Thursday, June 23, 2016

New Toys

I've camped since I was a kid. We started out with a tent, then eventually mom and dad got a 25 year old Apache pop-up for us, which eventually morphed into a 20 foot tow along. These were our summers growing up- so much fun!

But once I became 'an adult' and moved out, I had to go back to tenting it because that's all I could afford. Sleeping on the ground again. Ouch.

So after the pups and I have been roughing it in the tent for the past 15 years, and I finally saved up for a 'new-to-me' camper! It's a Coleman Sedona from 2003, and clean-as-a-button. A lucky Craigslist find!

My other fun purchase/exchange was trading in my Old Town Discovery solo canoe for something a bit bigger and more stable. Lela was always good in the canoe, but Joey is a bit bigger and, well, fidgety (some may say ill-mannered but I won't go there :)) and I was worried he would tip us over in the little Old Town. So a couple weekends ago we went up to Mountain Man Sports in Old Forge to look at Radisson Sportspal canoes, which I've heard are virtually un-tippable. They did seem like beautiful crafts, but the inside of the boat was foam and I knew it would get chewed up by dog claws very quickly. The folks there were so nice and showed us several other canoes and kayaks that could work, and ever let me test-paddle some with Joey and Lela! We settled on a Native Ultimate Fishing Kayak which is the ugliest camo-color known to man but is super-roomy, stable as can be with two moving dogs, and really fun to paddle. So we traded in the Old Town and now have the sleek Native to explore in!

Learning to adjust from a canoe to a kayak was easy (and it IS super steady for dogs!!). Learning to adjust from a tent to a pop-up was not. There was a LOT of stuff to learn. Load balance, hooking up, towing, setting up and taking down were a big learning curve. But that's okay. Our first trip was to Kayuta Lake Campground, where my parents have a summer camp. This meant they were able to stand by and watch me set up, and correct anything I was doing wrong (same when taking down). Our second trip was up to our favorite place, Fish Creek Campgrounds, the pups and I "by ourselves." We did have a few mishaps....I couldn't back into the site properly; I had a hard time leveling the camper once I finally got in; I lost control of the kayak getting it off the Escape and ended up ripping my antenna and smashing off the side mirror. Whoops.

Chalking this up to a learning experience!

Anyway, we had a wonderful 4 days paddling, hiking, and lazying around camp. Here are some pictures from our trip!

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