Memorial Day Camping in Upstate New York

Memorial Day Camping in Upstate New York

Sunday and Monday, 25 & 26-May, 2015


Sunday, 25-May

The start of the cross country road trip wasn’t exactly in-line with going directly to Oregon. In all honesty, it was going to take me half a week just to leave New England – but I find nothing wrong with that. It meant that I could visit friends and catch up with people who I don’t normally get to see; such as Marla and Bear, in this instance.

So I left Cambridge, and tossed the address of the campground that Marla had booked into the GPS.

Or… I tried to. The car didn’t have that road in its atlas. So instead, I used the maps that I had printed earlier to estimate a close approximation, and headed in that direction. See what I did there? I printed tons of maps, including a few extra satellite images, just in case something went wrong. Yep. Came in handy right out of the gate. I know that I can have bad luck, so I try to preempt it, you know?


Anyways, I drove up. It was a long drive… but not nearly as long as the ones I’d have in the weeks to come. So I enjoyed it. And soon enough it was over, and I was pulling into the campsite and sitting down by the fire. Minor (Marla’s dog) was barking when I arrived… It was actually quite helpful, since he helped me find the site 🙂 Of course, he went a bit crazy licking and cuddling up to me as soon as I got out of the car… I guess dogs really do remember people!

I cracked a beer, ate a snack, and we all chatted and caught up. Bear and Marla made smores, and then I set up my tent and fell asleep nearly instantly.



Monday, 26-May

Monday started slowly. Partially because we had stayed up so late, but mostly because none of us were particularly motivated to go adventuring in the rain.

But somehow we made it out of the campsite, and onto the open road. While making breakfast (delicious oatmeal and eggs, a-la Marla) we’d discussed the various options for the day:

  • Kayaking – This was the original idea, but our thoughts strayed away from it now that we were in the field. Kayking in the rain isn’t the worst thing ever, but it’s not ideal… especially for Minor’s first time in a boat.
  • Hiking a summit – Not a bad idea, though the clouds and rain would ruin any views. We ended up ditching this idea in the end though, due to the fact that all of the hikes had some element of “exposed rock scramble” to them… which meant slick rain-swept rock, which meant no fun.
  • Hiking a lowlands trail – the only real option, of the three. Not as exciting as the others, but Upstate New York has a ton of lakes and ponds, and most of them are pretty amazing…

We went with Hiking a lowlands trail as the goal. Marla found one pretty quickly in her guide book – a trail called the Tirrell Pond trail.


So we hiked in.

Or… we tried to. Problem was that we parked on the right side of the parking lot, and the Tirrell pond trail starts on the Left side of the trail. But we didn’t know that, and the trail marker didn’t really mention it… so we spent a bit of time hiking up the other trail, looking for the split where Tirrell jumps off. We never found it, but thankfully figured our mistake out before too long.

We doubled back, and headed in on the right path.

It was a nice and simple route – nothing too steep, but not too boring either. It wasn’t a leveled trail, so there were still a ton of ups and downs and arounds, which kept it interesting. But the real fun was once we got to the pond itself, and were able to relax and enjoy the scenery.


Then back out it was; following Minor, who was on a mission to be back at the car. He’d run ahead, wait for us to come close to catching up, then keep running ahead. I’m pretty sure he thought we were lost, and that he was leading us out to safety. Which, in his defense, he did a pretty good job of.

The rest of the day was spent exploring the towns around. We went to the Appalachian Mountain museum (which has a $18 entrance fee, so we declined to participate), then headed into the main town to get ourselves some food. Then a quick goodbye, and Marla and Bear were back on the road, and I was heading back toward camp, to spend a relaxed night before getting back on the road again…

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