Posts Tagged ‘camping’

Priorities and Inconveniences

Our closest major supermarket in Maine is 35 minutes away, although I prefer the one over the border in New Hampshire that is 45 minutes away.  It’s true, you can’t really afford to forget anything on your marketing list, because when you spend $10 in gas, and a total of 1.5 hours in travel time, you think twice about a double trip and realize there is very little stuff on your menu that can’t be substituted or eliminated.  Of course I have a large supply of stored non-perishables for just that situation as well as weather emergencies.  So being organized and making careful lists become habit, and it’s really not all that hard.  I also make sure to combine errands for better efficiency.  A trip to the supermarket might also include filling up with gas, picking up whatever I need at the hardware store, shopping at Wal-Mart, and a visit to Dunkin Donuts for a cold drink or hot chocolate, depending on the season.  It may even include a side trip to the vet or a pick-your-own field or orchard.  It also means that Market Day lasts at least 4 to 8 hours, but that is my choice and I don’t consider it an inconvenience.  Because food shopping I do once a week – – but things like fishing, kayaking, swimming in the lake, hiking, walking and camping amidst magnificent nature, ponds, streams, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, valleys, and mountaintops, I can do every single day!  And where and how else would life afford me this opportunity?



Our closest lake is only 2 miles and 4 minutes away.  That means that my husband can take lunch hour swimming or kayaking and be back in plenty of time to finish his day.  Or he can finish work at 5 pm and still have time for a hike or kayak or swim.  Or even go on an overnight camping trip, since magnificent campsites provided at no charge by the Forest Service are only 3 miles and 5 minutes away.


That is just what we did one week this past summer.  At noon I visited the campsite, flush against waterfalls, a natural pool, potholes and stream, and set up camp with our tent, hammock, and a couple of lawn chairs.  I brought wood and kindling from our house and laid it down next to the fire ring.  I wasn’t worried about leaving my stuff and it getting stolen – – the campsite is remote enough that few people other than locals would even know how to find it, though it’s easily accessible from a dirt road, and the overwhelming majority of Mainers are inherently honest folk.


Half an hour later I was back at home, impatiently waiting for my husband to finish work so we could begin our camping adventure.  We ate  dinner at home – – we didn’t want to encourage any bears at the campsite with the scent of leftover food – – and drove to the campsite with our dog, Spencer.  After getting the campfire going and applying some bug spray, my husband settled into the hammock and studied the works of Maimonides’ Mishna Torah, a Jewish sacred text; I sat in the lawn chair near the fire and read a biography of Ariel Sharon which to my surprise, I found under the freecycle canopy at our local dump.  As the sun went down, the air turned delightfully cool.  I had placed some exercise mats on the floor of our tent which provided ample padding for our tired, aging bodies.  It was a clear night and the proliferation of stars were remarkable.



In the morning my husband arose with the dawn, made a fire, and relaxed further.  He returned home to start his workday while I remained at the campsite, enjoying the stream, taking lots of photos with my cellphone, and eventually napping in the hammock, falling asleep in the hammock.  When I broke camp, and put the tent and other paraphernalia back in the car, I called my dog, Spencer, to come to the car.  He wouldn’t budge.  As I approached him, he darted away.  He steadfastly refused to get in the car.  Every time I’d get close, he practically laughed at me, “Can’t catch me!” and running just out of my reach.  Like us, he had enjoyed our quickie camping night out, and hated to call it quits.


Sadly, it was to be our dog’s last camping trip.  Spencer died in September at age 12 from cancer.  I am so glad we had this time with him, and such wonderful memories.

Camp Savta 2014 – Day 2

Since I live 45 minutes from the supermarket, meal planning takes a lot of thought and organizing.  I really wanted to avoid making a supermarket run when the grandkids were visiting, since that meant a minimum of three hours taken away from their vacation time.  The week before they came, I procured a list of non-perishables from my daughter and did a huge shopping of stuff I would never buy for myself (sickening neon-colored  breakfast cereal, potato chips, fruit roll-ups, pasta, Twizzlers, ice pops, etc.).  Then when I was in my hometown for my grandson’s bar mitzvah, I stocked up on kosher items that I cannot easily get in Maine, such as chalav yisrael cheese, milk, bread, hamburger patties,  glatt kosher hot dogs, and kosher marshmallows (s’mores!).  These items we brought in coolers in the van.  That still left a shopping trip for a week’s worth of eggs, fruits and vegetables to feed 3 adults and 9 children.

I guess the excitement of the trip finally caught up with the kids, because they slept late.  That gave me my window of opportunity to run into town to fill in the necessary supplies.  Fortunately, because we are at the height of summer, there are plenty of farm stands within 20 – 30 minutes of my home, so I was actually able to buy what I needed without the 45-minute supermarket trek to North Conway NH.

I got kale and 4 dozen organic free-range eggs (my grandchildren had never seen brown eggs, nor blue eggs, nor small eggs from a bantam chicken, so this was a curious novelty), and at another farm a little further up the road I managed to complete my purchases with green and red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, melon, peaches, plums, onions, potatoes and corn.  I was headed home when my husband called my cell phone.

“Uh, listen . . . one of the kids fell and I can’t find the ice pops.  Where are they?  Ok, can’t talk – – gotta go.”

His panicked voice betrayed his attempted calm.  Something was really wrong!

I tried calling back but he wasn’t picking up the phone.  I hit redial and my husband finally answered.

“Look, I cannot hide this from you – – there has been an accident.  We’re getting ready to take “S” (the youngest, age 2) to the hospital.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“Uh . . . he fell out of the window!”

Just then I arrived at the house and ran out of the car.

My husband recounted the terrifying sequence of events:

He had been downstairs in his office.  The grandkids had been sitting at the dining room table upstairs, eating their breakfast.  My daughter was sitting across from my grandson when my grandson decided to get down from the table and look through the window.

Then he leaned forward.

My daughter was only a few feet away, and she quickly reached out to grab him.  But it was too late.  The weight of his little body popped the screen, and he fell through the window onto the gravel-packed ground, 12′ below.  My husband was there within seconds of his screams, since his office door is only a few feet from where our grandson landed, on his back.

My daughter rushed downstairs.  The little boy would not stop screaming.  At least he was breathing!

She examined him thoroughly.  Nothing appeared to be broken, although there was a small scrape on his back from the gravel and impact.  Still, we were worried that there might be internal injuries.

Now here is where they made their mistake:

The first thing they should have done is to have kept him in whatever position he lay.  If he had a spinal or neck injury, moving him could have caused permanent damage and/or paralysis.  The second thing is that they should have called our town’s Volunteer Rescue.  Even though their response time cannot match that of a big city, the trained EMTs could have immobilized him properly and transported him to the hospital, which is located 35 minutes away.

But it’s very hard to think straight in such dire circumstances.

G-d was very, very kind to us and performed a miracle.  Other than a small scrape on his back, the child was completely unharmed.  I dropped my daughter off at the Emergency Room in Bridgton, where they performed a CT scan and determined that all was normal.  The only discomfort for my grandson was having to immobilize him with a thick plastic neck collar for the duration of the scan, with him screaming the entire time.

“Good,” remarked the nurse.  “We like them screaming.”

Versus dead.

Yes, we liked him screaming.  Thank G-d.

The dining room window

The dining room window

The view from the edge:  it's a long way down

The view from the edge: it’s a long way down

The gravel below.  Thankfully he didn't land on the cement.  That's my husband's office door adjacent to where he fell.

The gravel below. Thankfully he didn’t land on the cement. That’s my husband’s office door adjacent to where he fell.

Of course, when something like this happens, you go over and over and over it in your mind.  Ironically, the year before when this grandson had visited us and he was only 1 years old, we had opened the window from the top instead of the bottom for the precise reason that we wanted to prevent a fall.  I had incorrectly assumed that at age 2 1/2, he would not require such extra cautionary measures.  Wrong-o!

My husband was ashen.  He looked like he aged 10 years in those few minutes.  It took my daughter and my husband many hours to calm themselves and recover their equilibrium following the accident.  We just kept repeating, “What a miracle.  What a miracle!”

Originally I wasn’t going to write about our careless accident.  After all, it is supposed to be about a fun vacation with my grandchildren.  It’s not easy to admit that but for the grace of G-d, a tragedy was narrowly averted due to our mindless, careless act of leaving a large window open.  The outcome could have been irrevocably, horribly different, and  I don’t know how we could have lived with ourselves.

But I decided to write about it, because I am hoping that my readers can learn from our extraordinarily stupid mistakes – – the open window and our first-response actions – – and avoid a completely unnecessary tragedy.  Days later, we still can’t believe how fortunate we are – and we are still shaken.

Three hours after the fall, my daughter and grandson were back from the hospital, and my grandson was truly – unbelievably and amazingly! – no worse for the wear.  So we decided to proceed with the day’s planned activity of swimming and kayaking.

My daughter mentioned in passing that she had a strange rash on her abdomen, and would I please look at it.  I wasn’t sure what it was, but I was thinking it might be a deerfly bite, which can be quite painful, swollen and angry-looking, and suggested she try hydrocortisone cream along with some arnica gel.

We have two solo kayaks, and there really isn’t room for two people, even children, in a kayak like this.  So standing in shallow, calm water on Kewaydin Lake, I taught each child how to hold the paddle, how to stroke, to turn, to stop, to go forward and reverse.  I was amazed that even the four-year-old caught on immediately and was extremely adept at kayaking.  I restricted them to an area up to 75′- 100′ from shore, depending on their ages, and of course they were wearing life jackets.  The life jackets turned out to be a fantastic purchase, because they wore them even when they weren’t boating.  It enabled them to “swim” quite far out into the lake without tiring.  The water was unusually warm and they swam for 1 – 2 hours without stopping!  They LOVED it.

The kids were able to swim quite far out with their life vests on.  The kayaker on the left is only 4 years old!

The kids were able to swim quite far out with their life vests on. The kayaker on the left is only 4 years old!

An 8 year old kayaker showing off her strokes

An 8-year-old kayaker showing off her strokes


7 years old


Some of the gang, taking a break

Around 5 pm we decided to call it quits and head home for a cookout.  The boys started the fire and my husband grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.



After marshmallows for dessert, he took the 4 oldest boys over to the campsite for a Boys Night Out sleepover in tents.  The girls and younger kids stayed home and had movie night –  – we watched Mary Poppins on my computer.

After an emotionally exhausting day, we were grateful that the day had ended well.

My daughter’s strange rash seemed a bit worse, but after such a crazy day she was too tired to drive to the walk-in clinic, which is open only from 5 pm – 9 pm.  She said it could wait until the following evening, and we happily headed for bed.








Maine Wilderness (Rant)

In New Hampshire, there is a wonderful tourist destination called Lost River Gorge.  They’ve taken a magnificent gorge filled with flumes, waterfalls, and caves, and carved a pathway built with a complicated set of staircases and safety railings so people of all ages can explore this natural wonder.  It allows people who might never be exposed to nature a chance to discover nature’s joys and miracles.  But – – the horror! – – it’s “developed.” (You can see pictures from a previous blogpost here.)

The “holiness” of wilderness is often taken to extremes in Maine. You can see similar gorges and waterfalls not far from where I live, and I enjoy them tremendously.  But unless you have some serious safety equipment or 4WD, they aren’t easily accessible and few but the most avid and experienced hikers and climbers even know about them.  With today’s eco-correctness, development of natural areas like Lost River Gorge will never happen today.  I guess that’s the point – – restricting access to keep things pristine – – but ultimately I believe it to be self-defeating.  I believe that HaShem gave us a world of amazing wonders, and it was created for all of us to cherish, respect and enjoy.

This year I found out that the Forest Service intends to restrict access to my two most favorite nearby places:  Great Brook, and Virginia Lake.  Readers of this blog know how much I enjoy fishing and kayaking at Virginia Lake, and that will not change, but the beach there will soon be closed to campers and the so-called  dirt “access road” will be made inaccessible to anything but foot traffic.  Even walking the 1/2 mile to the beach will be difficult, however, since they will be removing the culverts, allowing the road to wash out and those persistent wild trees, brush, bushes and thorns to grow right in.  Essentially, if you have a family with young kids and are shlepping towels, sand pails, and a picnic lunch, you have your work cut out for you if you want to enjoy a day at the beach, because just getting there will be an ordeal. (You can view pictures of Virginia Lake from a previous blogpost here.)

The other place –  Great Brook – – is an amazing place to camp, and I took my grandchildren there this summer for an overnighter.  Great Brook has a series of clear, pristine pools, water-filled potholes, and waterfalls that make it ideal for cooling off on a hot day (in fact, before our house had plumbing or a drilled well, we used to go there to bathe!).  Salmon and wild brook trout spawn there in November.

4 grandsons were in the orange tent; my husband and I slept in the green tent

4 grandsons were in the orange tent; my husband and I slept in the grey tent

The kids loved building a fire.  Behind them is Great Brook, with its natural falls, pools, and flumes.

The kids loved building a campfire. Behind them is Great Brook, with its natural falls, pools, and flumes.

The huge swimming hole with its icy water.  My 8-year-old granddaughter was the only one brave enough to jump into the water, which even in August was freezing cold.

The huge swimming hole with its icy water. My 8-year-old granddaughter was the only one brave enough to jump into the water, which even in August was freezing cold.


The pool is fed by a waterfall

Another beautiful section of Great Brook

Another beautiful section of Great Brook

There is no sign from the road or at either site telling you of their existence, or that there are campsites there (and the campsites are free of charge!)  – – it’s mostly a locals’ secret.  Consequently, you might see one other person using the area on a “busy” day.  That’s because the area is designated as “wilderness” – – so signs are a no-no and maintenance is minimal.  Eighty-five percent of the times I’ve visited, I’ve been the only one there.  Hardly a case for “overuse,” as the Forest Service claims.

So why does the Forest Service want to shut these places down by restricting use, even though it’s public land?  There are several reasons:  1.) the Forest Service hopes to do some major logging in the area,  to generate revenue from cut trees that will be sold for lumber; 2.) to clear 25 years of accumulating brush and fallen trees which are a forest fire hazard; 3.) to clear-cut some areas so new meadows will encourage  growth of beech and establish more moose-friendly habitat; and 4.) the other reason for limiting use – – much more unfortunate – – is that a few people have abused the campsites.

By “abuse” I mean the worst possible things:   trash left at campsites, as well as – – ick — the presence of human feces, which besides being unsightly and disgusting, is a health concern.

You see, these areas are “wild” – – so that means whatever you bring in, you must take out the resulting trash.  Also, there are no bathrooms – – so if you have to go, you need to dig a “cat hole” in the earth some 6″ deep with a small shovel and poop in the hole, and then cover and bury your poop.

I can guarantee that whomever did not treat the campsites with respect, were not locals.  Locals view the wilderness as their very own backyard, and they will not trash their own backyard.   The campsites will be as pristine, or more so, when they leave as when they first arrived.   Now, I don’t blame the rangers for being really, really mad.  It should never be the job of a ranger to clean up after someone’s dirty business.   So how to prevent this from happening in the future?  Is closing down the campsites really the answer?

I don’t believe that people who leave trash and feces at a campsite do so out of maliciousness, but rather, ignorance at best and laziness at worst.

But how can one educate in the wilderness?  Clear instructional signs would help; that addresses the ignorance part.  How many of you reading this had ever even heard of a “cat-hole” (or would want to!)?

But what about laziness?

Let’s face it.  There are going to be people who will, if the road is really bad or non-existent,  consider it to be too much trouble to pack out their trash when they return to their cars.  But there are solutions!

1.  Provide a bear-proof dumpster (but the Forest Service doesn’t want to pay for trash removal, even though the amount of trash generated on site would require only monthly service), or,

2. Improve rather than remove the dirt access road, so people could actually park their cars at the edge of the beach, and would be more inclined to put the trash into their nearby car, rather than being overwhelmed at the thought of walking  a .5 mile bushwhack back to the car  with their garbage.

3.  Provide a composting toilet at the site.  Unlike outhouses, which stink and require weekly emptying, a composting toilet does not smell and requires maintenance only 1x – 2x year.

Alas, the Forest Service’s interpretation is that the area is designated a “wilderness area” and therefore no signs, no composting toilets, no roads, and no dumpsters are allowed.  And since a few irresponsible people can’t take care of it properly, better to shut it down completely.

Another example of “wilderness area” short-sightedness:  climbing Speckled Mountain.  You can climb it from Rte 113 in Evans Notch, on the Maine-NH border.  But if you climb it from the side near my house, you are suddenly in “wilderness” (the Caribou-Speckled Mountain wilderness, to be exact) and suddenly trail signs and blazes on trees showing the way, disappear, and the trails themselves are poorly maintained, or not maintained at all.  If you are lucky you will see cairns (piles of stones) that mark the trail, left voluntarily and charitably by a previous hiker.  Apparently trail signage is thought to desecrate “wilderness.”  Does the forest service prefer spending scarce funds on costly rescue operations for lost hikers, rather than a few dabs of paint on a tree trunk to mark a trail?

Does this make sense?  Are we really ensuring an appreciation of wilderness for future generations by making it inaccessible – – and dangerous! – – to the average person, perhaps precluding them from the chance to experience what wilderness is?

While I am by no means an “expert” outdoorswoman (if I had to rate myself, it would be “advanced beginner”), I have, thankfully, acquired skills and knowledge that allow me to venture forth and explore and enjoy wild places that are basically off the usual maps.  It seems foolish and short-sighted to discount novices who are no less enthusiastic about experiencing the joys of the great outdoors, without giving them the tools and accessibility that will make it easier for them accomplish this.

There are going to be many people reading this post who will disagree with me about making wilderness more accessible to the public, especially life-long Mainers who are very protective of “their” outdoors.  By clicking on the highlighted items you can see some interesting links that discuss the Forest Service’s plans for my immediate area, known as the Albany South project,  as well as the strong feelings in the debate about keeping Maine’s wilderness wild.

Requiem for a Pop-Up Camper

This week we had to say good-bye, forever, to our beloved 1989 Coleman Newport pop-up camper.

We had camped in tents when we lived in California 30+ years ago, but when me moved East we realized that camping in tents was not very practical due to summer thunderstorms and high humidity.  When the kids were small, those middle-of-the-night thunderstorms were part of the adventure.  Before any camping trip, I made sure to check out dozens of age-appropriate books from the library, and bring along plenty of flashlights with large packages of fresh batteries.  Inevitably, sometime between 2 and 4 a.m., there would be a thunderstorm.  If they weren’t awake already from the loud booms and dramatic flashes of light, I’d rouse the kids from their sleeping bags, and we’d all go into the car to wait out the storm.  It’s dangerous to be in a tent, on the ground, during a thunderstorm, due to possible lightning hits.  So there, in the car, they’d cozy up in the darkness to their books and flashlights, and read until the storm passed.  When the storm cleared, we’d walk through the muddy ground to the tents, inspecting them for leaks and damp sleeping bags.  If the following day would be sunny, we’d simply hang the damp bags on an improvised clothesline strung between two trees until they’d dry out, usually in a couple of hours.  But after a really long downpour, or if the next day’s weather called for cold or cloudy conditions,  it meant that the next morning, instead of a planned hike, our activity would be laundromat-bound, where we’d dry the bags in commercial dryers so we would have a comfortable night’s sleep.  Even if there was no call for more rain, the high degree of humidity in the east coast air meant that things were unlikely to get truly dry, and then mildew would ensue.  When we began spending more time at the laundromat than the mountaintop, we realized that tent camping was no longer a viable option, so we bought a used pop-up trailer.

Meanwhile, our old tents did not go to waste.  It is my firm belief that everyone needs a vacation, even people (or should I say, especially people) who are poor.  But how does a large family of extremely limited means afford a vacation?  Camping!  Tents don’t have to be expensive (they start at $30) but why invest in something before you’re sure you even like camping?  So I came up with the idea of having a camping g’mach (free-loan equipment).  Families who wanted to try camping could borrow our equipment for free.  Slowly, the word spread, and people would call to borrow our tents.  At least 30 families borrowed the equipment over the next five years, and most of them went on to buy their own tents and other camping equipment.  Some liked it so much, they even bought used pop-up trailers and RVs.  Many told me how their camping experiences fostered and improved shalom bayis, and expressed with wonder how they were able to spend quality time with their children without the usual everyday pressures and stressors and minus the distractions of technology.  (When we moved to an apartment several years later, and no longer had adequate storage space for the camping equipment, someone else took over the camping g’mach.  It continues to this day, some 20 years later!)

Oh, the adventures we had!  Wherever we’d go we’d put a bumper sticker from that place on the camper, and our little pop-up was a visual travelogue.

Ah, the memories. Each place held its own adventures, tall tales, and mishaps

In retrospect, it would seem that our children did not share their parents’ enthusiasm.  Perhaps they were traumatized by pit toilets or the strenuous hiking, but as adults, none of them enjoy camping, and their idea of a vacation is a 5-star hotel.  Feh!  It is perhaps my biggest failure as a parent (although undoubtedly my children can think of much more grievous reasons that my parenting was less than stellar), but I am genuinely saddened by my inability to transmit my enjoyment of camping and natural wonders to my children.

A couple of years ago, four of my grandsons decided to spend a night in our camper (which is parked on our property) when they came to visit us in Maine.  One by one, throughout the night, they ended up inside the house:  wild animal noises had scared them.  (Unless you know what it is you are hearing, the noises can be very disconcerting.  For example, the sound foxes make when they are calling to one another sounds like a baby is being murdered.)   To solve this problem in the future,  I ended up finding sound files on the Internet of the various animals that frequent our woods.  Once they knew what they were hearing and that they were not destined to be that night’s dinner, the grandkids were able to relax a bit.  But that was probably the last time our camper was ever used.

The truth is, since moving to the White Mountains, I have had no real desire to go camping.  The multiple places in the past that we had to drive 10 hours to visit and go camping are now within an hour’s drive, so the many hikes we took are simply day trips for us now.  If I want to experience a nap outdoors, I can go on my screen porch and lay on the futon, or string our hammock (with built-in mosquito netting) between the trees.  Thanks to a project I assigned to my grandsons on their last visit, we now have a respectable fire pit (basically just a circle of large rocks and small boulders set on gravel) for campfires and outdoor grilling whenever the mood strikes.  I guess it’s a sign of getting older, and having had the privilege of already camping in places I wanted to experience, such as the Grand Tetons, the Sierras and the Rocky Mountains, but I have no real desire to travel elsewhere anymore.  (The one exception:  I still want to visit Glacier National Park some day.)  I expect that the only real traveling I will be doing in the future will be in my visits to Israel, and occasional visits to California to visit the graves of our parents.

When four of our grandsons came to visit us in Maine last week, they expressed a desire to go camping one night.  We had a wonderful campsite picked out that is located only 3 miles from our home, alongside a stream with natural swimming holes.  But when he went to open up the camper to fill it with supplies, my husband was met with the unbearable stench of mildew and decay.  Cranking it open further, his eyes widened:  swatches of grey fur, 1′ high piles of mouse droppings, and shredded material everywhere.  Hundreds of mice had eaten their way into the camper, where they had nested throughout the winter.  They had lived there, raised broods there, partied there, and died there.  The multiple mouse holes had allowed water to get in, and the leaks resulted in mold.  There was not a square inch of the camper that had not suffered damage: the canvas walls, the floor, the foam mattresses, the wiring, the cabinets – – all completely destroyed by gnawing, shredding, defecation, mold, mildew,  death and decay.

Even before the mice attacked, our camper wasn’t worth much, monetarily speaking.  Due to its disuse and taking up a lot of space, we had actually thought of trying to get a couple hundred bucks for it on Craigslist, but sentimentality had prevented me from selling it.  Due to its age, certain things had already started falling apart and some parts of its interior were literally held together by duct tape.  But it still worked!  And oh, the memories!

That said, I wasn’t overly upset by its demise, although I can’t say I’m thrilled by the cleanup.  I had to buy hazmat masks against the odor, and latex gloves.  In the end, I wimped out, and I played the “helpless woman” card.  Which is weird because I’ve gotten used to impaling live wiggly worms on fish hooks.  But I just couldn’t do this job of sorting through the camper, so finding salvageable items became my beleaguered husband’s job.

Considering that 2 people died last week after contracting a rodent-born virus in Yosemite, the hazmat mask and gloves were appropriate. I could not do this job. I. Just. Could. Not. (Thanks, dear husband. . . )

I would have taken it to the dump as is, but we needed to empty out the many cupboards and storage areas to see if anything was salvageable.  And this being Maine, nothing goes to waste, not even a mouse-eaten camper.  Someone will claim it, deconstruct and remove the interior down to its bare bones, and use it as a flat-bed trailer to haul wood or a tractor.  So our little camper will continue to be of service, although not in the capacity for which it was originally intended.

We won’t be buying another camper to replace it, so I guess it’s an end of an era.  But oh, the memories!

I am so grateful for the many good times we were blessed to experience with our little ’89 Coleman pop-up trailer.

Postscript:  Ten minutes after posting an ad on Craigslist, we sold the camper for $100.  The buyers, just over the border in New Hampshire, will be using it as a utility trailer.  When I told her on the phone that it was mouse infested and pretty gross, she said, “No problem! We’ll just use our pressure washer to clean it up.”