And when were we planning on going camping ? October. October, in Vermont, when the nighttime temperature is most likely going to be about 40 degrees. (That’s just above freezing for those who are outside of the Fahrenheit zone!) Don’t worry, she said, it’s ‘car camping’, it’s not real camping. Car camping involves getting a reservation for a spot with a lean-to at a Vermont state park. We have our car next to the lean-to, with a fire pit available for a camp fire if we want to have a barbecue at the camp site, otherwise we eat at restaurants. So not really so tough as far as camping can get.
This is an annual camping trip that Ms. J has been taking with her family for many years, and she wasn’t going to stop just because we had a baby. So off we went.
That was three years ago, and Mr. C is probably a better camper than I am now. Don’t worry, we’re not completely insane, we did skip the first year, when he was just a few months old, but we’ve been doing it each year since then. No internet, no cell phone coverage, no wifi at all, hence the absence of a post for the past few days.
Three years ago, my concern was how C was going to get to sleep while camping. Would he be afraid to sleep in a sleeping bag ? Would he wake up in the middle of the night ? Would he be groggy and cranky the next day ? Would the rest of the family not want to be around him since he’s so cranky ? Nope, he sleeps like a log, no problem. And how do I sleep ? After an hour or so of sleeping, I usually then spend a lot of time lying awake in the warm sleeping bag, debating whether or not to get out of the sleeping bag and go into the freezing cold night, stumble around the camp site in my sweat pants and a t-shirt, in order to look for my shoes and a flashlight, most likely also waking everyone else up, in order to go to the park bathroom. Of course I always do have to eventually get up, there’s just no way I’m going back to sleep, no matter how hard I concentrate on sleeping, no matter how warm the sleeping bag is. So I get up, stumble around, quickly freezing while I try not to fall into the dying embers of the camp fire, run to the bathroom, and run back. So I get a few hours of sleep each night. But C sleeps through the night, sometimes he sleeps better camping than he does at home.
Fall in New England is a beautiful time of year, and very brief. Seems as though it was just hot and humid, and now the leaves are falling and soon it’ll be snowing. So besides the lack of sleep for me, we have a great time.
We try to do some hiking. We have a toddler backpack, and I used to hike with C on my back, which is a great workout. This year with him being about 40 pounds and already close to being about three feet tall, he’s too big for the backpack now. He doesn’t hike for long though, after a few minutes he will turn to me with his arms up and I will carry him until my arm falls off. He then will have J take over and have her carry him for a few minutes. We continue like this for as long as we can and then we turn back.
On our way to the park, we try to get some apples from Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon, New Hampshire. They offer a lot of heirloom varieties, with great names, like ‘Tompkins King’, ‘Hubbardston Nonsuch’, ‘Hudson’s Golden Gem’, ‘Wickson’, ‘Ashmead’s Kernel’, ‘Foxwhelp’, ‘Dabinett’ and my favorites ‘Calville Blanc d’Hiver’ and ‘Esopus Spitzenburg’.
As usual, if there are any dogs within a mile radius they make their way over to play with Mr. C, or see if he has any food.
This year he discovered that dogs will chase leaves if he throws them up in the air high enough.
Hey doggie, you’re not making my plan on getting a dog at least a year from now any easier!
We made a unplanned stop in Weston, Vermont. I don’t think there is a more typical Vermont town than Weston. Town green, working gristmill, quaint country store, even a community playhouse theater. New England cuteness all around.
It was supposed to rain throughout the time we were there, but it held off for most of the time anyway. We did get some rain, but we were asleep at the time. I should say that everyone else was asleep, I wasn’t. Tramping through the mud, in the rain, in the freezing cold, just to go to the bathroom, is no fun at all.
One of the places we stopped in to eat was next to the Appalachian Trail, with a sign saying ‘Welcome Through Hikers!’ at the entrance. I thought I had it bad, with no shower, or wifi, AT hikers are the real deal. Maybe when C’s older, like in high school, we’ll go on a long Appalachian Trail hike, or maybe we’ll be real ambitious and go on the Pacific Coast Trail. Or maybe we’ll just buy him a good backpack, wish him luck, and I’ll go sleep in my own bed.
‘Goodbye Summer’ says Mr. C.