In early August we visited our favorite campground in Vermont. We’ve been going on family camping trips for as far back as I can remember. When my siblings and I were young, our family of five would go multiple times over the course of the summer; now that we’re older, we’re lucky if we’re able to synchronize our schedules and make the trip once a year.
We first discovered Winhall Brook Campground several years ago and it quickly became one of our top spots. A quiet campground sat upon a river, it’s the perfect place to go to unplug and decompress. At night, you can see the stars so clearly that it’s like you could reach out and grab them. This time of year, the trees are so green and lush that the air literally feels lighter; more pure.
Not much has changed since the time we first visited; the hiking trails, the river and, our favorite, the volleyball net (which we use to play badminton) remain the same. What’s different this time around is that I now have a fiancé who joined us, as well as our little pup. Our family of five has grown and I can only assume that over time it will continue to grow.
Camping with a dog (a lap-dog, at that) presented its own challenges that made for a completely different experience than I was used to. Camping had always been my time to get away and unwind, but after the first night away with Tessie, I realized my time was not at all my own. Granted, Tessie had never been camping before and I don’t think she really understood what was going on, so she was clingier than usual.
Instead of just worrying about myself, I was making sure Tess was eating, going for walks and being occupied. Because we were out of our normal environment, there was a definite learning curve for each of us. We’ve had Tess for a little less than a year now and we still face foreign and difficult situations which we have to navigate, and camping was no exception.
No matter what happened during the day- like Tessie growling/barking at my parent’s dog because she thought their dog was encroaching on her food bowl- at night we were all able to settle in around the fire and let the happenings of the day go. Tess would snuggle up on my lap and we would drink and chat and just be with each other. And, at the end of the day, that’s all you really want from your family.