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Epic Aaron

Lake Taghkanic State Park
Ancram, NY

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Steve's Review:

My best friend lives in Western Massachusetts. This trip was a simple overnight at a halfway point to give the two of us a chance to catch up.

My cousin and I camped here last year with our families. The same issues are still true. It's relatively easy to get here from New York City, so it's not the cleanest campground. The sites are not very wooded and there's little privacy between most sites. On the other hand, the last stay was during a weekend and the campground was noisy; during this visit, however, the campground is maybe 25% full and it's nice and quiet.

And on this visit, the ease of getting to this campground is a plus. It's easy for my friend to find and only an hour-and-a-half for me from work. The campground is nearly empty, so the lack of privacy is unimportant

Dinner was simple. A packet of McCormack's Mojito Lime marinade, with 2 lbs of thin-cut chicken breasts. Throw it in a Zip-lock bag with some vinegar & water and shake it. Five ears of fresh corn in a pot of boiling water. Aaron brought a tube of biscuits and he put these right on the fireplace grille. They got a little char, but they were SO tasty. As good as the food was, the company was even better!

It rained overnight. It was coming down pretty heavily around 4 AM. Fortunately the morning was sunny, so we had an opportunity to dry some things out.

Packing for this trip was—surprisingly—a challenge. We bring a lot of stuff when we camp as a family. Other than cups & plates, sleeping bags & mats, and personal items, you still have to pack as much for one as you do for four. I skipped the stove and some of the larger cookware, the screenhut. Without three other passengers, there's plenty of cabin space—I didn't need to use the Thule rooftop box. But there's no avoiding the the tent...

Our Eureka Tent has a 10 x 12 footprint. Supposedly, it sleeps 8; it comfortably fits the four of us and our luggage, too with a little room to spare. But with just me in this palace, I feel like Citizen Kane in Xanadu! It's totally overkill. It's also hard to set up without help. On the way home, I took a detour to Campmor and bought a Eureka Tetragon HD3 ($90, really sleeps two) with a 7 x 7 footprint. It's very similar in style and setup to the family tent, but 40% of the size—perfect for one or two. Next time, I'll be better prepared.


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