Back in the winter when we started to prep for the 2018 season, we realized that we wanted to make sure that this season we got to some favorite places and even got some favorite campgrounds and campsites, but we also wanted to mix it up. We wanted to try some new campgrounds and new experiences along the way so that the familiar and favorite also had a more than just a taste of adventure.

So our first camp of the year was at a new campground. Sure, it was 10 minutes from home, but it was also somewhere we had never stayed. It wasn’t a great camping weekend (REALLY cold and POURING rain) and we didn’t feel bad about bailing a little early once we had gotten the lay of the land at the campground and deemed it worthy of trying again in better weather.

We scheduled a couple of long weekends at two of our most-loved New York State DEC camps and booked sites in different loops than where we have stayed before. This gives us a chance to stay somewhere that we know we love, but also try out something a little unexpected. We  are making a concerted effort to try hiking or kayaking or biking at some new spots and checking out some new local places along the way. We like to take some of the best of previous trips and try to add new flavor. So maybe a breakfast that is a little bit of a change at a new site and then biking at a favorite spot followed by lunch at an old standby and hiking somewhere totally new and different.

For our big trip this year, we decided to anchor the trip with a block of time in the middle where we deliberately chose our very favorite site and one of our favorite campgrounds in a favorite place in Maine. We are going back there not only because we love that place and that site, but because our last trip there was a little traumatic. I slipped on some wet rocks at the site after it had rained and broke my wrist. It wasn’t the worst fracture I’ve had (and I’ve unfortunately had quite a number) but I was in a bit of pain which is made worse when you are outside your comfort zone. We continued that trip, but biking and paddling (for me at least) were out of the question after the fracture and I was anxious to get home and see my orthopedist for a proper evaluation. That whole trip got scaled back to accommodate my injury, though we managed to still have some good hikes and enjoy things like lemonade and popovers at Jordan Pond House. Our camping season was limited that year. So this year we are going back and looking forward to getting to do and see all the things we missed last time. And outside of that block of “familiar” and “let’s get it right this time”, we have planned to visit several places we haven’t experienced before.

The year turned out with a bit more low-key camping than we had planned. I hurt my knee near the beginning of the summer and though I was back up and around by the time of our big trip, I really wasn’t up for much hiking. We still enjoyed the season and camped anyway. It gave us more time to enjoy sitting and reading and exploring and we ended up with some pretty great times camping all the same.