Friday, August 7, 2020

Are We Camping or Picnicking? Who Cares?

I'm not sure what to call the camping my wife and I have done for the last four nights, but I am pretty sure that it's not all that important to slap a label on our tiny trailer camping experience. Yes, I'm feeling content, whatever we call our recent camping style--and one reason I'm feeling so content is that I've just finished eating a bowl of peach crisp and ice cream, the peaches from the tree out in front our house.

Monday morning I pulled into Jefferson County Park campground, set up camp . . . and then left, going home across town. That's been the pattern of camping for my wife Sandy and me for these last four days: get up, go home and work all day, and then come back in the evening for dinner, maybe a campfire, and then bed. We didn't hike. I didn't ride my bicycle.

What Sandy did was work in her office at home all day long, and what I mostly did besides my daily chores was prep and freeze peaches from our tree, nine quarts so far. In addition, for the last two weeks I've eaten all the fresh peaches I want for breakfast, and I've prepped and baked one large peach cobbler and two large peach crisps. I've been having a fantastic, peachy time! Our tree fruits every other year, and this year because of all the rains, we've had a heavy crop. Poor me!

Conde Nast

That's why our recent, very local camping trip has been so lacking in our usual pursuits, such as hiking. Driving from home (and office) to the campground each late afternoon has been a joy, though. Turning onto the campground road, one is soon shaded by the overhanging trees that provide a green canopy. Such a grand entrance! I think the quality of the light is different in the campground, that all the greens and earth tones of the park and the blue sky and gray clouds affect my mood. I feel like I'm a part of a team, and of a team that's got a very deep bench. I feel more supported, more integrated.

We've camped here quite a few times, and even though it's my big backyard, it's a great backyard. Sandy's been happy, too, to feel that she's leaving the office and getting away--maybe just for a supper picnic and a sleepover, but that's okay! We've all had to get more creative and adaptable about our camping habits this season, haven't we?

If we cut out the politics and practice safe pandemic procedures (rather than reading or yammering about them), then this season has been a lesson on how essential and simple our natural environment is to our happiness. We aren't alone, we aren't isolated. We are a part of the natural world, and camping in even the most genteel of campgrounds can remind us of how we fit in. Give it a chance, I say . . . or think . . . or maybe it's just a whisper I hear in the wind soughing through the trees.

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  1. Sometimes the best camping is right in your backyard!

    1. Many people are experiencing this, what with the pandemic. Sometimes "less is more" in that not traveling far distances is a blessing in itself.

  2. Sometimes I do this, camp at the local state park, and stop by the house for whatever reason during our stay out there. Sometimes it's just too hot and the dog needs some air. Sometimes I forget something. Depending on my site there might not be shade during midafternoon, though I try not to pick a site like that. Anyway, it's convenient and I still get the campfire and the night noises of camping. Plus, if I'm lucky...stars.

    1. I think stargazing adds a whole new dimension to camping, one I've never explored. Do you have a telescope and star charts?