Country Acres Campground, nestled between Ravenna and Newton Falls, their RV's resemble palatial estates. Some of the "permanent" residences are nicer than most homes in our neighborhood. Our little Fleetwood Sea Pine pop-up camper looks like one of those little bungalows or store-fronts situated next to corporate office towers, whose owners fight eminent domain. It's Memorial Day weekend, and the park is crowded. Donna's nephew Richie and his family are in the spot next to ours, and he tells us that there are probably 300 or so more people who are here who generally don't camp at any other time of the year except summer holiday weekends. The never-ending parade of golf carts and kids on bicycles is confirmation enough.
The RV lifestyle is a singular one. While many use their recreational vehicles to travel around the country, there seems to be equally as many who park them in a campground, pay an annual fee, and use them as a second home or a permanent weekend getaway. Our camper could never be confused with these. Yes, we have the ability to connect to electricity and water, and a propane tank enables us to do some cooking on the small two-burner stove. And we made sure we bought a pop-up that has air-conditioning. This style of RV, though, is missing a very important feature, which I'll elaborate on momentarily. But it's definitely a step-up from sleeping in a tent under a tree. Good thing, because I would be a Yankees fan before I would sleep in a tent under a tree.
Rachel Carson write extensively about that, or am I wrong? Regardless, the consumption of fine ale while staring at burning embers, though sheer nirvana, brings me back to a dilemma that plagues the owner of the pop-up camper: how and where to relieve oneself. Indoor plumbing is the highly-crucial yet missing element of the pop-up camper's world. This makes the facility-location even more valuable. Take last evening, for example. The closest shower/bathroom location is at least 300 yards away. Per Rachel Carson's suggestion, I allowed Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA and I to be at one with the campfire and nature, which required multiple sojourns at least 300 yards away. Although it does provide exercise, I prefer mine during daylight, while sober. But, there is a backup-plan. Several years ago, Donna's mother, in her infinite wisdom, gave us each a plastic container with a handle on it, specifically designed for emergencies such as not wanting to walk 300 yards. Ah, when nature calls.
John Muir said it: "Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." Hell, I'd settle for the sound of a shower that ran hot water for more than 3 minutes at a time. But the sound associated with camping that I like best of all? The slamming of the car-trunk, when everything has been packed and loaded for the journey back to civilization. I miss my deck, which coincidentally is not only surrounded by nature but is also located a mere stone's-throw from a perfectly functional facility.