Making friends when camping

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Dennis Clay

We backtrack a bit and then continue discussing making friends when camping.

A camping group known as The Vagabonds included Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and others. Inside the spacious dining tent, jacketed waiters placed bowls of food and pitchers of beverages on the lazy Susan that spun around the enormous round camp table capable of seating 20 people. Google The Vagabonds and there are videos of this group eating at this table.

The famous men were camping and this alone attracted other people. The annual camping trips were abandoned, because there were so many people interfering with the group.

Still, this act of the famous people camping attracted others to the act of camping. For sure, there were others camping well before The Vagabonds started spending time in tents. But, this group energized others, us common people, to do more of the same.

Garnet and I established friendships with a former Navy Seal during our camping trip to Shady Pines Resort. Rob looks the part of a Navy Seal, fit and muscular.

We shared stories of combat, him in Afghanistan and me in Vietnam. But he told an interesting story about what he does in his off time and now as a business.

“I enjoy working on clocks and watches,” he said. “My dad got tired of me taking apart all of his gauges when I was 10 years old. A few weeks later, he went to an estate sale and picked up about 60 old watches and clocks and gave them to me. I took apart every one of them and I’ve never looked back. My dad still has an old submarine clock that I repaired hanging up in his shop.”

He said when others took videos and movies into the combat zone, he took watches in need of repair.

The owners of Shady Pines, Dena and Steve Byl become instant friends with everyone. This is a strong part of their business, of course, but they are truly friends when a person leaves the property.

Garnet and I were able to see 80 percent of the Shady Pines property from the deck of our cabin. It was interesting to watch pull-behind trailers and motorhomes back in or drive in to camping spots on the water’s edge.

Other friendships were established, also. Some will be short-lived and others will continue for years. Such is the nature of camping.

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