October 23, 2019

Bidding a Fond Farewell to this Year's Camping Season

We just closed out this year’s camping season at our family favorite – Northampton Beach Campground on Great Lake Sacandaga.  Even though we have a true four-season travel trailer, we always wind down our camping season in September or October – for a couple of reasons.  One, many of the State Parks we favor in the Northeast close down on Columbus Day weekend.  I’m sure that I could find a few private RV parks that stay open later but, since our hearts belong to the State and National Parks, giving up the spacious campsites and lovely natural views that we enjoy so much in public campgrounds just doesn’t seem worthwhile to us.  Two, in our neck of the woods, snow is not unheard of in October.  In order to settle in the Creek Side on its pad up in the back where it spends the winter months, Alan needs to back the 32’ trailer up the driveway, across the front lawn, make a corner around the birch trees, guide it through two gates and squeeze past the boat garage.  Did I mention that we live on the side of a small mountain, so it's an uphill battle for part of the way?  If you saw him pull off this maneuver, I’m betting that you’d just stand right up and start clapping.  It isn’t a feat for the faint of heart.  Once there’s snow on the ground, it becomes Mission Impossible, especially since the turn around the birch trees can be a bit slick in just rain, never mind snow.  And there’s that little embankment to worry about if you do start sliding on the turn.  While our Creek Side would allow us to enjoy winter camping, we always tuck it safely away before the first snow flies.

It was with happy hearts that we set out for Northampton Beach in early October and with heavy hearts that we returned.  (That last camping trip of the season hits me hard every time.)  But this visit was SO much better than the week we spent there in June when it rained.  Nearly.  Every.  Day.   This time around?  Delightfully sunny skies.  Nearly!  Every!  Day!

October 04, 2019

North to Alaska . . . Not!

I was going to title this post, “The Year of the Cancelled Vacations,” a phrase that Alan and I had each come up with independently of each other over the past week or so.  But it was so darn depressing that I couldn’t do it, no matter how accurate a title it was.

Right after the first of the year, I cancelled all the reservations we had for our spring trip to the southern states because we found out that our son’s long-time girlfriend would be graduating with her Master’s degree on one of the Saturdays in May we had planned to be away.  That’s one of the pitfalls of travel planning more than a year in advance.  (We ended up swapping our 2019 scheduled trip for one we were hoping to take in 2020 and it worked out just fine - more on that at another time.)  Then, in June when we had returned to our #1 favorite campground (Northampton Beach on Great Lake Sacandaga in central New York), and watched the rain come down day after day after day, we decided to cancel our fall camping plans at another State Park so that we could come back and (with good-weather luck!) have a chance at enjoying our favorite lake one last time before our camping season ended.  In my last post about the Outdoors RV Owners East Coast Rally, I noted that we almost had to cancel that trip a couple of weeks ago due to a malfunctioning trailer brake system.  All of those situations were minor bumps in the road compared to the major pothole we hit as our 40th wedding anniversary drew near.