The drive in yesterday took it’s toll on me and my car. From the beginning of the Golden Road to this campsite has been over 95 miles of some of the roughest roads you will ever encounter and there where a few moments I thought my car might not make it. I was beginning to question the sanity of driving this far into the woods until I arrived at the pond.
Though it was dark and grey when I arrived, Wadleigh Pond Beach still had it’s charms. It is at the north end of the pond with a very shallow beach extending out into the water at least 50 feet. It’s a great spot for families with younger children because of having the entire beach in view. This should allow parents to be a little more at ease. The only problem is the distance one must carry their gear as you cannot park next to the campsite. I don’t like the idea of being so far away from the car as one should leave all food in the trunk to avoid any “Midnight Visitors” of the black and furry kind…Black Bears! Food scraps should be burned in the fire to remove all temptation from any woodland creatures to visit your campsite, lest you wake up to an uninvited guest!
Even though it rained hard on the drive in and during the first night, I was warm and dry in my sleeping bag with my trusty friend by my side. The look of delight on his furry face is such a joy to me as this may be his last camping trip in his life. His vision is so bad and his rear legs and back so weak I must help him with every trail, every hill. Such is the burden pet owners must carry. They burrow their way into our hearts only to leave much too soon.
I awoke today with the feeling that this campsite, beautiful as it is, was not the one I had hoped for. I drove up the road a mile or so to the main campsite right beside the logging road. This one is about 2/3 of the way down the East side of the pond and has a large log canopy over a picnic table and a short walk down a small hill to another sandy beach. It took all of 10 seconds to realize this was the spot so I went back, packed up and moved. No regrets.
After moving to the next site I setup my sailing dingy and traveled the pond with the slight breeze that accompanied the sunrise. The mist on the pond was something out of a Stephen King novel, an eerie presence just past my view. I half expected the Grim Reaper to sail past ferrying another soul across the river Styx!
After that sunrise interlude, I set about making my camp into home for the next few days. I am an experienced camper and I know all the things that make the time in the woods so much more pleasant. Unlike backpacking, I can bring much more in the way of convenience, the small things that add to the comfort level. My days of camping with only what you can carry are over!
One thing about being right next to the logging road…TRUCKS! As you know I drive a truck on the roads of the Northeast. My gross weight can be as high as 80,000 lbs, but these trucks can weigh double that! Those trailers are 14 feet wide with 4 axles, much more than I have ever pulled. Though the road is dusty, the constant breeze from the pond sends the dust into the woods on the other side of the road. Though some drivers slow down going by and wave, others pass at 45 miles per hour or more with little regard for me. Attitude follows no geography, a jerk is a jerk no matter where he is.
As the sun began to set I cooked dinner, had a drink or two, and settled into the pace that is much slower, more in tune with nature. A bone in ribeye with spiced potatoes and camp toast taste gourmet before a campfire. There’s just something about camping that makes the food taste so much better, brings the comfort level up just that much higher. And yes that is a 45 caliber on the stump beside my dinner. Part of being prepared is being able to deal with any circumstance that may befall you in the woods, including rabid animals. If any wild creature approaches you with no fear, be careful!
Another thing about camping, at least with me, is how with the sunrise I wake up, and then feel the call of sleep as the sun sets. My day began at 4 am and now that 7 pm has rolled around, I feel the sandman tugging at my eyelids. I give in to the call that was so eloquently expressed by Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Not sure about the wealthy part, but healthy and wise, I would like to think so. Goodnight Wadleigh Pond, see you in the morning.
But wait…one last thing,
I woke up and took these at around 2am…call of nature! WOW!