CAMPING IN GAYLORDSVILLE IN 1922

by Alan Dodd

The campers were five boys between the ages of l0 to 13: Charlie Jones, Lester Leviness, Jim Dolan, Jack Dodd and Alan Dodd.

The camp was in the woods behind what is now Strait's Rock Estates, between the woods and Route 7 was pasture land.

Jack and I had a 7x9 wall tent for sleeping and Charlie had a pup tent for supplies. Jack and I had camped the year before with an older cousin for a couple of days so were not entirely green. After getting everything up the hill to camp (a big job!,) we set up the tents and ditched around them in case of rain....very important! We cut hemlock boughs to make our beds, five in a row, covered with blankets, with a kerosene lantern hung from the ridgepole so we could play games until ready to sleep.

We had pancakes for breakfast. Everyone cooked their own and turned them by flipping and had to eat them no matter where they landed. We learned that if you burnt them a little, they flipped better. Bacon and eggs and fried potatoes were some of our staples. Mother kept us supplied with cold boiled potatoes to fry. Canned beans and spaghetti also were on the menu.

One night some horses knocked down our supply tent. We had to get up and set that up again. There was no damage to the sleeping tent. We spent a lot of time in the nearby river every day. We always took our hikes every day to see if our mothers had any donations. They usually did.

We went in Tories Cave with candles for light and a ball of twine so we could find our way out.

All too soon the week was over…..a happy memory of my childhood. Also, too soon we were old enough to work. Somebody always had to work so we didn't get our week together any more.

Setting Up Camp

Charlie Jones and Alan Dodd

© 1999 Alan Dodd