Camden Camping 2017

Adventure Date – July 5th-8th 2017

Adventure Destination – Camden Hills State Park

One of our favorite camping spots is at Camden Hills State Park in Camden, Maine. We try (just like pretty much all the tourists in Maine!) to visit there every summer. This year in particular was an amazing camping trip which we both have ranked as one of the best we’ve ever taken! This is saying a lot too as we’ve had some really wonderful camping experiences.

Now some people use camping as an excuse to go buck wild so to speak. Not us! We not only stick to our lifestyle (vegan, no oil, active) as much as we can but also try to expand ourselves a little too, just to see if we can do it. Last year was our first fully vegan camping trip and this year was a vegan trip with packing a little extra stuff as possible.

Part of the reason for packing lightly was that we had a few gigs to play at on the way home and therefore had a bunch of equipment that we needed to lug. However one of the perks of driving by a parent’s house is we were able to leave the music equipment there while we camped.

So here is an outline of our vegan and minimalist camping trip. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s impossible to do something like this. With some planning and prepping it was doable and easy!

We started the morning of day 1 with a quick coffee stop.

We were going to need the caffeine to get through the busy day we had planned! We hit the road pretty early to stop at my parents house to drop off music equipment (thanks mum and dad!). Now picture this, we had all the equipment for our minimalist camping trip PLUS a large amp, 2 bass guitars, 2 music stands, a guitar stand, a tenor saxophone, music, all the cables needed, and a change of clothes for 3 gigs on the way home. We left all that stuff and set out to Bangor for a quick stop to get some Beyond Burgers (our main indulgence for this trip) and some lunch.

After that Bangor trip we made a stop that we were both very excited for…

Peace Ridge Sanctuary is a non-profit animal rescue establishment that we had donated to recently and we got a special tour because of it. It’s a wonderful place set in a beautiful setting on 800 acres. They are doing great things for all animals.

The tour showed us horses, donkeys, chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats, and pigs that had all been rescued throughout the state. My favorite animal to meet was Missy, an 800 pound pig, and Jon was particularly interested in the sheep. The animals are in good hands at Peace Ridge for sure.

We went there curious and left with full hearts. We both would like to return.

Once we left Peace Ridge it was off to the campground to get set up, make those yummy Beyond Burgers, and take a quick bike ride into Camden to unwind before day 2.

Vegan grill master? I think not.

Fortunately because we had so much energy from the amazing trip down we decided to unwind at the beach. There are worse things in the world than a beach sunset…

Day 2 was our most active day of the trip. We set off bright an early to hike up Mount Battie to eat breakfast from the top. The hike up is a winding woods trek and it’s really quite serene and lovely.

The view from the top overlooks Camden Harbor and it’s amazing!

Once we spent some time reflecting we went back to camp, packed lunch, and rode the bikes to Camden to eat a bit closer to the water.

Behold the perfect PB&J!

The afternoon also took us on a side excursion of a lavender field. We had never been to a flower farm before and didn’t know what to expect.

It was pretty and totally worth the cost (it was free, but the expression still stands).

Jon says “what’s prettier, the flowers or the photographer?” He’s a dork.

The evening ended with some carrot “hot dogs” and the obligatory camping favorite, the s’more. This version is a peanut butter cup melted between graham crackers.

Our last full day had us a bit more relaxed and we spent it shopping and looking around the small towns in the area. We didn’t buy much actually but we were able to get some vegan shoes and vegan belts (which are really hard to find sometimes) so we snatched those up.

The trip was a success. We learned a lot, tried a lot, and enjoyed a lot. It was full of campfires, memories, and fun. There is probably some saying about how getting back to nature is good for the soul but I don’t know it. I just know it surely was good for our souls this year.

This year and last year, same spot and same love. Maybe next year there will be three pictures from this spot.


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