Wanderlusty Wednesday: Camp Hoover

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I am super-bummed to have missed my annual camping trip with my cousins in North Jersey this year because of moving weekend. But here is a photo of our favorite campsite at our favorite camping ground. The best thing about this place is that it looks exactly the same today as it did twenty years ago. I love the tall trees, I love the Civil War-era tents, I love the battered old canoes, I love the midget-height showers with their giant spiders. I love that nothing changes. Til next year, Camp Hoover!

Wanderlusty Wednesday: Big Sur

10779692546_7703d01568_kI’ve been thinking a lot about camping lately, mostly due to this post on one of my favorite blogs (the first part of which I disagree with, by the way–there is nothing wrong with camping at campgrounds), and also due to the fact that it’s coming up on that time of year–my favorite camping experiences have happened in August and September.

So my travel advice for the day: if you ever do a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway (and you should) you absolutely must stop in Big Sur. We only had one night there because we were running behind schedule, but we spent it in this tiny adorable cabin at a campground (we didn’t do the real camping thing because we had no time to stop for the supplies) and it was magical and lovely and I wanted to stay there forever. It’s pricey, but beautiful, and I only wish we’d been able to spend more time there.

Wanderlusty Wednesday: Lake George

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It’s almost September. The end of the summer is always a weird time, even after you’re out of school. And is it just me or do the summers go by faster and faster the older you get?

This is also my favorite time of year for camping. Going into the woods or on an island in the middle of a lake for a couple days or a week, sleeping outside, cooking over a fire, peeing behind a tree, jumping off rocks into the water. I love it. I love the naturalness of it. Another reason why I probably shouldn’t be living in Brooklyn.

One of my favorite places to camp is Lake George. I used to go every year with a group of guy friends, usually six to ten of us. This was before everyone reached thirty and became preoccupied with significant others, children, etc. We’d go the week after Labor Day, which is the best time to go, because the prices are slashed, all the families have headed back to school, the water is warm and the nights are cool. We’d rent out campsites on Vicar’s Island and nearly always had the island entirely to ourselves. It’s real camping–no bathrooms, no showers, you’re not even allowed to bring soap as it might get in the pristine lake. There’s a few picnic tables and a spot for building your fire. That’s it. It’s wonderful.

We spent our days paddle boarding, jumping off the ten-foot rock into the water (often fully-clothed–we referred to it as showering and doing laundry), drinking our weight in cheap beer, eating s’mores and pocket stew (canned vegetables, tomato sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper wrapped in tin foil and set in the fire–oh and the carnivores added meat) and feeding the fire. There’s no cell phone service, no electricity–we woke with the sun and slept with the dark. The stars there are some of the finest I’ve ever seen–you can see the entire sweep of the Milky Way from that island.

If you ever have the chance, go there. I miss this place.

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