A few weekends ago I went camping. I took Nico, met up with the Scott and Ann Marie (and their pup, Sebastian), and drove upstate to join my roommates and other friends to spend a long summer weekend on a lake.
The campsite, Forked Lake, is situated around a cluster of lakes in the Adirondacks. During the three days that I was there, me and my group of 11 (plus two dogs) were completely isolated from everything — electricity, modern bathrooms, and even cellphone service. It was a nice break from technology, and I didn’t have to worry about work emails or talking to my family or the occasional spam email for my Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon (I’m moving, after all, and I need new stuff at a discounted price). My only worry would be the nest spiders in the outhouse and them crawling on me as I pooped in a simple hole in the ground.
It was about a 7-minute hike from the parking lot to the forested campsite, and because we arrived at night, we initially got lost in the pitch-black wilderness. Using the flashlights on our near-depleted cellphones and following the muddy trails, we found our campsite by discovering the lone bear locker.
We pitched our tents in the darkness and unpacked for the long weekend: I had prepped food for an immense and otherwise fantastic breakfast the following Saturday, so I brought two coolers and cooked on the stone stove situated directly across the water.
I also brought a 4-person tent, but considering I’m alone and hopelessly single, it was just my dog and me occupying the spacious insides and living like royalty. We also had a picnic table on our grounds, and for whatever was going on inside her tiny, dog-brain, Nico decided to dig an entire hole underneath. For the majority of our time there, Nico was perched inside the hole; her little head poking out.
I wanted this camping trip to be a weekend to relax and not focus on moving out of my apartment or work or family. I succeeded in that respect. I also wanted to take some great photography shots, and even though I was able to produce some great images with my cellphone, I had a hiccup with my DSLR. You see, I figured I can get some cool shots of the wooded area and my dog on the lake. With my cell in my shorts’ pockets and my camera in hand, Scott and I took Nico and placed ourselves in a canoe. After launching only a few feet away from the shore, Nico decided to jump off the canoe. This, of course, destabilized the entire vessel, and we all tipped over into the water. My camera and my phone were only submerged for only a few seconds, but water did get inside each device. My phone ultimately survived, but my camera was less fortunate: even though it’s a freshwater lake and I let it dry out completely, my DSLR won’t take video and its preview screen refuses to turn on. The situation sucked, because I mainly used my camera to produce videos every other week. Overall, it’s a minor financial setback ($400 for a new body on eBay), but I wasn’t too upset. I did learn a valuable lesson: Nico hates boats.
Camera aside, camping was what I needed during these last few weeks of summer. I needed to get away from the city, from responsibility, from cloud and Wi-Fi based technology. I give you respect, Nature; you’re cool.