Monday, August 22, 2016

Promised Land

According to park literature, the name of Promised Land State Park was meant to be ironic. Shakers tried to make the area into a commune back in the eighteenth century. But the rocky soil defied any attempts at farming it (really the land seems good for only two things, one of which is logging) and as they retreated, they sarcastically called their abandoned home promised land.

What's the other thing the area is good for? Looking spectacular.

Seriously, this view was a mere 15 seconds from one of our campsites. 

A feeble attempt at capturing the full moon over the lake with my cell phone's camera. 
We (six adults, ten kids) spend the weekend at the park. I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't take more photos of the trip (when one's cell phone doesn't receive a signal, one starts to forget it's there, even if it's just to use the camera app). However, my daughter made an artistic representation of our site that you might find informative.

Caroline's map of the campsites. We reserved four but only used three because high underbrush blocked access between it and the other sites. 

Caroline's inset of her favorite part of the sites. The heart-shaped lollipop is the big tree by the lake. 
This is a photo that shows I still have my priorities right when it comes to photography. Another selfie with a stuffed beaver. 
Caroline tells me her favorite park is Promised Land, which she has now been to twice. Sam says any park will suffice as long as his friends are there.

When we first started camping years ago, we only went for an overnight. But then that felt too short to truly enjoy a park. Now two nights is feeling too short. We (my family and the friends with whom we share these camping trips) are getting better at setting up sites, maintaining sites, and feeding ourselves. The kids are pros at playing at the campsites. Oh, and no injuries to report!

There's a bit of sadness after this weekend as I wonder if Hickory Run, the park I've camped at the most often, is getting left behind. Promised Land is a winner park. There are three drawbacks to it compared to Hickory Run: gravel at campsites, hikes that aren't quite as awe-inspiring, and distance from home. But those are offset by a spectacular lake, nice bathrooms, and a park layout that encourages relaxation more than Hickory Run might.

We did get in a pair of small hikes, and I have a few photographs from that. Sadly, I don't have any of the trip to the beach, which surprisingly held our attention for quite a while. I think the hikes we did do show that there might be some more cool things to explore as we make ourselves more familiar with the park. It's worth the trip next summer.

Rock formation on Conservation Island. 

Along Little Falls Trail. 

Along Little Falls Trail.

I'll let you figure out a caption to this photo. Be adventurous, but keep it clean. It's a family site. 
More later.

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