Monday, August 28, 2006

The Great Outdoors

I'm back home from a weekend in the woods. Some friends and I went camping in the Adirondacks, low mountains in eastern New York. We were in a campground, but in tents, so wherever that puts on us your "real camping" spectrum, we figured we were doing alright in terms of roughing it. The campground was really nice- big, but wooded so we didn't feel like we were on top of other campers. We had to walk a distance to the bathroom... so we generally used the woods at night. Hey, it was dark!

I love campfires. We made s'mores (I think the camping police would have revoked our camping license had we not done so) and cooked sausage and corn on the cob in the coals of the fire. It worked VERY well. I was impressed, if I do say so myself.

Wildlife abounded, of course. This lil chipmunk was NOT scared away by one of my friends yelling, "CHIPMUNK!!!!" (she was trying to get him to come back and eat the chips. He waited until she left- ha ha!) and enjoyed our spinach artichoke flavored tortilla chips. Yes, we were camping, but that doesn't mean no gourmet snacks!

This deer decided we weren't obnoxious enough to catch a few zzz's near... she stayed on a hill behind the tents for quite awhile before moving on.

And what would camping be without danger?? This is our bear. When my friend and I arrived, he was sitting behind the campsite, about 25 feet, just hanging out. He was a smallish bear, probably only a couple hundred pounds. He liked his photo shoot and started to come nearer, but I discouraged him by clapping my hands and yelling at him to go away. He complied. However, last night, he was lurking behind some campsites not far away. That was a little scarier, especially because we couldn't see him, the black fur blending in with lack of sun and all. No harm, though. He was pleasant enough and didn't bother us.

This morning.... the heavens opened up around 5:30 and showered the campsite with bucketloads of rain. The dark green and white tent was one of those screened enclosures and we put two of our tents beneath it to keep the rain off. Instead of sheltering us, it became a very efficient rain collection device, occasionally spilling its bounty over onto the tops of the tents. What a miserable way to end the weekend!

We salvaged it by going to the local diner and eating greasy breakfast food. Yum.

That's enough camping for me for this summer. I'd love to go back again next summer, though. When the nights get down into the 40's, it's time to call it a season.


At 3:22 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I'm not what you'd call a happy camper. I'm just not the camping type. I like a real toilet and shower.
We used to "camp" on our property in CA, and it was so great, because MY bathroom was just up the hill from our campsite. Perrrfect!

That chipmunk got to eat gourmet chips. I'm sure he doesn't settle for anything less, now that he's tasted such finery.

S'mores are divine!

At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

That was fun, thanx! S'mores rocks. I vote for camping Hyatt and room service brings the S'mores next year. What'd ya think??? :)

At 10:53 AM, Blogger The Phoenix said...

Looks like fun, but the black bear would've made me wet myself.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Have a good weekend.

At 2:21 AM, Blogger Tom Reagan said...

Took me long enough! Steubenville is great!

Great pics, btw!

Tom Reagan


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