Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Camping at Sebago Lake State Park

Growing up, I spent a significant amount of my summer camping with my family. My family would go to a camper show every spring and we would collect pamphlets from various campgrounds across the state. Once summer arrived, my dad would draw a circle around our home town on a map and said that my sister and I could pick a campground, as long as it fell within that circle. It seemed as though we would go camping a couple times a month, but of course, that was a long time ago when summer seemed endless. If that wasn't enough, I also pitched a tent in the backyard and would spend the majority of nights in my tent, rain or shine. To put it lightly, to state that I am a fan of camping and the outdoors is a bit of an understatement. Which is why it may come as a surprise to say that in Tom and I's nearly four year relationship, this past weekend was our first camping trip together. The reason for my four year camping hiatus? Life as a grown-up is hectic.

The entire plan of going camping this past weekend occurred during a moment of brilliance while I was walking my dog one evening. Tom and I are going camping for three nights in Acadia National Park during the second weekend of September, and I was kind of bummed about having to wait so long for our first camping adventure. Then it dawned on me that Maine's Lake Region was only about 45 minutes from Portland. In other words, close enough that we could easily work a full day on Friday, hop in the car, get to the campground, and be fully set up before sunset. After a search on the internet, and scoffing at the prices of some of the private campgrounds, I discovered Sebago Lake State Park. The campsites are a flat $15 a night for a campsite with a picnic table and a fire ring. I have a tent, so electric and water were of little concern to me. A couple of clicks later, Tom and I had reservations.

Overall, I am very impressed with the campground. I had never camping at a state park in Maine, and I was expecting very primitive conditions. Much to my surprise, the campground had very modern facilities (e.g. flush toilets in the bathhouses and free hot showers). The campsites were absolutely huge, albeit a bit close to the neighbors, but at $15 a night, I really can't complain. Upon check-in, the park ranger was able to upgrade our campsite to something a little closer to the water. Tom estimates that we had about a 50 foot walk from our camp site to the beach. We spent the weekend relaxing by the campfire, solving crosswords, and, of course, swimming in Sebago Lake. We filled our tummies with food cooked over the campfire, and lamented that we had to go back to the real world on Monday. Overall, our first camping adventure together was a huge success, and we will definitely be making reservations at Sebago Lake State Park again next year. I don't think I truly realized how much I missed camping until I got back into again, now I am definitely counting down the days until we get to set up the tent again at Acadia.

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