This summer has been different, to say the least. I moved to a new city, started a new job, all in the middle of a pandemic.
Fast forward to now. I’ve been working as a news producer for over two months now. It’s about time I took a vacation…
I brainstormed what the safest vacation could be this summer and came up with camping! I’ve never gone camping before. I feel like 2020 is all about new experiences, good or bad, right?
The next part was to figure out where. This was a no-brainer.
I fell in love with the Adirondacks when I was very young. My lovely parents took my family on vacation there during the fall and summer when my siblings and I were growing up. Something about the mountains, the lakes, the forests, the serenity of it all makes me feel happy.
So after work, my boyfriend and I packed up the car and hit the road. Since we left on the late side, we faced our first challenge: setting up a tent in the dark.
Now this isn’t city-living. We got to our campsite and it was pitch black. No light to be seen, except for the stars littered in the sky. So we squinted in the dark and unpacked the tent.
As quietly as possible, so we didn’t disturb the other campers, we somehow managed to get the tent up. I don’t know how, but it got up.
For next time I camp, I will be sure to bring an air mattress. Or a sleeping pad. Something so I don’t have to lay on the cold, hard ground again. In my head, I didn’t think it would be that bad. I had the cushion of a sleeping bag, how bad could it be? Not great, that’s for sure.
An unforeseen challenge — dinner. Silly me, I thought the grill at our campsite could fit burgers! Instead, it was designed to hold pans over the fire. So we fashioned some makeshift pans out of tinfoil and managed to make some edible hamburgers and hot dogs. We probably looked ridiculous next to the experienced campers with their propane grills and kitchen utensils, but we didn’t care.
I don’t think there was one moment my entire trip I wasn’t smiling. Something about the Adirondacks is so special to me, and it had been over four years since I had taken a trip to the mountains.
Honestly, there were moments I forgot we were in the middle of a pandemic. I forgot about wearing a mask, keeping my distance and sanitizing my hands every 20 minutes. I relaxed. I sat in my chair, looked over the lake, and enjoyed my time in the moment. I smiled.
It was the first time I got to see my favorite lake again – Minerva Lake. It was just like I remembered; the sun was shining, the water was cool and calm. Memories of late-night bonfires, hikes to the general store, kayak wars (don’t ask, very complicated game), and jokes with old friends came rushing back. I remembered a simpler time, before college, a job, bills; before I became the adult writing this now. It was like returning home after a long hiatus.
Don’t get me wrong, I was still masked up when I couldn’t social distance. Just because I wasn’t actively thinking about it didn’t make me forget to protect myself and others all around.
It felt so refreshing to forget about vaccines, tests and anything related to this awful virus. The lack of cell phone service at some points helped me unplug even more!
If you feel overwhelmed from this pandemic and have some time off – I recommend going camping. It was the perfect, quick trip to get some much needed time away from, well, life.
So, my loyal reader, how have you gotten creative this summer during the pandemic? Leave a comment, I want to know more ways to get outdoors while staying safe before the weather gets too cold!