I have figured out that I like camping because it is simple living at its truest. It's a reminder of the bare minimum that we need to dwell on the earth. We needn't shower or wear make up every day. Comfortable and strategic layering can be more important than nice clothing. We don't need constant access to electricity or gadgets. Barring extreme weather, we can live out of tents and cars. We can eat simple meals, and find entertainment in peaceful reading and walking and talking. Sometimes we can just be.
I went spent the long Fourth of July weekend camping at Quechee State Park in Vermont near the New Hampshire border, about five minute drive to White River Junction and about 15 minute drive to Dartmouth College. Home to Vermont's deepest gorge, the park is a bit of a tourist attraction with hiking, a rocky beach, and antiques, restaurants, and farmers market within walking distance. It is a decent campground with brand new restrooms (with what looked like solar panels on the roof) and shady, albeit not necessarily private, sites, though I suppose I got a bad spot for making last-minute reservations. Also be warned that the bar across the street from the campground entrance has live music on Friday nights, so cover songs and jam noodling could be heard faintly into the wee hours.
This was Milo's first camping trip. Spencer stayed in a kennel in Brooklyn because he is a jerk*, but Milo is mostly a sweet smiling delight so he got to come along and have room to run around, play frisbee, sleep in the shade, hike, and splash in the gorge.
A tie-out stake and long leash allowed Milo to explore the perimeter of the campsite and chase squirrels without risk of running away, which I highly recommend.
In this oppressive heat wave, the shaded campground was the most comfortable place to spend hot afternoons, proving that leafy trees are nature's own version of air conditioning.
I amsupposed to go camping again this weekend, and I am working a guide to packing for camping to share with you.