A gentle breeze blows over a field of freshly cut crab grass on an idyllic Saturday afternoon. We are at Glen Highland Farm in upstate New York. The dogs, Miles and Opal lounge by my side, just quiet enough to let me read a chapter of a Vonnegut novel. They are tired now, but only after a full day of activity. It started with coffee and breakfast prepared over a wood fire. Cooking here is not just for sustenance, but is quite the social event with lively conversation and good music. We met many wonderful couples who drove from various states as far north as Maine. After cleaning up, we hit the trails which included several hours of running, swimming, playing fetch, and rolling in the dirt. It may be doggy paradise, but I decompressed almost immediately as well. Part of this may be the cool country air, but the thoughtful amenities also made for stress free camping.
Our tent was put up for us on a wood platform and includes cots to sleep on. The staff left a bottle of white wine which we put on ice in the cooler. They even provided a battery powered lantern to get around in the dark. While we've done a good deal of tenting in the past, this was a different level of comfort. Around the farm, the general consensus is that it still qualifies as camping even if we don't have knobby tree roots digging into our backs.
Later in the evening after dinner we warm around a roaring fire to toast marshmallows, make S'mores, and recount stories of our days adventures. It's a perfectly clear night with little light pollution or clouds.
I set up the tripod for a 45 minute exposure and capture the stars as they swirl in the sky. Around midnight we turn in as a gentle fog blankets the farm. The crickets congregate to form a soothing lullaby, the dogs curl up next to us, and we zip the sleeping bags a little tighter.