Anne and I arrived home last evening, Monday, August 7, 2005 from a 10 day camping trip with 2 of our horses and our dog Scot, from Lake Luzerne in the Lake George Region of the Adirondack Mountains in New York State.
In a word to describe this getaway – FANTASTIC!
Being away with two of our horses and our dog Scot in the wilds of the Adirondacks was medicine for our souls.
The fresh mountain air is cleansing. And the only thing important to us there and then is caring for the “boys”, making certain they have copious amounts of fresh water, grooming them, petting them, feeding them their four meals daily, and loving them with all we’ve got.
But being so far away from the “normal” routine didn’t mean that we were far away from studying human nature. As a matter of fact, being away from the “ordinary” actually contributes to sharpening one’s mind, impressions and perspective.
At this very expansive State campground, families without horses camp in several large tree covered areas, while people with horses camp in a limited section that is more or less reserved for people and their mounts, even though non horse-campers love to camp in the horse area which they can do upon request.
This shouldn’t be. But everyone pays the same $17.50 per night per site.
The Park provides bathrooms throughout the grounds, a bath-house with plenty of hot showers, two beaches, a boat launch for canoes and kayaks, 150 regular camping sites with fireplaces, and 22 horse sites that come with large paddocks, running water and covered standing stalls for the horses. Everyone who is reserved for horses gets a paddock.
Being so eclectic, this Park attracts a huge variety of campers with various interests. There are families, couples and singles. There are people who sleep in quarter million dollar motor homes, fully loaded trailers, pop-up tent trailers, tents, and believe it or not in their cars.
We even met a homeless guy who travels the horse racing circuit where he earns a few bucks here and there while living in his beat-up mini-van. In a month or so, he’ll head the mini-van south where he’ll live in other warmer State Parks. Many of which are entirely free.
And for the piece-de-resistance; there are horse-trailers that provide 5 star living quarters. I think there’s one out there with our name on it just waiting to be bought.
Anne and I have a fabulous 4 horse goose neck trailer. But not one with living quarters. Our horse “rig” includes 40 gallons of fresh water which we carry from home, twin propane tanks which power our Bar-B-Q and twin burner stove. And in a pinch, the whole deal is easily converted into living quarters.
For the time being however, we tent-it. But we tent-it in style.
We have a 12×16 foot sleeping tent with cots, mattresses and collapsible end tables. We have another tent that is used as a screened open-air or closed kitchen. We also have a hot water portable shower and our own bathroom facilities.
We even carry our own electric paddock for the horses. And if it is really hot and sunny, or cold and rainy, we have an awning on the trailer that provides shelter for the horses.
Because we travel with this 24 foot goose neck trailer, we can carry an incredible amount of equipment and supplies; including enough hay and feed in the pick-up truck to last the horses two weeks. And we have a 1000 watt Honda generator with enough separate fuel to last us more than a month.
With this generator, we can bring with us every comfort of home including satellite TV and the Internet.
NOW THAT’S CAMPING!
However impressive this might sound to you (it’s impressive to us), it doesn’t come close to the set-up of someone we became friends with who also travels with his horse.
Jim’s the name. And like virtually all of us “horse campers”, Jim is in his 50’s (to many of the horse campers 50 is young). In his case, he’s more or less retired, plays guitar and sings in a Blue’s Band (my favorite music) when he feels like it.
When Anne and I first saw Jim’s campsite, we figured someone got a permit to set up a city. He had an enormous tarp covering several multi purpose tents. He had a real kitchen, dining room, sitting room and two bedrooms. He also had televisions, one great stereo system, lighting and real furniture. And to power all of this, Jim had his marine battery system.
I guess there’s living. And then there’s Jim’s way of living.
Anne and I are both looking forward to meeting up with Jim this coming Labor-Day, as we are with many of the other “horse-campers” we’ve met in our recent travels. Not only are most of them extremely interesting people, they’re nice. And we all share a strong commonality in our love for horses.
THEN THERE’S EVERYONE ELSE:
It’s interesting how people behave when they camp.
There are the campers who are there to be in the great outdoors. They’re the ones who are respectful of the environment and of the space of others.
Then there are the people who figure camping is much cheaper than staying at a Holiday Inn, and use their site as a cheap convenience.
Then there are the types who show up at the campsite with a whack of kids who don’t give a damn about anything or anyone but themselves. They let their kids run wild. And they party until late in the night. To them, being quiet means taking a breath.
And then there are the “kids” who show up for no other reason but to get drunk, stoned and listen to very loud music. I’m sure they’re busy doing plenty other things as well. But camping for the sheer pleasure of being close to nature is not one of them.
On this trip, we met them all.
Anne and I were part of a search party to find a lost toddler who wondered off into the forest because his mother was too busy to keep an eye on him.
Then there were the young group of party animals Anne and I locked horns with past midnight on our last night there. This ended up with one arrest and a face to face mano-a-mano standoff between me and three of them.
These bastards called me an old man. Guess who was last man standing?
To hear more about this past trip with our horses to Lake Luzerne, New York, Click on the Radio Button found at the Top Right Hand Side of this Page.
This broadcast is approximately 45 minutes.