Friday, October 7, 2011

Deer Camp

Fall camping is much different than summer camping. While camping in summer you can often hear the laughter of people canoeing on the river or kids swimming and playing in the lake. We stay at campgrounds so the RV’s are close together. You can hear other people’s radios or the smell of bacon cooking in someone else’s camper. It is bright and sunny even on the days that there may be a little rain.

Camping in mid-October is very different. The trees look much more colorful with the leaves all turning vibrant reds and oranges and there is a cool breeze even on warm days that make you sense that winter is getting close. Rather than being at a campground, with luxuries like a near-by water connection, a sewer hose and 30 amp power (so we can run the A/C at the same time as the microwave) we are on state land. There is no water, other than what you carry in. The electricity is provided by a gasoline-powered generator that is attached a short distance away from the camper via a power cord. There is no one near us. We drove off the expressway to a highway then onto a back road. After awhile we turned onto a dirt road, then took a fork off that road to a sandy path leading to a hard-to-find-unless-you-know-where-it beaten path that is only wide enough for a 4 wheeler…. or very determined hunter/campers. If you drive another 15 minutes and take a couple hard to see turns…. That’s where we are. Alone. From the time we turned onto the first dirt road until we got to the campsite we saw no people and no camps. All we saw was a nice sized doe that ran across the road in front of my truck. I turned on my Google Maps once we were at the RV to pinpoint our exact location, it searched for several minutes before responding with “NO WHERE”.

The theme here is quiet and conservative. In the summer, at the campground, there is a plethora of activities and things for everyone to do: Fishing, swimming, bike riding, mini-golf, canoeing, bingo, karaoke, softball, the game room, beach, and activity sheets with things for the kids to do every hour. At deer camp there is very little noise. Pete and Lexi head out to hunt with Jay’s husband (JD) early. Jay and I hang out in the RV on our own, talking and drinking coffee. There is no one but the two of us until around noon when the hunters come back for lunch. After lunch there is target practice and checking on all the equipment and gathering firewood for the nights fire. Then it is nap time. Jay and I hang out by the fire pit now loaded high with sticks while the hunters sleep and re-energize themselves for another taxing session of searching for deer and not falling out of tree stands.

There are tiny silk worms that dangle from the trees that I can see when the light hits them just right or they drop onto my computer keyboard. I can hear an occasional bird or a bee buzz by every so often and watch as the breeze blows leaves gently to the ground like soft falling snow. It is so quiet I can hear the soft snore of Jay’s bulldog, Dozer asleep beside the RV.

I’ve been looking forward to this trip since I came up to deer camp last year with Pete. I hope to do it for many years to come….. it is a fantastic way to end camping season. However, with my direction sense and the lack of signage in these woods it will be a miracle if I can ever find it again next year….. come to think of it, I may never find my way out!! ☺

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