Hi friends,

I just got back from a little midweek camping trip with my daughter … well a trip might be an overstatement because it was to Lackawanna State Park, which is only about 15 minutes from my house.

Anyway, I wanted to share a couple thoughts about the trip. We went on a short hike, hit the swimming pool and took a boat out on the water, which was a great time. I can’t stress enough that we have so much to offer right in our backyard, it’s crazy not to take advantage of it.

We took my Volkswagen Vanagon Weekender – henceforth known as Heidi – to the park and set up in a campsite that allowed me to pull Heidi right in, pop the top and boom we were camping. It’s really that simple. A couple of camp chairs, a table and and EZ Up and we were cooking in no time. The campsite was terrific. It was generally clean. We picked up a few pieces of trash when we got there, but it had a fire pit, picnic table, the area was level and it felt secluded. We really couldn’t ask for much more.

After a couple hours at the pool, which if you have not been there, has to be the nicest pool complex in the state park system. It’s ridiculous, with all kinds of amenities like great food and modern shower and bathrooms. If you haven’t been there, take one of these hot days and go for a visit. If you’re camping, I think I paid $8 for both my daughter and I to swim. That does bring me to a quick thing that’s not quite as flattering. They DO NOT take debit cards, which is asinine. Almost everyone I know has an app on their phone to take payments for things as simple as splitting a check. Not accepting plastic in 2018 is unacceptable. I don’t know if this is true of the entire park system, but if it is, it should be addressed … and now. I wonder how many people have had to leave the park to go get cash just to go for a swim.

A quick not on the pool schedule from DCNR:

The Pool will be Closed weekdays including, 8/20-8/24 and 8/27-8/31
The pool will be open on weekends and Labor  Day

Anyway, after getting out of the pool and grabbing some food back at camp, we went out for a post-dinner tour in a rowboat. We rented the boat for $20 for an hour (that seems reasonable to me). This was probably the best part of the day. Sophie absolutely loves the water and while I spend a lot of time in the mountains, being around water always relaxes me in a way the mountains don’t.

Once I got us away from shore, the water was calm and that’s a pretty big lake so there was a lot to check out. We couldn’t get to everything but we made a dent in the area near the boat rentals, which is near the pool.

Quick alert: This is a little bit of a proud dad moment here while teaching Sophie how to row a boat. We spent a solid 10 minutes going in tiny circles as she worked out how the oars worked and the timing, the depth and coordination required, but she eventually got it and had us cruising around. Not gonna lie. I dig being escorted around the lake. Also not surprisingly, she got tired of that bulls**t and handed the oars back to me.

We checked out more of the sights, met some kayakers and chatted them up a little in the middle of the lake, really because I wanted to get a line on a kayak so I was doing a little field research. It was a cool trip. We wrapped up the night with some smores over the fire and some tunes (at a reasonable level) coming from a portable speaker. Pretty much a perfect day. Even if you grew up in the area, check out Lackawanna State Park. There are a bunch of trails that are worth exploring too. I’m going to handle that in another post about trail running at the park.