Dreaming at Minister Creek
A whole week was spent talking myself into taking a weekend camping trip to Minister Creek in the Allegheny National Forest. A thing that I learned about National Forests (and that I am fascinated by) is that, unlike National Parks, commercial use is not only allowed but encouraged. You could timber the forest or graze your livestock (if you had livestock to graze.) This blows my mind. The land is held in trust for the American people for their use and not just for their enjoyment.
I (surprisingly) love camping. I could camp for a month. When I camp I eat healthily and moderately. I drink moderately. I wake up early feeling ready to start the day. And since I shower erratically as it is, the personal hygiene thing doesn’t really bother me either. Also, I don’t mind walking in the woods in the dark by myself, and I’ve had bear-safety training so the potential bear thing is not big deal.
Going camping should be a no brainer. I love it in New England, I love it in New Mexico and Colorado, I should love it in Pennsylvania. The problems are as follows:
- I am not great in large groups of people I don’t know very well.
- I’m not great in a large group of poeple I don’t know very well especially when they have all known each other for 10+ years.
- Body/mind image: the idea of camping with a bunch of super fit or very thin girls and artistic dudes was giving me anxiety.
For the most part, I spent three days quietly and awkwardly trying to fit in. And having a weird dream where my ex-boyfriend bites my chest and leaves a tattoo behind. And waiting for the chance to swim. Camping should always include either limitless beautiful vistas or a swimming hole. And Minister Creek had neither. It was very pretty, but I couldn’t hang out in the water reading a book for hours. In fact, the creek itself had weird areas of oil slick, so even if it had been deep it still wouldn’t have been appealing.
On the plus side, we camped for free. I’m not sure why anyone would pay the $10 to camp at the nearby campground. And I got to sit by a fire, roast some hot dogs, and climb a mountain. This was all topped off by a returning home trip to Sheetz. Sheetz breakfast burritos are so weirdly smooth and full of squish and taste entirely of cheese. I love them.
So. Camping. It’s awesome.