Monday, June 25, 2012

Make or Break

Our weekend getaway spent camping in the Raymond B. Winter State Park, near Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, was all we could have hoped for:

A smooth set up in a great site.
     Our campsite was spacious, clean and forested, giving us patches of sunshine shining down through the trees, yet lots of shade.  The campsite location can certainly make or break the enjoyment of your weekend.

Hours spent in pleasant conversation, relaxing by the campfire.
     We brought along plenty of dry wood, so there was no "cheaping out" on the fires this time.  Little wind meant we didn't have to keep moving our chairs around the fire, either.  If you are a camper you know that wind can make or break a comfortable campfire session.

Manageable mosquitos.
     Armed with five cans of bug repellant and two citronella bucket candles, we were able to keep the skeeters at bay.  The quantity and persistence of bugs can make or break the sanity factor, for sure.

An afternoon nap in a shaded hammock.
     With a pillow.  With a good book.  Even with a blanket.  And, with no rain.  The chance of rain can make or break a good snooze in a hammock.

Pleasant wildlife.
     Birds, butterflies, squirrels, and chipmunks.  And hummingbirds - we love those!  But, no snakes (even though the warning poster about rattlesnakes is still there at the public restrooms), no skunks (amazing, when you consider this is a wooded area with the high potential for human food droppings), and no bears.
Banner at a neighboring campsite
However, we have seen bears in this campground on numerous trips in the past, and I'm sensing they are becoming a problem.

This trap was sitting in the campground near the ranger's entrance.
The type of wildlife appearing during a camping weekend can make or break our comfort level.

Delicious "camp" food.
     Smells of bacon wafting through the campground early in the morning, a cheese and crackers snack in the afternoon, and hot dogs made over the fire for dinner.  With mustard.  And onions.  Popsicles in the freezer for later.  Campground cooking does not have to be difficult.  Simple foods always work for us.  The menu can certainly make or break the adventure.

The reading of some good books.
     Actually I read 3 1/2 magazines, 2 USA Today newspapers, 1 travel catalog, and made a good start into a new book.  Having enough reading material along to challenge the mind can make or break a weekend anywhere.

Kids having fun.
     I enjoy watching nearby children riding bikes, playing, eating s'mores (real s'mores), and having good old fashioned camping fun.  Unfortunately, across the way from us, there were 5 unruly young children who cried and whined a lot and really needed a nap.  The sounds of children in a campground can make or break the weekend.

Perfect weather.
     High temperatures in the low 80's, sunny, no humidity.  Perfect.  We don't often get weekends like this one in central Pennsylvania.  We all know that the weather can most definitely make or break the camping adventure.

Camping companions.
     It is fun to camp with family members.  Or with friends you've known for years.  We enjoy having them camp in a nearby site, available to play games, give us their desserts share meals, and visit around the campfire.  However, my very best camping adventures happen with just me and my  husband/lover/best friend.  It was just the two of us this weekend.  I sure do love this guy.

Your camping buddy/buddies can most definitely make or break your experience.

All in all, it was a "perfect storm" of all the components required for a lovely weekend getaway.  I'm grateful for that.

Now, what's next?  (See below!)


  1. I want to do this with my family :)

  2. Good for you, Jill. It's a new life without the kids at home but can be wonderful memories in the making for all. Enjoy!