After last year's successful camping trip, we decided to return to Vermont for another long weekend. This time we stayed at Quechee State Park.
It was, of course, a very different experience. The weather was significantly warmer than last year, which was nice. No one woke in the early hours desperate for a pee because their bladder was so cold. However, it was also significantly wetter. Actually last year, we had no rain at all. This year we had lots.
Although we have recently purchased a family sized tent, (more about that in another post later this month,) we decided not to take it with us because we would once again be staying in a lean-to. The State Park listed the lean-to we booked as a 'prime' lean-to. In my opinion, there were no 'prime' lean-tos at Quechee, but perhaps that's just because my prior experience with lean-tos is limited. The one at Allis was great. This one was adequate. We knew it was not going to have the stunning view the last site had, so that was not a surprise. It had been repainted inside much less recently than the one at Allis, so it looked dirtier.
For some reason, it had far fewer of the handy nails for hanging and or tying things to than last year's lean-to had. The site it was on was certainly not big enough for our tent (had we brought it) even though the description said it would be. It also lacked the privacy we had last year - the road through the campsite was right opposite us. This made lowering the tarp at night a necessity, not simply an option, for privacy reasons.
This made for a dilemma as we wanted to leave the tarp up to keep the picnic table dry overnight. In the end we decided to pull the table in as close to the lean to as we could so it was at least partly under the overhang, and then drop the tarp. That way we kept one bench dry and we put a second tarp on the other one in the morning when we sat down for breakfast.
The campground itself was much busier than Allis - not surprisingly as it is much closer to tourist attractions. One of them - Quechee Gorge was only a short walk from the campground itself.
The Friday and Saturday nights were therefore quite noisy simply because of the number or people there. (We were still much better spaced out on the site than we would have been on a European campsite though!) There was one rowdy group who arrived late and didn't observe quiet hours on Friday night, and after someone else yelled at them to shut up there was a small round of applause from the others camping near them. On Saturday night I was woken by a woman yelling very loudly and angrily at someone about how there was no way he was going to Get Lucky with her that night. (She didn't use quite that phrase!) On Sunday the camp emptied out and it was much quieter.
We brought a different stove this year, one that I felt more comfortable using as it was more like the one we had when we went camping when I was a kid. It doesn't have a grill ('broiler') like the one I remember from childhood camping trips, but for this year DH bought a gadget that allowed us to make toast/grill bread.
We also had lilos (air mattresses) this year instead of thermarest pads to sleep on. Although they wouldn't be any good for cold weather camping, they are very nice in summer temperatures. Both the kids and I preferred them to the thermarests.
Changes to make for the next trip include me remembering to pack fleece sweaters instead of cotton sweatshirts as they will dry much more quickly if they get wet, and having DH drive so I can do the mapreading instead of him! (Is it just me, or does it not make sense to look at the map well before one gets to the crucial intersection?!)
7 hours ago