemed like luxuries. We could play games or read inside when it rained which always makes camping better than trying to stay dry in a tent. Our maiden voyage took us to a campground in North Carolina near the shore. It was great fun going to the Piggly Wiggly and dollar store to get the necessary supplies to eat and dine with.
My favorite camping area is, without a doubt, The ADK or Adirondacks. The trails are amazing and there is always a new trail to discover. If you haven’t been to Old Forge, it is definitely worth the trip. There are so many great trails for all abilities close the town. In addition, the local hardware store is simply the most fascinating hardware store I have seen. It has sections for practically anything you could ask for. There is a book section with trail guides and reading material for almost any interest. It is a cornucopia of delight. The town also boasts a restaurant that serves the most fantastic breakfasts and is a local legend in that many famous people have dined there. Long Lake is another great camping area which is a little more remote. The town is famous for the bears that waltz into town and graze the garbage cans on a daily basis. We had a couple of bears in our campground that we followed at some distance as they made their rounds through the garbage of the day. They weren’t the least bit interested in us and proceeded through their daily routine and then exited into the woods. The best part about the ADK is hiking the mountains. It might be a hefty workout to get to the top but the reward is out of this world. Every view from the top is breathtaking and heavenly. You truly appreciate the miracles of nature from a mountaintop. You would think going down the mountain would be a piece of cake but, darn, if you don’t get blisters from going downhill for a long time.
I think with all the chaos and craziness going on in our world these days that nature remains the best cure. I hope that you have an opportunity to get out and explore the nature near you.