Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 11, 2011

Camping with the Silly Walks Gang

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 3:56 pm
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Camping.  It is a word that produces mixed responses from people.  “Oh camping!  I LOVE camping!” or “Oh, camping, uh, no thanks,” are two typical responses.  I find myself in a place somewhere in between those two responses.  Let me explain.

My only camping experience as a child was with my family and our best-friend neighbors.  My mother considers “roughing it” to be staying at a hotel that doesn’t have room service, so it was an interesting experience.  I don’t remember a lot about it except that it ended early due to heavy rainfall one night and that my sister lost a doll’s arm in a near by creek.

My husband, on the other hand, practically grew up in the wilderness.  He was a Boy Scout for years (in the days when Boy Scouts really camped out) and a summer camp counselor when he was a teenager.  When we had been dating for a few years, he and some friends of ours wanted to go camping.  I agreed to go and was happy to spend the weekend with friends.  Thus began a tradition 20 years in the making.

With the exception of a few years here and there due to events such as the birth of children, since 1990 a group of great friends has gotten together for a camping trip.  The people available and the location of the camping have varied over the years but the one truth is this:  we have a great time enjoying each other’s company.  Our children range in age from 8 to 18 now, and our kids look forward to it as much as we do now.  For those of you on the “camping, no thanks” side, let me say that this isn’t normal camping.  With the exception of being outdoors, there isn’t much about our trip that is roughing it.

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Yes, we do sleep in tents – tents equipped with comfortable air mattresses, pillows, and blankets.

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Yes, we do cook over a fire – but we also use propane powered campstoves and grills.  This year’s big Saturday night dinner included 7 pounds of spicy beef brisket, grilled summer squash and zucchini (from my garden), tortellini salad, cheddar broccoli rice, baked beans with bacon, and strawberry-rhubarb compote for dessert.  During the day we munched on piccadillo (a Mexican dish) for lunch, homemade beef jerky, chips and salsa, trail mix and fresh cherries, to name a few of our snacks.  Oh and breakfast both mornings was quite delicious.  Blueberry pancakes and sausage on Saturday, egg sandwiches, bacon and cinnamon rolls on Sunday.

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Check out this set up.  We are prepared for rain, have plenty of comfy seats, and did I mention plenty of food?
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Yes, we do have to walk a bit to the restroom, but that’s really okay when you have a pretty sky like this to look at while you walk:

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On my many walks in this direction, I was able to see red squirrels and various birds during the day, and circling bats and even a raccoon in the evening.  No pictures of them, but I loved seeing them.

So, to return to my explanation on my position about camping.  Roughing it? Uh, no thanks.  Camping our style? I LOVE camping!

For those interested, this year’s camping trip was at Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, MA.  For those curious about my blog title, “Silly Walks Gang” is how this group of friends refers to itself and is the title of our group email.  We are all great fans of Monty Python, hence the name.