…or Escape from New York City.
Despite the pandemic spreading across the United States, New York City and New York State’s number of hospitalizations and deaths have stabilized and gone down. Unlike the South and the West Coast, the rate of infection in NYC has subsided to point where it feels okay to take a road trip. And since I’ve seen the same people in-person sporadically (as they’re also counting the days of self-isolation themselves), we’ve created a bubble and decided to go camping at the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, in a little wooded hamlet called Friendsville.
And man, with a name like that, it’s nice to be with dear friends!
This past summer has been full of hardships, to the point where I’ve become anxious and depressed. In fact, I’m still going through the difficulty of being displaced from my apartment with no idea when I can return home. I think a road trip somewhere outside my apartment and this city is what I needed.
I returned to my evacuated apartment to get camping supplies, hurriedly searching through my closets for a tent and dismantling Nico’s/Dusty’s outdoor dog bed from the backyard. With my bags and a cooler packed, I took Dusty to meet up with Brian and Morgan. This would mark Dusty’s first camping trip, and as a puppy and in my care for only two weeks, I felt it was great bonding experience for both of us.
We escaped NYC on a rainy morning, and drove a rental car down — getting food in incredibly long drive-thru lines and entering gas stations with masks. Surprisingly, especially because we were heading deeper and deeper into Trump territory and getting gas in rural areas, a lot of people were wearing masks themselves. I guess a lot of people who need to fill up their cars just have some common sense.
Several hours later, we arrived at the campsite. It was by a lake, but because they use this particular lake’s water to fill the locks of Lake Erie, the water had receded, leaving behind a muddy field with grass trying to sprout up. Brett and Vi had arrived about half an hour earlier, but our friends Amanda and Rustine had camped there the night before. Amanda and Rustine are good friends to all of us (we went to Oaxaca with them), and they moved from Brooklyn to North Carolina about a year or two ago. It was so nice to see and hang out with them again and simply catch up.
Overall the trip was a good respite from my problems and being shut in my apartment for months. The food we each made was great, and I was even able to do a Pie-Solation livestream. I learned that Dusty doesn’t like to swim, and was too excited by nature to eat and take her puppy medication (she chewed on a lot of sticks, though). It was rainy the second day, but with the makeshift canopy city we constructed, we sat beside the fire and chatted.
By the time our long weekend was over, we parted ways with Amanda and Rustine, and all got tested for COVID within the following week or two. And good news, all of us are negative. And I’m positive I feel emotionally recharged.
Here are some photos of the trip: