Camping has always been a cost effective way for me to get outside, reconnect with my true self, sleep under the stars in a comfy sleeping bag and who doesn’t love the smell of a campfire under the stars. Camping helps put things back into the simplest of perspectives for me.
On the morning of April 29, 2014, after returning home from a week of camping at Half Moon Beach, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, I was having a social media exchange with two of my Twitter friends “ThePeakSeeker” and “MissouriHowell” and the decision was made……………
I decided I was going to make a solo bid to camp all 50 states by age 50, but that wasn’t really a feasible timeframe so I redefined my timing, the more realistic timeframe was to start Camp50 with the 10 states I had already camped in and finish the other 40 states by the end of my 50th birthday. The goal was now all 50 states by April 2016.
Once the decision was made, I hit the ground running. Planning out Camp50 has been much like a project plan for me. Color the map with states done, figure how to get the most states without stressing my dog Patriot out by boarding him, the list goes on and on. During 2014, I was able to camp in another 11 states
- New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland (see prior posts) (May 2014)
- Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho (see prior posts) (August 2014)
- Rounding out the year with; Rhode Island, Virginia, Connecticut (September/October 2014)
- Then it was time to rest and hunker down for a long Winter’s nap
You’d think I would have camped in Rhode Island a long time ago, since it’s less than 15 miles from my home but, NO the problem for me is Rhode Island and Connecticut are known for high tick populations and most state parks don’t allow dogs. We found Burlingame State Park a close to home option for us since we were running out of available camping dates….. almost time for campgrounds to close in New England. I never imagined there would be tall pines trees just across the street from the Ocean but that’s what you’ll find at this campground. Nice and less people because it was after Labor Day so Patriot and I were able to explore parts of the park off leash (ssshh). A quick in an out and the smallest state in the Nation was in the books.
Virginia was a state I needed to complete for personal reasons. It held a personal gap for me that I needed to close. Of course the right decision was to camp in Shenandoah National Park….. what an absolutely amazing National Park . Again, it was after Labor Day so the crowds weren’t as big as the summer months, there was a slight chill in the air and the trees/leaves were just starting to turn into their fall colors. I camped two nights in two different campgrounds, both were uniquely different. Sunrises were in abundance along Skyline Drive every morning, sunsets weren’t to shabby either. I was able to see my first Black bear which was like icing on the freshly baked cupcake. Giddy Up!! I’ll be back for sure Shenandoah.
This would conclude camping for 2014, this was the absolute last weekend to camp in Connecticut so we took the opportunity to stay at American Legion State Forest in the NorthWest corner of the state. Great area at this time of year, still warm enough to camp, colors are starting to turn. I just love being able to camp with Patriot, he’s a great camper but, when he’s ready for bed he stands near the tent door LOL.
Closing out 2014 ~ 21 States done……… Looking forward to 2015, making new friends and Exploring America one campsite at a time.
Thanks for your support and please continue to follow along as the Great Smokey Mountains and many other great locations are on tap for 2015.
Once destroyed, nature’s beauty cannot be repurchased at any price ~ Ansel Adams