Tag Archive 'car camping'

Jul 15 2017

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Car Camping

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I drove up the winding Kelly Stand Road slowly, on my way to a favorite camping spot in the Green Mountain National Forest. I was tired after a long day of book hunting, and not crazy about setting up my tent in the dark, but really wanted a taste of the wild. In a few days I’d be slipping into deep woods for a week. The wild was all I could think about.

The drive was a lonely one. Didn’t pass another car or see another person. But a smile broke across my face when the familiar campsite finally came into view. I backed my car into the site then set up my tent. Twenty minutes later, I was comfy in my sleeping bag, making a journal entry by headlamp, and glad I hadn’t given in to the urge to stay in a motel. Two hours earlier I had been contemplating that while passing through a rainstorm.

The leaves rustling overhead lulled me to sleep. At first the ground felt hard, but my body eventually melted into it. I slept well, awakening eight hours later to grey light filtering through the screen door and the sound of robins singing. My eyes drank in the surrounding forest as I crawled from the tent.

I cleaned up a bit, drank some juice then broke camp. Day two on the road. The next book sale was two hours away and I had three. That meant time enough for a leisurely drive out of the mountains and breakfast in some diner along the way. It was going to be a good day.

I picked up a handful of birch bark that I found laying on the ground and squirreled it away in a plastic bag. I’d need it during next week’s backpacking trip into the Adirondacks. Really looking forward to that. But first things first: I had a couple more boxes to fill with books.



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Aug 08 2015

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Woodsy Interlude

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CarCampingI drove all around southern Vermont earlier this week, visiting libraries, thrift shops and church sales in my search for secondhand books. My fledgling book business is coming along nicely but it’s a lot of work, and it sometimes puts me in some funky situations. Wednesday evening, after a long day of book hunting, I headed for the nearby Green Mountain National Forest to spend the night before resuming my search the next day. Talk about out of context!

Car camping isn’t my favorite way to be in the wild, but it beats a motel room. Much cheaper, too. For a few bucks I could have stayed in a campground, but that’s not my style. I prefer running up some dirt road until I find a track slipping into the trees to some primitive campsite in the middle of nowhere. Places like that are few and far between these days, even in national forests, but they can be found if one looks hard enough.

After finding a place a mile up a forestry road, I threw up my tent and tossed a sleeping bag inside of it. Home for the night, just like that. Then I stood there in street clothes, looking around in fading light. A light breeze rustled the maple leaves overhead, otherwise all was quiet. I breathed deeply, relaxing in a way that’s hard to do in the developed lowlands.

Dueling owls hooted as I slept that night otherwise the forest was quiet enough for me to hear the leaves and twigs occasionally shed by trees hit the ground. Book sales seem noisy by comparison.

In the morning I quickly broke camp and followed Kelly Stand Road back to the lowlands. Along the way, I stopped to groove on a mist-covered beaver pond clearly visible from the road. A couple hours later, I was back in the business of sorting through books. I gravitated to the science/nature table, of course. That made the transition from wildness to commerce a bit easier.


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