"We like camping better!" --Raymond Alexander Kukkee

view of the north shore Critter Pond, KOA Canandaigua NY [c] 2009 jcb

Our KOA Canandaigua camping week: Five perfect days

by Jim Bessey, editor

First night camping at KOA ~ the gang's all here by the pond relaxing
We had five idyllic days of camping, sunny and 90. At night the big pond reflected flickers of campfires and the starlit sky, accompanied by a full chorus of insects. Hard to even imagine a more perfect week at the campground. Because of work schedules, most of the time it was just Nick and me. Here's how it went.

Monday, Off to Camp

We started out an hour or so behind, and had to stop for groceries on the way. Heat waves shimmered off the parking lot. When we arrived at KOA Canandaigua, our reserved site had been changed (previous tenant still on it). We'd been moved to #86, where we'd stayed before, but decided to check out #110 (farther back) for a change. After a quick once-over, Nick and I both agreed that #86 was better.

We had trouble deciding how to situate the camper, but took some friendly advice and got it just right. Next to our site was a brand new Scotty camper -- that was cool! Under the giant willow with a breeze from the west, we set up camp. Austin and Lin showed up later, and we four had a lazy evening of hot dogs and burgers. Too hot to go swimming!

Tuesday, Boys Go Golfing

One relentless fly woke me up early. We took care of that issue later on, using an old-fashioned sticky strip. Both boys went golfing that afternoon, and Lin had a meeting, so I was on my own for a while. Spent some time on emails, and more time with a good book. When the boys returned at dark, we all played a couple of games online. Nobody felt like swimming. We stayed up 'til midnight.

Wednesday, Mad Skills

No flies in the morning; that was much better. My dad showed up with breakfast, and later returned to have dinner with us. In between, Nick and I took a long hike and had a round of mini-golf match-play. Nick won, up-7. We considered trying the new motorized pond boats, but held off.

After dinner, we three plus Grampa played a lively round of KanJam. Grampa (my dad) is 80 years old, and he's got mad skills! Later we three boys hung out together in the shade. We never did get to the pool, and the night was so gorgeous we hated to go to bed indoors.

Thursday, Blue Mustang

We got our own breakfast. Nick and I had a nice lazy morning together. "Wanna go swimming?" I asked him; he shrugged and moved deeper into the shade. We did manage another stroll through the woods, exploring. Our friends stopped by in their blue Mustang convertible, just to say hello. They came back later on, when Austin was back from work. Midday, I managed to defeat Nick in a re-match, 3-up.

All day long the big rigs pulled in, Class-A's and giant 5th-wheelers and a long pull-trailer or two. The gang was streaming in for Labor Day Weekend. We had fun watching. Dinner was lunch-meat and watermelon. Past dark, one star rose brilliantly over the pond in the southeastern sky. None of us could decide on its name.

Friday, Move Along Now

My cell phone woke me up. Dad brought breakfast again. Still 90 degrees, but we didn't have time for a leisurely swim. In fact, I forgot that check-out was 11:30, and a staff member had to remind me to get a move on -- the people who had our campsite next had arrived an hour earlier than they should have. Luckily, I'd spent half the morning puttering around, packing up for departure. As we hooked up, the hitch nearly fell off its stand. That could have been ugly; but we managed to avoid disaster.

On the way out of the campground, it felt like our camper's brakes weren't releasing. We pulled over just down the road, and found the brake safety-cable had nearly pulled free. Problem solved, and home we went.

*  *  *

... The previous week, filled with work, had been cloudy and cooler but sometimes sunny, too. Saturday -- the first day of the Big Final Weekend -- dawned damp, dreary, windy, and 30 degrees cooler. We timed it all just right, and managed to reserve four Perfect Camping Nights for actual camping. It was wonderful.
The camping season's nearly done. We didn't camp at Skybrook this year as planned for the weekend -- didn't like the forecast a bit, though it turned out okay, just chilly. We may get one or two camping weekends in during September, depending. No matter how it goes, Nick and I sure had a perfect week.

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