Friday, August 17, 2012
When I was a little kid, my dad and a couple of friends built a hunting camp. It was about 9 miles of bad dirt road to the worse dirt road the camp sat on. I loved that place. It had no running water, an outhouse, a woodstove and a couple propane lamps. It was one 16 X 16 foot room. There as a table and chairs, a rocking chair, and a couple bunks.
Outside there was a pretty decent shooting range. Water was from a brook down the hill. The nearest neighbor was another camp about 4 miles down the road. It was packed during deer season, with extra folding bunks taking up all the floor space.
I probably used the camp more than anyone else. Not only was I there during deer season, I used it all year round. It was a base of operations for small game hunting, hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing. Sometimes I’d go up there just for some peace and quiet.
The original partners eventually sold out and I was in no position to buy it. In fact, the deal was done before I even knew it was up for sale. Losing the camp really broke my heart. I used to have dreams about that camp, only to wake up and realize it was gone.
Years later, I can finally say I no longer miss it. Well, maybe just a little. The camp is not as isolated as it used to be. Roads have gotten so good it’s easy to drive there with a regular car. In the past, it wasn’t unheard of to have to hike in the last few miles. A logging company clear cut some of the best hunting areas. The camp is on leased land. Fees used to be nominal, but have gotten pricey -even on a simple deer camp.
Two things have filled the hole left by the loss of the camp. The first is the sailboat. It’s like a tiny camp on the water. The other is my tiny camp on the land, my converted camper van. Mobility and the lack of property taxes are big pluses the camp never had.