Camping in Style

March 12, 2017

Dear Camper,

Do you want to get away from the city? Do you want to camp in the woods with all the comforts of home?


A couple miles off highway 2, in the town of Gold Bar, in Washington State, sits the Gold Bar Nature Trails. Two square miles of individual campsites wait just beyond the entrance gate. As the gate closes behind you the paved road becomes gravel, the sweet smell of the woods floats in the open car window, and the world slows down as the speed limit becomes 10mph. Towering evergreen trees and leafy green ferns line the gravel road zig-zagging through the campsite. The roads bear names that evoke images of the woods: such as Poplar, Fern, and Logger Loop. These names serving to push the busy city farther away from you as you drive further into the woods. A mile from the entrance, right on Logger Loop and left on Poplar and right on Simpson, at the end of the road sits the Swenson campsite.

The Swenson campsite is long and wide. Tall trees, lush ferns and invasive blackberry bushes line the perimeter. A shabby trailer, dating from the early 1980’s and topped with a bright blue tarp, sits on one side of the campsite and a lumpy, brown tarp-covered woodpile sits on the other side. Blue camp chairs surround the fire pit. The ground covering consists of brown pine needles and gray gravel. Sunlight streams through the trees, casting freckles of light on the ground. You can see the jagged North Cascade mountains east of the campsite. The sound of children playing in the distance, birds singing in the trees and the smell of campfires burning in the distance, drift through the air.

A solid wood, covered porch boasting two full-size picnic tables welcomes you at the entrance of the trailer. The smell of damp, slightly sweet, musty air overwhelms your nostrils upon entering the trailer for the first time. Beige wallpaper dotted with pale pink roses and gold plated trim covers the interior walls. A large forest green, velvety hide-a-bed sofa rests at the far end of the trailer and a small, plush, forest green, rocking love-seat lies adjacent the sofa. A 40-inch television and a 20-inch window sit on the wall, opposite of the love-seat. The 20-inch window boasts a view of sunlight and evergreen waiting just outside the door. The 40-inch television provides the comforts of home.

During the day bright sunlight fills the campsite with light. The sound of crackling wood and the smell of the campfire fill the darkness that surrounds you at night. In the morning, with the trailer windows open and the ceiling fan on and the smell of blackberry bushes, bacon frying and coffee brewing, you can enjoy camping in the woods with all the comforts of home.

Dreaming of summer days,

Swenson Campsite

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