My version of “Ask a Grown Man” of Rookie fame. No, I’m not John Hamm, but here’s a shot of some bacon…
Of course, I don’t mean to say I am the spokesperson for all the millions of Koreans out there (unless they ask me!) on the topic of camping, I am merely asserting my POV based on my experiences growing up immigrant in the hinterlands of the larger culture. Although I wouldn’t say that camping is un-Korean, it’s not something my family did compared to many of my non-immigrant peers who spent their childhood summers camping with their families. Most likely it was the financial aspect of such an activity that was restrictive to a family like mine––after paying for the basics of daily living, what disposable income? Hey, we were doing staycations way before it was trendy.
This is a topic for discussion (albeit in my mind) because a couple of weeks ago the Boyfriend and I went on our second camping trip of the season. Our first adventure was up in Mongaup Pond (Sullivan County) with friends which turned out to be a great success, so we wanted to add another notch to our belt with a trip to Fahnstock State Park. No car camping like the first time, instead the plan was to hike in with all of our supplies on our backs: tent, burner, sleeping bags, food, whisky…’twas a donkey’s load indeed.
After four miles of hiking through two towns on Route 301 and across US 9, the shoulder disappeared and that was all she wrote. We had to call a taxi (the only one in town) for a pick-up to go the remaining seven miles to our campsite. According to MapQuest, it would have taken us over two hours to walk it *insert chagrined look here!
This campsite, just as in Mongaup, was equipped with a fire grill, pit and picnic table, leaving everything else up to you. The sites surrounding ours were mostly car camping sites while ours seemed to be the lone walk-in. After setting up the tent, the fire was next. With wood purchased from the ranger’s office and most of the weekend NY Times, the Boyfriend got the fire going.
Intellectually, I know going camping is no big deal. Hordes of families do it every year all over this country, and yet, here I am over analyzing it by associating it with something that affluent, non-dysfunctional families do (yes, I know that dysfunctional families go camping too, we saw them at both campsites). But I did wonder, while schlepping along that highway and having to stop at that treacherous stretch, if that is how my family and I would have made the trip as we didn’t own a car. I have a feeling that though they might not have anticipated the shoulder to disappear so abruptly, they would have known about carrying heavy loads on their backs, and that neither my father nor mother would have been willing to pay for a taxi (on principle) so we would have had to just keep on keeping on…but isn’t that what all cheapo families do?
So, good to know, I’m not an anomaly and will not have to represent the Korean race on the camping circuit. I can be just another camper frying up bacon in the middle of nowhere…