I have accumulated a few weeks of vacation due to the fact that I've been at The Whale since time began.

Last week was my final vacation of the year. I usually take a week off in June, July and August, spending the entire time at a campground in the beautiful Endless Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania. Being a city dweller, it's a whole different world camping in the middle of nowhere.

This year has been a challenge. Each of those three weeks had more wet than dry weather. Normally, I don't complain, since time off no matter what the weather is, I can find good in it. Not so much this year. I spent more time visiting small towns close to the campground and checking out area diners.

I have to admit, the diners are the best in those towns. Everyone knows each other, and if they don't know you, they will start a conversation or at least a quick 'hello' and smile. It takes some getting used to, but that's a good thing. Of course, the comfort food is the best.

Back at camp, during those rainy days, I watch the lawn, which I am responsible for keeping mowed, grow and grow and grow. Once a dry day emerged, I hopped on the riding mower, cut down the high grass and managed to leave lots of muddy tracks and ruts throughout the lawn. Not a pretty picture, but at least the grass is no longer high.

Everytime I took the Greyhounds out to do their business, I had to wear boots. Otherwise, I'd come back in with feet and ankles covered in mud.

The upside of vacation this year? I got to do a lot of relaxing, hanging out with camp friends, drinking beer (and occasional moonshine) around the campfire, attending parties that lasted all day (and into the night) and participating in many, fun campground activities.

So yea, it was a good summer despite the rain. I see Fall is lurking around the corner, waiting to take us back to several months of bare trees, cold temperatures, snow and ice. But for now, Summer is still with us, September hopefully will be dry and warm. I will enjoy every minute of it with weekend trips to the campground until they close the gates for the season.

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