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when down formed a compact roll, only 12 inches in diameter and 20 inches long.
This, then, was our main equipment -the bed, folding into a roll 6 inches diameter by 42 inches long; a thin mattress, rolled up on the back seat; the tent, with two jointed poles; a small folding table, a couple of sofa pillows, and three suit cases containing our personal things and the bedding.
For meals we decided that generally speaking we would get them at any place that struck our fancy - hotel, restaurant, inn or tea house but that we would go prepared to get our own breakfasts and other meals if we desired. So our outfit was completed by a sackful of tinned food, a collapsible water bucket, a sterno holder with frying pan and covered dish, and a lunch kit with three thermos bottles.
The lunch kit was the only thing on the running board. Everything else, packed into the back of the car out of sight and covered with a canvas, made an excellent platform for the dog to ride on.
Still, this kind of a vacation was an experiment. Would we enjoy this sort of camping, and could we find comfortable spots to camp in? For the latter let me say once for all that with eight trys we had no failure, and each night declared our find to be an ideal spot and the best of the trip.
This being the first trip of the kind, we wanted a general view of the field, so we decided on a long journey rather than developing intensively any one region. We found no reason for changing this plan, so as a result we traveled from Boston to North Adams, north to Burlington on Lake Champlain, then east across Vermont and New Hampshire, through the Dixville Notch and straight across the state of Maine to Mt. Desert, then on to Machias and back along the coast to Portland and Boston, a total trip of 1,350 miles. We spent one night with friends, one night in a hotel, camped out eight nights, and wound up with a week with relations on the coast of Maine.
The first night of camping was on the shores of Lake Champlain. We had made rather too much distance for the first day and a hot one at that, 140 miles from North Adams. But we got it in our minds that a swim in the lake would be comfortable and so pushed on. We first approached the lake at a spot which offered no camping ground. Going on we
found the waterfront occupied by some sort of public or private park, and as we were nearing Burlington the prospects appeared doubtful and we wondered if camping were going to be a successful venture. Seeing a man at a farm house we frankly inquired if there were any place where the road approached the beach where we could camp in comfort and have a good swim. After a moment's reflection he directed us on a mile or so down the point, suggesting two places. One of these a pasture — proved inaccessible, as the gate was locked. The other was a broad, grassy roadside at a turn in the road with only a fence between it and a good gravel beach. It looked good to us and the tent was quickly set up, and we exchanged our hot clothing for bathing suits. Hardly were we in the water, which was deliciously refreshing, when we saw a motor stop beside our camp and a man get out evidently to inspect us. I approached him, hardly knowing whether we were to be evicted or not, and found that it was our friend who had stopped to see if we had found a comfortable place to stay. He said, moreover, that he had brought along a few vegetables he thought we might like. These proved to be a bountiful supply of delicious tomatoes and cucumbers. This was the sort of neighborly welcome we found everywhere.
The next evening, after another day of the Green Mountains, we again thought of a lake. But two trials failed to disclose a good camp site, so we gave this up in favor of the bank of the Connecticut River. After a few miles or so of the river road we saw a newly mown field at some distance from the road, and separated from the river by a beautiful fringe of trees. The owner willingly gave his permission and our tent was soon up in a delightful, secluded nook. The bathing was not quite so satisfactory as that of Lake Champlain, but was refreshing nevertheless.
The next night found us camping on Lake Umbagog, another charming spot at a considerable distance from the road and which had evidently been used as such before. After getting the tent up we noticed a sign forbidding camping, but our only visitor, who landed here to get the mail and milk for some camp up the lake, assured us that it was all right for us to be there. A strong wind during the night caused some anxiety and developed a few weak spots in our equipment, but generally speaking we were quite satisfied that we could weather any ordinary storm in comfort.
The following evening we again scanned our maps for a lake and found Sebasticook. Inquiry at a garage led us to a farmer who owned some camps on the lake and who was very willing that we should spend the night in an adjoining grove. Another automobile camper was nearby - the only one we saw on any night, though we noticed a good many on the road daytimes.
After four nights of camping we concluded that, although we had had bathing every night, running water would be welcome. So the first night on Mount Desert was spent in a hotel. But the next night, to add variety to out campsites, we hunted out a spot on the beach of the open ocean. Back from the road on the edge of the woods in a little nook with. a thin fringe of trees between us and the rocky beach we found exactly what we were looking for and all night we slept with the roar of the surf in our ears. The next morning was foggy and damp. Moreover, it was Sunday, and we slept late and had a leisurely breakfast. Finally we broke camp, packed up our things and started sightseeing. But the fog soon changed to a drizzly rain and we couldn't see enough to make riding worth while. So, giving up our plans for a hotel dinner, we bought a Sunday paper and went back to our beach-side location, and, donning a dux-back suit, the tent was soon re-erected without anything getting wet.
We had prepared our own breakfasts every morning, had had one salad supper and one supper of baked beans — now we were in the mood for a regular dinner. So the folding table was set up in the car, the sterno holder brought out, and soon the following meal was served, in the car, piping
MOCK TURTLE SOUP
TUNA FISH a la Sea WALL
One more night on a lake near Cherryfield, and one in a most delightful secluded nook in a hayfield near Belfast completed the camping portion of our vacation. Eight nights,