Instead of starting our camping adventure from home, we flew into Newark, NJ, grabbed our bags off the carousel, and Uber’ed our way to Jersey City to the Escape Campervan depot at the marina. It’s hot and sticky in this part of the world in mid-July.
We finally get the keys to “Woodsy”—it’s a forest-themed paint job for the van this year– and inch our way through the Holland Tunnel to Manhattan and into Connecticut.
Three hours later, we arrive at the best resupply store on the Eastern Seaboard: Dudley’s mom’s house. After cocktails and a delicious dinner, we collapse into bed, rising to begin the supply process—paper towels, linens, duct tape, a sponge, plastic Tupperwares, rope: check, check, double-check. Everything packed, we wave goodbye and we’re off! To the grocery store: tortillas, almond butter, gorp, gin, bread, beer, apples, black beans, avocados.
But then we’re really off! Through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and into Vermont. Green hills, valleys, and more green hills. Little towns with established dates of 1754. We pull off at Brattlesboro, VT, an artsy college town with a historic downtown that has a long literary history– home to Saul Bellow and Rudyard Kipling. We climb out of the rig in search of lunch. We cruise the downtown, among the junk/antique shop—Dudley purchased a smart, pearl-buttoned western wear shirt!–, two bookstores, several restaurants and Sam’s, greatest sporting goods store ever. Could we live here? Maybe.
Satisfied, we make our way through more green hills and valleys, the clouds impossibly puffy and the hills impossibly green. It is a stunning landscape. We are used to the towering, angular Sierras, but these rolling, voluptuous hills offer an equally mesmerizing scene.
Emerald State Park calls our name, and we pull in. We are the only ones camping in our section of 50 campsites. The teen ranger takes our money and says something about a storm. “There’s a storm coming?” Laura asks. “Oh, yeah,” she says. “In about an hour.” “How long will it last?” “Awhile.”
We hustle-walk the mile back around the lake to our campsite, thunder overhead. The tarp and duct tape have come in handy. Dinner is done, and we are now tucked warmly into our van, Dudley drinking a whiskey and reading Station Eleven, Laura reading H is for Hawk, the rain pouring outside, and the green mountains growing greener by the moment.
We are back in our familiar van and ready for our new adventure. This is, indeed, the fun.