National parks, Corps of Engineers projects, State, county and city parks are just of the few facilities available for our enjoyment of the great out of doors. At these facilities you’ll find accommodations ranging all the way from a picnic table at a roadside pull off, to electric hookups, running water and showers. Fees range from nothing to very affordable.
Then, of course, are the private campgrounds equipped with all these accommodations plus game rooms, stores and laundry rooms. The fees for these campgrounds are slightly higher, but there are times when you need the facilities and they are certainly worth the cost. We raised our boys in a very small town which was only about twenty minutes from a Corps of Engineers lake with very nice, shady campsites. Being so close, we’d leave the lake to the crowds on weekends and go up there during the week when we usually had the place to ourselves.
We’d load up the boys, the dog, whatever we were going to eat and head out. By now we had graduated from the tent we took on our first camping trip, to a fold-down tent camper that we could pull behind the car. Also, we had learned to use the propane lantern and stove.
While the boys and the dog played in the water, Mom and I would fix whatever was to eat and after the meal we’d walk, throw rocks in the water for the dog to chase, or just take it easy while the sun went down and the stars came out.
As time passed, the tent became another bedroom, when some friends wanted to go camping with the boys. Then we added another camper! This one was larger and hard sided (Plastic, I suppose). The stove was built in and there was an ice box…boy, what luxury. (it’s probably appropriate to mention here, these campers were all acquired well used.)
We enjoyed camping with the boys and their friends so much, but they went away to college, we all scattered to different parts of the country, and we graduated to a motor home.
While we had the four different camping units, we traveled Kansas, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois, not necessarily in that order, but at one time or another. Everywhere we went, we found friendly people, great accommodations and scenery that was just wonderful.
Enjoying the great out of doors can be done on a very limited budget, if you do a great deal of planning and and use your imagination a lot. We took all our food out of the pantry and freezer…we even had containers to take our drinking water. Eating in restaurants and staying in motels would have put these trips completely out of our reach.
No matter where you live, or what your budget restrictions are, there are all these same friendly people, places, and scenery close by, where you too, can enjoy the great out of doors.