The Outdoorsman

The accidental camper


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More from Outdoor Living Newsletter January Outdoor Living Newsletter
 
Man lying on his car in the country
Accidental camper

Growing up in a city lifestyle never afforded me the opportunity to take road trips or go camping. Given that, once I became old enough to get a car the first order of business became driving to "explore the world". And if you had spent most of your childhood land-locked in Northeast Ohio like me, then driving through the Appalachian & Allegheny Region is practically the adventure of a lifetime.

Weekend after weekend I found myself taking day trips with friends exploring the beautiful sites that stretched all the way from New York down to Virginia; the long flowing hills and glacial geology is absolutely beautiful and mystifying at the same time.

Usually every trip started early in the morning and ended late at night back home in Ohio. Being from the city and not having any outdoors experience, what never occurred to me or my friends during this time was that there are campgrounds everywhere with great facilities that we could stay at for very little. This would also allow us to explore even further!

In fact, this never occurred to us until I tried to improvise a new route back home and found myself lost and in search of a major highway. It was getting late when we stumbled upon a campground in the Allegheny Plateau of Western New York. We drove in and spoke with the campground owner and a result thought it best given the time and distance back home to go ahead and get a spot for the night.

Needless to say, we were not very well equipped for this particular camping trip. However, other than having a sore neck in the morning from sleeping in the car and learning that an Opossum can hang upside down by it's tail, everything went off rather well. In fact, it went well enough that we expanded our future road trips to include some camping gear and a useful list of campgrounds along our planned routes. It's funny how the little surprises end up becoming the habits of a lifetime.

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