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Car Camping During Covid-19

Covid cabin fever! I say this a lot, but its how I feel about having to stay home. After longingly looking at pictures online of nature in Canada and wishing we could go there, we finally found another way to get our nature fix: camping in Pennsylvania. I know this may not sound like the most exciting thing but when you’ve been stuck inside for 2 months, it can be like taking a trip to an exotic jungle!

Our number one goal was not to go near anyone. And number two was, of course, to have fun. We needed to get out of the house. So the next day, before even booking a campsite, we hopped in our car and hit the road. Our trip was already off to an adventurous start when the alarm didn’t go off in the morning and left us scrambling to get food and stuff together quickly in order to get out the door at an early hour. But instead of being worried or frustrated, we were happy. This is great! There’s always something that goes wrong on a road trip – that’s part of the fun of it!

At 6am in the morning, the traffic wasn’t too bad as we zoomed along the road passing strip malls and gas stations. Yay! what fun! It didn’t matter where we were, it was just great to get out and have a change of scenery. After about two hours, it was time to visit the first rest stop. We all piled out of the car and put on our masks. It really looked like a different world with everyone in masks. For the rest of the ride, we tried to avoid stopping except for the occasional grocery store visit. The scenery along the way was uneventful until we arrived in the Pennsylvania farm country where quaint Amish farmhouses spotted the rolling hills and buggies with horses trotted along the roads.

That was when we noticed an unusual clunking noise started coming from under the car, sounding like the engine was dragging on the ground. Hmm. Again, another unexpected turn to our travels. We slowly drove to the nearest car shop which was, ironically, in the middle of Amish country and went inside. The car was taken in and we waited restlessly for the results. Not too much later we found out the brakes were not working well. Could we drive without it being fixed until we get home? The answer was no.  3 hours later, we were all set.

At this point, we were feeling a little hungry. Being in the middle of farm country, there had to be something to eat, right?! Then, out of nowhere, we spotted a sign! The name of a farm that used to deliver food nearby our home back in Western New York was just 15 minutes away: Miller’s Organic Farm in Bird-in-Hand, PA. What luck! When we arrived, after friendly greetings, we were led back to a very large walk-in freezer room where, in our light jackets, we became very, very, cold. But, besides that, an abundance of healthy food on shelves lined all the walls with everything from sauerkraut and soup, custard and ice cream! All made from grass-fed, organic ingredients. Heaven! We quickly grabbed as much as we could and left the freezer before we froze. The ice cream, made with fresh cream and eggs and only maple syrup for sweetener, was the best ice cream we have ever had. We ended up eating the whole pint in one sitting.

Our bellies full of ice cream, we headed to a nearby park to do our weekly Tuesday live yoga video. It turned out to be super windy! But we decided to go ahead and set up our mats and the computer. During the class it was almost impossible to talk above the wind. We could barely even hear ourselves. And then we had an internet connection challenge so it was a bumpy class but the kids hung in there with us. It wasn’t perfect bad we did it! A great example of what it means to “aim for b’s”.

With evening approaching, it was time to find a place to camp so we called several local campgrounds until we finally found one that was open: Country Acres Campground. It was a clean, well-kept campground located on a small country road in a beautiful setting with green lawns and pastures and big trees all around. Wow! After are long day of adventure, we were definitely glad to have a “non-adventurous” place to stay. After checking in, we headed to our campsite. It was right next to the woods and near the bathroom. Perfect.

Then we started the not so perfect set up camping in our car for the night. After unloading the bags of stuff, we folded the seats back and laid out our sleeping bags in the back of our car. It was the first time we’d ever tried this and it was a bit of a rough night. The next morning, we all were very tired. Car camping is not the most comfy but it was still better than being stuck at home!

We set out in the early morning to get to the Pinnacle Overlook on the Susquehanna River. It didn’t seem like we were driving anywhere until, all of a sudden, we arrived at an amazing view of the river. It was a beautiful spot, with birds singing and fresh, piney, earthy smell in the air. And we were the only people there! It was also a little chilly so we bundled up to shoot our yoga video.

Once done, we hit the road for our home back in Rhode Islands. Even with all the twists and turns that our trip took, it was still a fun time and a good break from being at home! Its fun to travel to random places. You never know how you might be pleasantly surprised!

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