We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.
It's finally happened: the boys are at the age to rebel against what their parents want, and for us now that means going camping. Sigh. They actually just grumbled a bit about going and of course had a great time once we set off. That was a couple of hours later than we had hoped/planned; we weren't all packed and ready to go till about 5:30. The drive is about two and a half hours without traffic, and we also had to stop for some groceries and dinner on the way. Traffic getting out of the city wasn't too terrible, but we didn't stop until after 8, somewhere between Islip and Patchogue.
The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature is a book I'm sure I will reread or at least dip into again and again. It is beautifully written and packed with fascinating information about the ecology of the eastern forest.
We happen to live near the highest point in Brooklyn and were virtually untouched by Hurricane Sandy. A couple of trees came down nearby, and of course no school all week. Top Kid and Tree Kid's grandparents weren't so lucky and are without power indefinitely out on Long Island. We gave them our propane stove and a couple of battery-powered lanterns to help tide them over. Of course we have them as camping equipment, not as survivalist gear, but it's always nice to be prepared.
We went down to see the new Brooklyn Bridge Park this afternoon. It's still in construction although parts have been open for at least a few months.
Cabin "camping" with friends at Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park, one of the newer parks in the system. Actually, in NYS Parks and Rec parlance, a "cabin" is rustic without amenities, this is a "cottage" meaning it has heat, water, power, and a full kitchen. Cottages cost a lot more than cabins, but if a couple of families share it's not bad. This cottage is beautiful since it's less than 10 years old.
Last night we had dinner and later played Texas Hold-'Em. Today we had a nice hike in the morning and warmed up inside in the afternoon.
We decided early last week to go away for the weekend, and reserved Cabin 16 at World's End State Park (love that name!) in the Poconos area of northeastern PA. We left Saturday early afternoon, and it's about a 4-hour drive, so we arrived about 6:30 after stopping at a Super Walmart for groceries—not a great selection, nor great prices.
The cabin had a notebook for campers to write their experiences, and this is what Tree Kid wrote:
This "recent photo" of kids tubing from the Lapland Lake website is our gang. Top Kid is front and center; Tree Kid (age 7) is on the left in the yellow coat. He just lost a front tooth.
Camping at Hickory Run State Park in the Poconos area off Rt 80.
Packing with a lot of recriminations, and got going an hour or two later than we hoped. I forgot the toys and Tree Kid's fishing gear except for the pole. There was traffic leaving NYC (Holland Tunnel), and a thunderstorm/downpour on Rt 80, but the PA portion of the drive was nice and scenic.