Monday, September 7, 2009

9-7-09: Camping in the Catskills

I just got back from a weekend of camping in the Catskills with the lady and four friends. It was a very nice time overall. The weather was extremely splendid, even chilly at times. I should have been a bit better prepared for the cooler weather, having stupidly packed only one long-sleeved shirt. But, I survived in relative comfort.

We stayed at Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds in Saugerties, NY. It was about a 2.5 hour drive from New Haven, and was pretty easy to get to. It's just a few miles away from I-87. When the lady and I started looking at locations (just a few weeks ago), I laughed at the campground for its name alone. But, oddly enough, it turned out to be a very nice spot. The showers were cheap and very clean (a quarter got you 10-12 minutes of hot water), and the rates were pretty good (it'll work out to about $60 a person plus food, probably $100 per person in total). It's right nearby some great hiking spots, including the famous Kaaterskill Falls, which we visited on Saturday. Yesterday, most of the group (myself not included because I don't have a good set of hiking boots) went on a 15 mile hike up some good terrain. It was a pretty active group.

Some lessons learned for the trip (only a few):

- Pack better. Get a good overnight bag, and pack for cooler weather.
- Bring plenty of quarters. This wasn't an issue, fortunately, but we scrambled a bit.
- Don't get too complicated with food. We got a little fancy last night with dinner with the chicken alfredo, which turned out OK but no great (I cooked). Bring plenty of cooking utensils.
- Bacon is a great breakfast, no matter what.

It was a very nice weekend. I think we'll make a return trip there in the years to come.

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