April in Glenwood: It’s an RV life for us
Last weekend, we took the baby camping for the first time — more of a trial run at seeing how a 10-month-old would fare at a night out in the great outdoors.
We didn’t exactly rough it in the wilderness. The campground was just a few miles outside of the suburbs, custom-fit with wireless, electric and sewer hook-ups, a pool, miniature golf, cabins and travel trailers for rent, and a magic show that night. Some of my more hardcore nature-exploring friends in Colorado would consider that more of a glamour camping experience. Glamping.com defines this outdoor recreation trend as a way to camp where there’s “no tent to pitch, no sleeping bag to unroll, no fire to build. Whether in a tent, yurt, airstream, pod, igloo, hut, villa, cabin, cube, tepee or treehouse, glamping is a way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury.”
We didn’t take it that far. There was a sleeping bag unrolled and a fire built for roasted hot dogs and marshmallows at dusk and bacon and eggs the next morning. Sure, we didn’t efficiently pack the bare essentials in backpacks and head out into the wilderness without a plan of where we would pitch a tent. Baby’s first camping experience was definitely planned out, down to making sure he had his favorite soft grey blanket and comfort for teething in tow. We also packed the truck with a pack-and-play, stroller, trike, extra pairs of pajamas, and plenty of toys.
I’m constantly amazed how much stuff babies require. Will seemed to be having fun and enjoyed the playground with the baby swing, his first time. After breakfast, we took a walk around the campground, where some campers live on more of a weekly or monthly basis. I noticed there were many large, seemingly luxurious, motor homes and travel trailers that provide the chance for free spirits, retirees, families and about anyone who loves fresh air to get out and see the world from a different perspective.
I found myself daydreaming about life on the road. I have several midwestern friends who have taken long vacations out west in recreational vehicles to see the nation’s historical parks, landmarks and monuments up close and personal. There’s something instinctive in me to wanderlust about road tripping cross-country like the Griswolds in “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” Maybe it’s because I’ve watched it about as many times as I’ve seen “Caddyshack.” Which is too many to count.
I like the idea of being able to see the wonders of America from the road — the World’s Wonder View Tower in Genoa, Colorado, and Yellowstone Park are a couple of spots on my bucket list.
Driving from coast to coast, and glamping — I think with a baby I’d have to take the RV route — sounds like a fantastic way to enjoy a summer vacation. Or could be the most epic retirement ever, since time wouldn’t be such a factor. That idea of staying a few months at a time in a fully loaded campground, wi-fi and all, to coordinate with nice weather around the U.S. is exciting to me. I like the simple approach of having everything you need right there in the camper, keeping everything compact, and being able to pick up and move to the next locale on a whim.
When Will and I were exploring the campground, I noticed the more fully equipped motor homes, that had been there for a while, had grills, patio furniture with umbrellas, and deck lights outside their doors. Some even had outdoor rugs and portable decks that made the space look like something off of HGTV. The spots were cozy, and the campsite neighbors were sitting outside their RVs drinking beers, laughing with each other and enjoying the fresh air. I’m guessing they were reveling in the fact they didn’t have to mow the grass that day. I think it’s a fun way to approach life and see the country. I’m sure many folks will be starting their summers off just like that, on the road this Memorial Day weekend. The fresh air, friendly people and open road will be a welcome sight.
Especially for those of us with cabin fever and babies.
April E. Clark hopes Will grows up to love the outdoors. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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