Saturday, July 15, 2017

Adirondack Camping

My mom finally retired in June.  One of her first trips was to visit Grandma in upstate NY.  We decided to fly out there to visit.  Since we just broke the piggy bank in Washington we decided to give camping a go.

During one of my many campground searches I came across this website.  They take photos of campsites across the country.  This was so helpful since we were planning to bring our hammocks & we needed to make sure we had trees.  They had a video of photos showing every site in Luzerne Campground.  The campground looked perfect. It had plenty of sites & didn't look like they were filling up for the weekend we were going to be there.  Plus it was about a 15 minute drive from Grandma's.

I called a few days prior to leaving Lexington to ask some questions about availability & if they accepted walk ups.  Then on a whim I asked if hammocks were OK.  With some hemming & hawing the women on the phone said technically they can be used but not as your main sleeping arrangements.  Huh?  Puzzled, I asked if they had any signs posting this & she said no.  She said if we had any issues we could just get a cheap tent at Walmart.  Huh?

After some more google searches it appears there have been some issues of nudity amongst hammock folks in campgrounds so the government put some caveats on hammocks.  I found a forum discussion that talked about this crazy rule.  After talking with Steve, we decided to go ahead & bring our stuff anyway.  He was able to fit his 2 person tent in the suitcase along with our hammock gear.

We flew into Albany on Thursday around noon.  We picked up our car.  We had a few options & choose the Nissan Rogue which happened to be brand new with only 3 miles on it!  It was a great option since it gave us the extra room we needed for all of our gear. It was also a very comfy & nicely designed car.

Brand New Nissan Rogue
After a lunch stop in Glens Falls we headed to the campground.  The folks at the gate gave us a map, told us to drive around & pick out a few sites we liked.  The campground is huge with several loops.  Reading the reviews on the web the first loop was to be avoided if possible. Too close to the main road.  The second loop was completely empty & about 1.5 miles from the entrance.  We checked out the main loop which pretty full since it was right on the lake plus the sites were pretty close to one another.  I don't think we bothered checking out the last 2 loops.

We had picked one site that we really liked in the second loop & a few other back up sites in that same loop.  We got our first choice. Site #22 was available all weekend long but we only booked the first night in case we didn't like it.  We spent the next hour setting up the tent & both of our hammocks before heading to Grandma's.

Site #22

Very deep site

Loop Road - So Many Trees!
The first evening we spent a couple hours visiting Grandma & mom before heading to the store for some supplies like water, beer, bug spray & a few snacks. Mom brought us a cooler to use to keep our beers cold.

The thing about campsites with so many trees is it feels like it is almost dark for like 3 hours.  The sunrise was around 5:15AM & the sunset was around 8:30PM.  The first night we were in our hammocks early & I got an amazing nights sleep.

Friday morning we drove to the little store across from the entrance for coffee.  On our way back in we booked the following 2 nights stay.  Steve spent the next couple of hours re-arranging his hammock before we headed out to the grocery to pick up some food for Grandma's. When we got to her apartment only mom was there.  Grandma was out running an errand. While she was out, she had a dizzy spell & ended up at the ER.  At 94 people don't take chances.  Grandma didn't want to go the the ER but her friend pretty much made her go.  So that is where we spent the afternoon.  Waiting in Glens Falls ER while they ran tests.  In the end, she was fine & we were home around dinner time.

Friday night Steve & I had a fire at the campsite.  During the night we woke up to rain.  It was warm that evening but the rain was soothing & brought in a cool front. The tarps did their job keeping us dry.

In the morning, Steve woke up & did his morning run while I went for coffees.  Afterwards we went back to Grandma's to make breakfast & to await the arrival of my 2 cousins from Connecticut.  None of us had seen them for 20 years so we didn't know what to expect.

They arrived around mid afternoon.  You are never sure what to expect when you haven't seen someone for 20 years. Plus they were 5 & 7 the last time we saw them.  They really didn't remember any of us.  The reunion was perfect.  They are such great young men.  The conversations were easy.  I am so glad they came up. It is only a 3 hour drive for them to visit so I do hope they will visit her more now.
Mom, Grandma, Steven, Jason & me
After dinner, Steve & I headed back to our site.  Since the cooler weather came in there were a few more people in our loop but it still wasn't full.  Thursday & Friday there was only one other person in our loop.

Sunday morning we again got coffee & started taking everything down. We had to cram everything back into our suitcase so we had to make sure we took our time.  As we drove around the campground we saw a few other sites with a tent & hammock so we weren't the only ones.

We were all packed & showered up by 10AM.  We again spent the majority of the day hanging out at Grandma's.  Steven & Jason left early afternoon & we headed back towards Albany around 4PM since we had an early flight out in the morning.

Overall the camping trip was a success.  We really didn't spend much time at the site but used it like a hotel room.  We also didn't do any hiking like we usually do when we go to New York.  I was still feeling sluggish from what I thought was the radiation treatment.  I didn't know it at the time but I had the early stages of pneumonia.  The pneumonia wouldn't come out in full force for another couple weeks though.

We got all our camping gear in one suitcase that we checked.  Plus each of us had a carry on bag for our clothes, shoes & toiletries.

Camping Gear contents:

  • 2 Hammocks & Straps
  • 2 Sleeping Bags
  • 2 Under Quilts for Hammocks
  • 2 Tarps
  • 1 2-person Tent w/poles
  • 2 Thermarest Pillows
  • Bag of tarp & tent stakes
  • 1 Camp stove --> Never used on this trip
  • 1 bag of plastic wear
  • 1 Helinox Camp Chair for me
  • 1 Seat mat for Steve

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