homepage logo

‘Stay-cation’ was our option this year

By Staff | Sep 13, 2020

Greetings from Sawmill Lake Resort and Campground, somewhere deep in the woods of rural Minnesota.

Before you search on Google Earth for the location of this lake or this resort and campground, let me tell you to not waste your time and effort.

It doesn’t really exist.

And yet, that is where I am spending this week that includes Labor Day Weekend and the following six days. We had once made plans to go to a far off exotic place, but the airlines canceled our tickets so we are having a stay-cation at the place where we camp on weekends all summer – Sawmill Lake Resort and Campground.

The name is just something I made up to describe where we camp to get away from it all.

Oh sure, we are still close to civilization. But we are off the grid in a manner of speaking.

Our camp is composed of just us – my wife Pam and myself. And, maybe some of our close relatives who wander in from time to time.

We don’t have electricity. Except we do have solar panels which keep our batteries charged. And we have LP gas tanks. That means we have lights in the camper, our stove and refrigerator work as does our furnace. Our microwave and air conditioner do not. Neither would our TV, if we had one.

We haul in our water and we haul out our waste.

To be totally honest, when the temperature hit 93 inside our camper a few weeks ago, we did fire up the LP powered generator to turn on the air conditioner.

Unfortunately cell phones do work here. I have always tried to limit their use here at the camp, but these days it is difficult to do. I used to tell guests to keep their phones put away while at camp, and try and enjoy the great outdoors without the use of any electronic devices.

Alas, everyone seems to be totally wired into their phones, and they feel the need to check their device every couple minutes. Or text on it. Or even play games on it.

It is sad. And, it is not just the kids. It is the adults as well. I don’t know why. I think they are checking Facebook every minute or so, just in case there might be something interesting there.

I long ago discovered there really isn’t anything on Facebook I wanted to search for and so I gave up on it, more or less.

Now there is also Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and something called Tik Tok. Oh my. So many places to check. No matter everyone needs to be checking their phones. Constantly.

I know what you are thinking right about now. Here he goes again. The old guy complaining about technology and hungering for the good old days.

Well, yeah, guilty as charged. So here I go.

There was a time a few years ago (OK maybe more than a few) when we didn’t have cell phones, much less smart phones. We didn’t have computers (gasp), or video games or a TV in every room. I’m not saying it was a better time, but it sure was calmer I think.

Going camping off the grid is not all fun and games, I will admit. There are lots of insects, like mosquitoes, spiders, ticks, flies, horseflies, deerflies, dragonflies and gosh knows what else. Sometimes it rains and there can be mud. Sometimes it is hot and humid. And sometimes it storms to beat the dickens.

I know, you are saying you are failing to see the fun in it. Well, for us, it is just fun to get away from civilization for a while. Away from TV, shopping, traffic, and yes, people.

A bit of peace and quiet. Cooking food outside, hiking, kayaking, sitting by the campfire at night maybe enjoying an adult beverage and trading stories with those folks you are with.

I think camping is one of those things you either like or you don’t. Some folks go camping in a huge camping trailer or even a motor coach, complete with big screen TV, fireplace and all the comforts of home. Some of us prefer to rough it a bit more than that. And still others think camping in a tent is the only way to go.

However you do it, it is great way to get away. But, try and keep that TV and phone off as much as you can.

Trust me. It’ll be better for you