Getting Away

By John Toth

I admit it. I am not a very good camper.

I used to be, but the RV spoiled me.

It’s an older one, but it works, and it’s comfortable. It does not have slide-outs. But it does have a microwave and an oven, so I can “barbecue.”

I’m getting to the age when I just won’t pitch a tent or sleep in a sleeping bag. I could, but it would not be that much fun. I’d be waking up in the morning and not be able to move.

I’ve done the “roughing it” stuff. I have dug a hole in the woods and cooked breakfast in the tent because it was raining. It tasted good, too -- the breakfast did.

Those days are over. Now, it’s either a hotel room, or I take the RV.

That’s how I wound up at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Texas, recently. I got a nice spot, and I spent a lot of time away from it.

The park was great. The campsite was spacious. The scenery was amazing.

Mr. Ranger Sir, whose last name was Shirley, turned out to be a decent guy. We got the wrong first impression of him when he threatened us with a $500 fine because we parked the car in the wrong spot.

But after walking to the waterfalls, there wasn’t a lot to do in the park. I didn’t want to build a fire or roast marshmallows. The watering hole I found actually had water in it.

So, by combining the best of both worlds, I enjoyed nature for a while and then went into the city to find the right type of watering hole(s). It was a great combination.

That’s how I enjoy camping now. I have become a bad camper. I see other campers building campfires and getting into this camping stuff the way I used to do years ago.

When my children were little, we used to go to camping sites with a pool and things for the kids to do, like a game room, ping pong tables and tennis courts. Then, after we got the RV, we went back to some of the same places, except we plugged in rather than pitch a tent.

It’s fun to do stuff when the kids are still little. Camping is still fun, but it’s a different fun, a comfortable fun.

And, there is one more problem that prohibits me from traditional camping.

Work.

I cannot leave it behind. I have tried.

I called in sick once, but nobody picked up the phone. So, I went in anyway and scolded myself for faking being sick.

When I travel, I take my work with me. I haul along all the electronics and spend some time each day working. I’d be bored if I didn’t.

By the time you read this, my vacation will be over, but I wrote it while on vacation, sitting in an air-conditioned RV, looking out at the wonderful nature outside.

What a nice way to get away for while.