This summer had its share of racking up miles for summertime fun despite gas prices increasing around the holidays.
Labor Day weekend usually marks the end of summer flings throughout the Midwest. Throughout Hillsdale County, people enjoyed vacations packed with camping, reunions and planned activities.
While grocery shopping before Labor Day, conversations buzzed about where families planned to go for summer’s last hurrah.
On our end, plenty of memories were made this summer to recount among family and friends. And, traveling there is half the fun.
Since the kids are scattered across the country, we opted to visit with the one more close by for Labor Day. Even then, we traveled north a few hours where they camped out and had made reservations well in advance.
Without the hassles of dealing with setting up in a busy campground on one of the craziest weekends of the summer, we were fortunate to find a Marriott nearby to rest our heads.
According to RVtravel.com, Labor Day weekend was projected to set new records this year. Major camping companies and campground associations forecasted big numbers for the last holiday of the summer.
Looking at the year as a whole, the August report from KOA Campgrounds found that 54.5 million households planned to camp in 2021. KOA estimates that 5.3 million new households – a 1 million household increase from the 4.3 million projected in May – will camp in 2021, the report said.
With the increased demand, it just made sense to us to load up the kayaks and head to their area rather than cram into their space. Besides, the optimal time to go camping is actually after Labor Day.
So, if you hate heat and mosquitos, had a hard time reserving a campsite, or couldn’t quite find the time to get away this summer, don’t worry. Campgrounds are generally somewhat less crowded than at their summer peak. However, with many discovering the pastime since the pandemic, cramped campgrounds could continue. What the remainder of the 2021 camping season will yield is unknown. But while the public continues to wrestle with the threat of COVID-19, the great outdoors will continue to provide a safe respite.
In the past, we’ve found that the weeks following Labor Day are a better time to park the camper anyway. Summer’s searing temperatures are cooling. Humidity is drying. Mosquitos, black flies and other buzzing and biting critters become less of a torment. And, who didn’t get enough of the caterpillars this summer?
Because of Covid, many recreational sites report the busiest summer for camping since people just want to get out more. We’ve noticed more enjoying other activities like hiking and biking, too. These outdoor activities make it easy to social-distance and stay in your own family groups.
But being outdoors also means sharing space with nature’s creatures. A full can of bug repellent is definitely something you don’t want to forget. A sweatshirt or light jacket can also do the trick to protect from bug bites, or flying beetles.
The return home is always sweet as tired muscles hit a familiar bed. With each new adventure, home seems a little more appreciated.
Nevertheless, this summer especially stands out as it marks some delightful camping trips in our camper filled with amenities. And when sites are full, the next best bet is finding a good hotel.
And now, instead of swimsuits and towels, backpacks fill with school supplies as kids everywhere enter a new year filled with new teachers and classrooms to get used to. A whole new set of adventures await, but summer’s fling has flung.
Nancy Hastings is a Daily News staff writer and can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @nhastingsHDN.