Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
After our 1994 trip to Canada, I was back in the woods and my husband enjoyed being there, too. Could it get better than this? Well, it did.
After several camping sojourns, Fred and I discovered a wonderful new camping experience in our Washington, D.C. backyard – Beartree campground in Virginia’s Jefferson National Forest campground! We had used commercial, privately owned campgrounds but weren’t big fans. And, although camping in a National Park was better, they crowded and we felt separated from the whole nature thing.
Beartree campground was large but it had a secluded, intimate feel. There were lots of other campers (the campground must have been half full) but we didn’t have to deal with any crowds. Huge (big enough to hide a pick-up truck!) rhododendron plants provided natural privacy screens and must have been amazing in the Spring when their cream-colored, dinner-dish-size flowers were in full bloom. (My children call these blossoms “Lady’s Nightgown” for the way the petals ruffle in a breeze.) Flush toilet and hot shower plus some of the best hiking trails we had seen in eons – we were hooked. (For more details about Beartree campground and camping in Jefferson National Forest click on here.).
While driving back from Beartree campground the idea of a U.S. National Forest Campground Guide effort was conceived. Some research, some letter-writing, and a meeting with the Forest Service at their headquarters in Washington, DC and we had a mission. We would provide the public with a place were they could go to for complete and comprehensive National Forest developed campground information.
It must be said when we started our adventure back in 1994, the Internet was a toddler in its development and the Forest Service thought “web sites” were the corners of rooms where spiders hung-out. We have seen a lot of changes since those early days.
Today is December 21, 2005 and weather in most of the country is, well, wintry. In front of me are a small collection of Forest photographs we have taken over the years and my thoughts turn to adding to my collage in 2006. It should be another great, fun-filled adventure, this time the focus will be on the national forests in Oregon. Hope you’ll join me while I plan and prepare for our 2006 adventures. Until we departure in mid-May, we’ll continue our work on our web sites and Guides (the latest is for Southern California’s National Forests).