“Above all, it was exciting to lie there, with no better shelter than a bower of pines, on a mountain 11,000 feet high, in the very heart of the Rocky Range, under twelve degrees of frost, hearing sounds of wolves, with shivering stars looking through the fragrant canopy, with arrowy pines for bed-posts, and for a night lamp the red flames of a camp-fire...
Day dawned long before the sun rose, pure and lemon colored... From the chill, grey Peak above, from the everlasting snows, from the silvered pines, down through mountain ranges with their depths of Tyrian purple, we looked to where the Plains lay cold, in blue-grey, like a morning sea against a far horizon. Suddenly, as a dazzling streak at first, but enlarging rapidly into a dazzling sphere, the sun wheeled above the grey line, a light and glory as when it was first created... The grey of the Plains changed to purple, the sky was all one rose-red flush, on which vermilion cloud-streaks rested; the ghastly peaks gleamed like rubies, the earth and heavens were new created.”
-- Isabella Bird, A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains (1879), from The Wilderness Reader, Frank Bergon, ed, (New American Library, 1980).
* * * * *
Does it seem a little early in the year to be speaking about our upcoming camping season? Well, it so happens that our first overnight trip in May filled up in January!
That’ll be our annual 4-day Memorial Day weekend trip (5/26-29) to Shenandoah National Park in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Virginia.
If you’re interested but haven’t reserved, feel free to put your name on our waiting list. Trip cancellations are relatively common and openings are always possible.
As of now, all other upcoming wilderness camping trips still have ample space available (although our October 6-9 Columbus Day weekend trip is already half full). Now isn’t a bad time to reserve, since those trips might fill early as well.
After the May trip comes our 4-day July 4th weekend trip (7/1-4) in the Five Ponds Wilderness, which is in the northern part of NY’s magnificent Adirondack Park.
That trip will be followed by a 4-day trip in late July (7/27-30) in the West Canada Lakes Wilderness, which is a remote area in the west-central Adirondacks.
You’ll find a complete listing of this year’s camping trips here: http://www.wildearthadventures.com/schedule-of-overnight-camping-trips-2017.html
Some of our members have been joining us on overnight trips every year for a number of years running. We have newcomers on most of our trips as well.
Not everyone is into camping, but for those of you who are enthusiasts, there’s nothing more fulfilling than spending several days and nights camping and hiking in a wild and spectacular natural area. No vacation is likely to be more memorable.
Camping experience isn’t required, but some hiking experience is highly recommended (along with a sufficient level of fitness to do easy-moderate hikes).
If you’re new to wilderness camping and might be tempted to give it a try, or simply have questions, feel free to respond to this message or call (845)357-3380.
You’ll find more info about wilderness camping and backpacking here.
-- Charlie Cook