“Welcome to camp, how can I help you?”
“We’re checking in for Labor Day Weekend. Last name is Thompson.”
“Um . . . I don’t see a reservation under that name.”
“Well that’s ridiculous, I have my confirmation email right here. I printed it out to be sure I had the right address for my GPS.”
“Ma’am, I’m sorry, but that email is dated July, 2012 – last year. Our computer does show you were here last year, but there’s no current reservation.”
“Well where am I SUPPOSED to be?”
You know, I felt bad for her. She’d worked all week, pulled her family together, packed the tent, and driven 3 hours to spend 3 days camping – but had no idea what campground she’d booked. We were full, not a single site that I could put her on. There are at least 10 other campgrounds within 15 miles and the best I could do was give her a list of phone numbers to call. You’ve got to respect her attitude though. She laughed and said it was all part of the adventure!
Labor Day Weekend is the riotous end to vacation season in New England. It’s still summer time during the day with temps in the 80’s, but nights are starting to feel like autumn with temps falling into the mid- to low-40’s. Plants have stopped growing and fruit is ripening for harvest. The city folk are making their last forays into the country before kids go back to school and 4th quarter quotas demand attention. It’s some interesting to see what people will do to squeeze the last bit out of the warm season. As noted, every single one of 300+ campsites are rented. The forest is full of tenters and trailers and pop-ups and motor homes. The riverfront beach and the pool are both crowded with bikini-clad teens and some older women who should know better than to wear those things. The boys are showing off for the girls, and the men are back at their sites drinking beer with their buddies and keeping the campfires burning from 9am to midnight. The little kids are careening around the camp roads on bikes, trikes, and power wheels. People who’ve never been closer to nature than their community square park are kayaking down the Saco River at great risk to life and limb. Couples in color-coordinated Old Navy outfits and flip flops are starting their hiking adventures by attempting to climb Mount Washington (and didn’t they think I was crazy for suggesting different footwear and a backpack with winter jackets?!?!). Families are trying to cram a drive over the Kancamagus Scenic Driveway through the National Forest , a visit to Clark’s Bear Trading Post, and the Conway Railway dinner train, all into one day.
I have to agree with Mrs. Thompson – it’s part of the adventure. And what a wonderful adventure it is to live life to the fullest!