My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Returned from Backpacking

Group Photo

This weekend Young Naturalist J, his father and I did some backpacking along the North Country Trail here in Allegany State Park. We stayed two nights at this lean-to on the western side of the park and you can tell from the pictures that we had an amazing time.

The Stream
One of many beautiful sights we found!

The temperatures reached a comfortable ~70°F on Friday and ~80°F on Saturday! We originally planned on hiking next weekend but due to the perfect weather . . . . we decided at the last second to go this weekend (which made it more like an unexpected adventure)!

Finger Lakes Lean-to Sign
The sign behind the lean-to!

Our hike to the lean-to brought us many wonderful birds and wildflowers that we would be photographing soon! Our first objective was to set up camp and begin dinner before it started getting dark.

The Campsite
Young Naturalist J photographed camp the first night!

Young Naturalist J captured a few of the first photos from the weekend and as you can tell his photography skills are improving with each and every picture! Just look at this spider web photo below!

Spider Web
Young Naturalist J photographed this spider web on the lean-to

This was my first time visiting this lean-to and this is my favorite of the three we have in the Allegany! I just fell in love with its rocky stream that was located directly below our camp! It was very peaceful listening to the constant flowing water all night! The stream appeared to attract many great birds around the site (which I will talk about soon)!!

Stream Below the Camp!
The stream in front of camp!

Another great thing about this location was the water spring located behind the lean-to and the nice out-house that they had! The North Country Trail committee has done a wonderful job with these facilities (if you considered them facilities)! For sure a high-class lean-to to be staying in!!

Bathroom in the woods!
That’s where you do the big one!

We happily brought food for two nights but didn’t decide until Saturday morning that we were staying for a second night. The weather was too perfect not to stay and the truth was that we were having too much fun to return to civilization! We all need breaks from cell phones (although we did get enough reception for a few text messages) and the biggest break from the computer (sorry internet friends)! We just wanted to enjoy nature the old fashion way!

Our Lunch
Our outside kitchen!

I think a few times Young Naturalist J became bored but we broke that time up with a few card games! He typically beat me but I won my share of games!

Scat
Playing the card game scat (I think that’s what he called it)!

When we were not playing cards . . . . we would be explore the stream, photograph some birds or even look for some flowers that appeared to be opening in front of our eyes!

Trout Lilly
Trout Lily – One of many flowers around camp!

The campfire was worth the wood that we hiked in and the full moon was an unexpected surprise! Friday night was especially cold and of course it wasn’t till almost 2 am when I finally closed my tent window!! Saturday we slept inside the lean-to after anticipating some scattered showers (only got sprinkles). The lean-to isn’t that easiest to sleep on (ground is softer) but it is flatter!

Moon Light Campfire.jpg
Camp fire and moon lit site!

Enough photos for one day . . . . I will have more nature backpacking adventure photos in tomorrows post!


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30 responses

  1. Lisa at Greenbow

    Oh gosh, this sounds like too much fun. You and your friends were mightly blessed especially this weekend. CAn’t wait to hear more about the birds you saw.

    20 April 2008 at 8:52 pm

  2. Marg

    Oh Wow! What a blast it looks fantastic-can’t wait to see what else you’ve captured! These shots are great-Kudos J for that spiderweb. I finally saw some butterflies today 🙂

    20 April 2008 at 8:58 pm

  3. Jason A. Hendricks

    Looks like fun, Monarch–got to love the woods and the first camping experience of the year! Can’t wait to get out myself..

    20 April 2008 at 9:31 pm

  4. What a great time you guys had! Some of my favorite family memories are of camping.

    20 April 2008 at 9:31 pm

  5. LOB

    I’m so happy for you guys! It looks like a perfect weekend. Happy Earth Day!
    Hi to J and Dad. See you on 6/28 for bird banding.

    20 April 2008 at 9:34 pm

  6. J took a great picture of that spiderweb. That sounds like a great outing. Camping is always fun…unless it rains. Can’t wait to see the rest of your pictures and stories.

    20 April 2008 at 9:45 pm

  7. Bo

    very envious. great spiderweb!

    20 April 2008 at 9:58 pm

  8. @ Lisa – It was very fun! We had some good ones for sure and so so pictures!
    @ Marg – It was fun and great to hear about the Butterfly! Didn’t J do great!
    @ Jason – thanks and it was good getting out!
    @ Rondi – Thanks and I have more to tell you about! This is exactly why parents should be getting kids out hiking! They don’t have as many computer or video game memories as they would with hiking trips!
    @ Linda – Thanks and we did have the perfect weekend!
    @ Linda (Erie) – Didn’t he do great and even when it rains it can be fun! Although muddy!
    @ Bo – thanks and I like that shot also!

    20 April 2008 at 11:10 pm

  9. What a fantastic report! Looks like a great time was had by all! Still, I’m confused — how did you make your morning mochas in a lean-to? Where were the camping martinis? As a motorhome camper, I’m perplexed! 🙂

    20 April 2008 at 11:15 pm

  10. NatureShutterbug

    What a great post – I can almost imagine being there. It looks like a beautiful campsite.

    20 April 2008 at 11:31 pm

  11. No apologies necessary! I have to get away from electronics a couple of times a year or I lose my mind. Although, we usually pack in some wine. Last time our friend, Mr. Joe brought a french press for morning coffee. That was luxurious.

    I cannot wait to see more of your adventure.

    20 April 2008 at 11:58 pm

  12. Man, that looks like tons of fun. I definitely have not done enough backpacking.

    ~ Nick

    20 April 2008 at 11:58 pm

  13. Mel

    Soooo cool!!!
    I want to go, take me there! take me there! hahaha

    21 April 2008 at 12:02 am

  14. Nothing beats this, eh! It’s great and looks like you all had a wonderful time. Can’t wait to go camping now! 🙂

    21 April 2008 at 1:34 am

  15. Jochen

    This is the life …

    21 April 2008 at 5:46 am

  16. Looks and sounds like you had such a great time! I love all of the photos you guys took! This weather is so unbelievable!

    21 April 2008 at 6:52 am

  17. How fun! Glad you all had such a good time!

    21 April 2008 at 6:54 am

  18. I wish I could visit you.

    21 April 2008 at 7:14 am

  19. Oh Tom so I’m sitting here telling Don about your backpacking and the out house. He’s telling me things sure have changed since he last went hiking. Kind of takes the ruggedness out of hiking. 😉
    You guys had way to much fun.

    21 April 2008 at 7:33 am

  20. Sweet weekend!

    21 April 2008 at 9:02 am

  21. Tom,

    Camping the natural way is OK – just for one night (for me). I prefer hotel concierge LOL!

    My late Father-in-law loved “scat”. We played that card game every holiday.

    21 April 2008 at 10:13 am

  22. Looks like a great, warm, sunny fun-filled weekend. Looking forward to more pics. Young Naturalist J did a great job with the camera.

    21 April 2008 at 10:26 am

  23. Fabulous – makes me want to go backpacking, which I haven’t done in several years 😦 The Trout Lily is beautiful – reminds me of our Fawn Lilies. I spent much time as a kid playing cards at campsites. Great photos, and I’m glad you all got to enjoy a “weekend unplugged.”

    21 April 2008 at 10:43 am

  24. I’m glad you had a great time. The spring-time forest looks great. Can’t wait to get up there this year.

    21 April 2008 at 11:41 am

  25. Looks like an awesome time and a beautiful place! That trout lily is beautiful!

    21 April 2008 at 12:11 pm

  26. What an awesome time and what a great place to be!!

    21 April 2008 at 10:48 pm

  27. Wow first, cannot believe the temps (i’m so envious!) second, what a neat trip! (Okay my favorite kind) funky tho; I usually don’t have such luxurious bathroom amenities. 🙂 and lastly, that is a really great shot Nat J did… wow! I got a spider spinning in the air the other day and it looked not even half as good as that shot! That’s great. (It’s okay tho; my son got a chickadee and it’s the best chickadee shot I’ve ever seen… so the teacher learns from the student!)

    22 April 2008 at 1:05 am

  28. Awesome! Looks like y’all had a great time. Wonderful picture of the spider! I’ve played scat–it’s a fun game. Glad y’all had such good weather. I would have loved the sound of the nearby stream, too. I think people should never be far from that sound.

    23 April 2008 at 12:17 pm

  29. That looks like first class camping. Glad the weather cooperated (mostly) and y’all had a great time.

    23 April 2008 at 12:56 pm

  30. Grace

    You guys lucked out on the weather, but was that creek really warm enough for bare feet?

    23 April 2008 at 10:40 pm

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