We packed in tents, chairs, pans, sleeping pads and bags, clothes, a hammock, rock climbing gear, food, dishes, a cooler full of ice, burgers and Maine Brewing Company pints. The site had a fire pit with a grill top and a picnic table. Did I mention the unlimited water that came from a faucet with an on/off valve instead of a low stream that needed to be hand-filtered? And bathrooms!?
Now, I really don’t mind dry toilets or even peeing behind a tree, but to walk inside a building, with tile and electric lights, with hand sanitizer and toilet paper – it didn’t feel like camping. It felt like we were sleeping in tents in someone’s backyard.
And because this was the weekend before east coast public schools let out for the summer, we had the entire camp site to ourselves.
It was lovely.
The three nights we camped were the most relaxing, calming down-time I had all year. It had everything I love – good conversation, a gathering of friends, making food and just enjoying each other’s company.
No wonder why A&E, the friends who brought us, call this place vacationland.
We grilled food, slept outside in the fresh air (listening to the rain all the first night), huddled around the fire in the dark, staring into the flames. We switched around chairs and spots at the picnic table. They taught H and I to play Hearts, which we played by head-lamp-light with Joni Mitchell on the small USB speaker. We all agreed to put our phones on “Airplane Mode” and just be.
The best part was being with another couple who just jive. A&E have their routines, their jokes, their way of being together. H and I have ours. We’re respectful and easy-going, but most importantly, we’re kind to each other. It’s so enjoyable to hang out with another couple who take good care of each other and bring a good vibe. It probably helps that we’re all on the introvert end of the spectrum, but really, genuine affection, coupled with an appreciation for being outside, wrapped the trip in easy-going-ness.
We camped, we hiked, we rocked climbed. We talked, we laughed, we star-gazed. We rested and recouped.
I would go back in a heartbeat.