Story of my life: “I’m going to stay in and have a low-key weekend so I can give my body and bank account a rest” gets tossed aside because of peer pressure. I don’t know what age this pressure stops at, but I hope it’s soon. I have the convictions of a thirteen year old with no self esteem.
I did good Friday night, but by Saturday morning (at the behest of my sister and parents no less), was making my way to the NEPA motherland for the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Octoberfest. I sampled a lot of beer (mostly of the pumpkin variety), ate a disgusting dinner of homemade potato chips with cheese, chicken fingers, and potato pancakes, and got to even view a wiener dog race (the highlight of any Octoberfest). I had a great time, but my bank account and gut are regretting it today. My friend and I were discussing how much we love seasonal activities, fall in particular. While talking about how we planned to spend our Octobers, I was jealous to find out she was planning on camping one weekend.
Camping is too often regaled as a “summer only” activity. In reality, it’s easy (and more comfortable than you think) to camp once it gets cooler (I can’t speak from experience, but would be open to winter camping). Fall is a perfect time to head outdoors for the night or weekend. For one, the nights are colder, rendering the sleeping bags and fires, that all too often become an annoyance in the summertime “camping season” a necessity. I know whenever we go summertime camping, we end up not spending a lot of time at the campground. The heat makes us seek out some water based activity during the day (rafting or tubing). One year we went during October and had a great time just hanging around our site: we grilled, played bean bags and ladder ball, hiked, and built a proper bonfire.
My friend is making camping in the fall even easier; she’s staying in a yurt: a new addition to the state park systems. A yurt is a round semi permanent tent.
Yurts in the PA State Park system have decks, stoves, small refrigerators, outlets, fire pits, and picnic tables. It provides the comforts of a cabin, while still giving you the camping feel (aka showers in a public bathroom). During peak season (June through Labor Day) yurts need to be rented for a week, but in the fall, you can rent them nightly for $34.00. Click here to find out which state parks offer yurts. In addition to yurts, the PA State Park system has cabins, campgrounds (for tents), and lean-tos.
My October and November are rapidly booking up. I’m envisioning a winter yurt outing, with some cross country skiing and snow shoeing. Maybe we’ll even get crazy and throw a little fondue into the mix. Who knows.