We had another lovely stay at the Allentown KOA last weekend. It served as a convenient base camp for exploring the gently rolling hills and picture perfect farms of the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. The campground itself is deeply wooded and tucked away, far from traffic. A gentle stream also meanders through the property and many of the sites rest directly on its banks. We were travelling with our good friends again and we had booked “buddy sites” so our campers could face each other, creating a large common area in the middle.
The sites also allowed us to sit around the campfire and watch the boys on the nearby playground–which was filled with unattended kids of all ages. Things got dicey over there a few times, and the boys occasionally ran back to the campfire crying, but overall, they had a blast. We sent them back to the playground each time, not because we wanted to relax around the campfire with our friends, but because we are always looking to develop our children’s “social skills.”
My favorite part of the whole weekend may have been the Saturday night hayride. I love me a good hayride–and this was the best one I have ever been on. But it almost didn’t happen. The boys were having so much fun “socializing” on the playground that they didn’t really want to come. Theo, in particular, was being very whiny. But Stephanie and I forced the issue and made them go. I am so glad we did. The boys enjoyed every second and talked about it for the rest of the night.
The owner drove us around the entire campground and then surprisingly, drove us up onto a high ridge that runs the entire length of the property. The ridge ride added an element of adventure that you just don’t get on your average hayride. We could see the campfires being lit below us as each family settled in for the evening. On the way down our driver popped the gearshift into neutral and let the tractor race down the hill. I held onto the boys tightly as they laughed and screamed.
When we reached the bottom we drove past our campsite and waved at mommy, who was relaxing by the campfire.
When we hopped off of the tractor I made sure that we all thanked the owner for the extra-long ride. He told me that “tonight was special” and that the new owners were not going to take the tractor up on the ridge anymore. I didn’t know that the campground had been recently sold. But I suddenly realized that this kind man, after 26 years of ownership, had probably just completed his last hayride. I felt a little sad for some reason. But at the same time I felt like I had been given a special and unexpected gift.