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Gravel Road Camp?

Memorial Day 2020 surpassed our expectations, with four different groups coming out of quarantine-isolation to reunite and enjoy our mountain. We provide outhouses at each site, so we were uniquely equipped to follow New York State’s latest Covid-19 guidelines of less than 10 people gathering and using distinct services, fully socially-distant.

One of our guests put it best: “About 20 people on a 46-acre mountain seems like a good distancing template!”

However, our namesake - Dirt Road - is both our strength and weakness. Many wear the badge of honor of having braved our mountain, 4X4 or AWD vehicles required, yet some of our guests lacking Mad Max vehicles could never fully ascend our mountain. All of that changed this week, when the most beautiful 45 cubic yards of stone/gravel mix arrived, courtesy of our beloved neighbor Jack Pardee. Thanks Jack!

Now that our campground entrance, parking lot and 1/4 mile vertical apex are no longer craggy, oil-pan-scraping conveyances, do we rename Dirt Road Camp? Nah... The drive up is still a thriller, the new drainage will stop sudden streams after rain outbursts, and guests renting our Peak wall-tent, Lean-Too cabin and other sites atop the mountain will still stare at serious dirt trails and say proudly, “I got here!”

Speaking of here, June will be a time of rebirth, reopening. We have added new signage so guests don’t get utterly lost and can easily call or text us to say they’re here. We planted select veggies at certain sites because you never know when you (or a resident animal) will want some brussel sprouts or cherry tomatoes. Our Peak wall-tent is rising again, refortified with a strong exoskeleton to ensure it can withstand Catskills winters. Our renovated Bluestone group site was baptized by some of the most fun people, many of whom arrived mourning that their usual music festivals were canceled (NOTE: Rage Against The Machine is welcome to play Dirt Road Camp any time!) then, 72 hours later, sporting big smiles and promises to return soon, they left our site far cleaner than when they arrived.

Having heavy equipment up here to repair the road also allowed us to open up two new sites - a curious cul-de-sac created by loggers that will become a rather cool spot for a tent and campfire, as well as the foundation for what will soon be our “Outpost” (more on that once we catch our breath).

Oh, and we got a puppy! Her name is Lela - she was born on Dirt Road and will remain here. She’s a monster and you might meet her soon, if she stops eating the carpet and our fingers, that is.

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