Looking forward to camping – eventually


My wife Adrienne and I are not exactly summer people. Neither of us like hot weather and the steamy heat wave we’ve been enduring in New York in recent days has us borderline grumpy. We always say that we’d retire in Alaska or Canada before ever considering a place like Florida or the south.

But one thing we do enjoy during the summer is camping. So we considered it good news when we heard that New York’s state parks and DEC’s campgrounds were going to open up. By July 1, just about all of them will be operational.

We’ve evolved as campers over the years, staring out in tents at music festivals before owning a few pop-up campers and gravitating toward’s DEC campgrounds in the Adirondacks. From the pop-ups we moved on to small trailers and for the last five years have camped in a canned-ham style camper called an R-Pod. Someday we’d like to own an Airstream.

Our term for camping is “renting waterfront property for a weekend” because we doubt we’ll ever be able to afford property on the water (who wants the crowd, anyway). We expect upstate New York property values and demand to soar in the post-COVID-19 era (if there is such a thing) just as they did following Sept. 11, 2001. Anyway, we don’t book a campsite unless it is on the water and I can tell you that’s been getting more and more difficult each summer, regardless of the current situation.

Speaking of COVID-19, the late opening of parks and campgrounds due to the pandemic has cost us two camping weekends so far: a mid-June camping trip, and a Bluegrass music festival we typically attend in Vermont.

However, our next outing scheduled for July remains on the calendar along with others is August and September. That’s assuming the pandemic doesn’t reverse and result in more closures. If we’ve learned anything throughout this crisis, it’s that nothing is certain anymore.

For us, camping is a combination of adventure and relaxation. We both enjoy kayaking and I love nothing more than to dedicate the better part of at least one day to a serious fishing paddle. I just take off, paddle, explore and cast. Bass are usually the chosen target during the heart of summer, but on the fringes of it I’m usually looking for trout ponds to haunt.

Adrienne, meanwhile, is content to read her book and bring along some small crafts to work on. She also likes a morning fire. With my adventure out of the way I too am usually ready for a chair in front of the fire as well as some guitar picking around it. There’s also nothing better later at night than catching a ballgame on the radio.

This is going to be a short camping season, no doubt, but at least it will be a camping season of sorts. In today’s world, one should not ask for a lot. And one should appreciate any worthwhile time they are able to enjoy.

Categories: Dan Ladd

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