We left the campgrounds early today and I know I’m being a drama queen over something sill but I am ANGRY! (See: I AM ANGRY!!!). I haven’t been feeling much like camping lately. We have been going to these campgrounds for 10 years now and until this year I have loved the place (actually I still do but as I noted, I’m being all dramatic because I’m pissed-off). They are doing a lot of construction to improve the place and the re-investing and hard work has definitely paid off. I would say that of the several gay campgrounds I have ever gone too The Woods Campground in Allentown Pennsylvania is top notch, the best campgrounds (that’s if you can still call it campgrounds because as they profit and reinvest it is transitioning to a gay resort catering the wealthy party queers rather than camping fanatics). Of course with a “resort” status the prices are sky-rocketing as well but as long as we are will to pay they will gouge until it effects business. BUSINESS is the key word, they are a business, they are in this for the money so you can’t blame them for getting as much as they can possibly get.
Along with camping the resort offers a number of parties (generally paid for by the fundraising efforts of the permanent campers) with I’m sure some contribution for the management itself but all in all when you compare prices you are definitely paying for the amenities. According to Google the average camping trip ranges from $25 to $100 for 4 people. At the Woods the same 4 people will pay (after the $35 membership fee) $232 for camping in a tent ($58 per person) or between $230 and $250 if you have a camper and use electricity and water so your are looking for an average of 920% more than a straight family of 4 would pay at a KOA. But hey its gay and its fun…its just not cheap… (Oh and don’t forget to add your food and liquors costs).
Okay, now that the un-pleasantries of discussing the forever increasing costs of enjoying a relaxing weekend at this fabulous gay resort are out of the way lets talk about some of the FUN stuff. The owners are very detail oriented and do their best to make sure that every aspect of giving their guests an enjoyable weekend is first and foremost on their agenda. They think of everything from minor items like backdrops at the volleyball courts to keep the balls from disappearing into the woods to guard rails near storm water run off tubes to ensure the odd inebriated guest doesn’t stumble over the edge into a creek. They have even gone so far as to place life preservers around the lake. Of course they now have 11 years experience under their belts so there is no doubt that they know what they are doing. I’m sure that they have encountered nearly every type of safety obstacle a business of this sort would be challenged with facing.
The events schedule at The Woods are amazing and a lot of thought and planning goes into what these guys (the owners) do. Every weekend is a different theme and can range from anything as innocent as “Bring your Family Weekend” (which children are permitted to attend, and thankfully the only weekend they can attend) to Nudist Weekends to Leather Fetish Weekends. They schedule themed parties that range from 80’s music, country western, and color themed parties to name a few. They host an adult bingo which for a $25 entry fee you can try to a number of different adult oriented (sex) toys. They us professional DJ’s at a laser lighted dance floor that would rival any disco found in New York, Washington DC, or Florida…the lighting system.
When you are hungry there is a café that serves great food and a camp store that sell pretty much anything you might have forgotten (like milk, bread, eggs, etc.) along with The Woods Campground logo’d paraphernalia, T-Shirts, Hats, Cups, Mugs, etc. We can’t forget the heated swimming pool where at times literally hundreds of people are laying out or enjoying a dip, some clothed, some totally nude (in case I forgot to mention the campground (with the exception of Family weekend) are clothing option. They sell wood for your campfires and propane gas for camper stoves and heat. It is a fabulous LGBT Wonderland! You will absolutely love The Woods Campground.
Climate Change has taken its toll over they years and has definitely affected camping at The Woods… I mean I am 50 years old and don’t do well in cold weather and with the climate change changing weather world wide we may sometimes have to deal with 50 degree nights in the middle of summer (or 80 degree days in October)! 50 degrees regardless of the time of the year is too cold for my 50 going on 90 year old bones (see “50 Years Old Going On Death“) to venture out to sit with the throngs of you gay partiers whose young bodies are tough enough to fend off the frigid nights we humans and the abuse of this planet “hath wrought on to this earth”. The 20-something year olds that hang at the campfires can endure the chilling assault on their young tight bodies but we elders needs warmth… and while the bonfire offers this necessity the walk to and from the fire is often too harsh for those of us on the downward side of the bell curve of life. That is unless we (as I have done many times) get drunk enough to endure the cold.
Despite my current state of anger I truly do love The Woods Campground and despite my feeling like a frail old man even thought I’m really only in my early 50’s… there are much older men (chronologically elders) that come here, its just that often I feel older than I really am and its doesn’t help being surrounded by such youthful beauty (again despite my friend’s claim that all the men here are fat old and desperate…and his personal fetish that his partners are small in stature, totally shaved, and look about 6 years old). I’m finding of late my idea of camping has been to stay in and watch “I Love Lucy” or “The Golden Girls” while the youngsters…even those mentally younger than I (slightly older) continue to drink and dance and enjoy this one and only life in a way that my decrepit old mind and body can no longer enjoy.
When I look out from the warmth of my camper (I have a great view of the dance club and bonfire) and watch the revelers dancing and generally clowning around, having so much fun, while I sip a cocktail while the theme song of the next “I Love Lucy” episode starts to play I reflect on the comments made by my much wiser or wealthier friends whom I mistakenly believed would share the same passion for The Woods that I felt…a prudish couple whom when camping with us and generally made our weekend miserable as every agonizing minute with these two whiners felt like hours. After that horrific weekend was over we were told by other friends that they said the campgrounds were nasty, dirty, filthy and the worst time the ever had in their lives…(see: “Worst Experience Ever – It Goes Both Ways“). I don’t make a lot of money and yes, I think The Woods Campground can be somewhat pricey but there is that old adage that you get what you pay for. With this couple I assumed that money was no object however their wealth meant nothing as they complained about the cost of their membership and weekend fees (which at their income (several times more than mine) even the 920% more than they would have paid at a straight campground should have still been a bargain), one would have thought they were paupers.
Then there was the younger more oversexed couple who came to spend the weekend with us in the hopes of screwing as many twinks as they possibly could only to discover that their 40 something year old bodies were more attractive to those their own age and not the children of 20 and 30 they had hoped to lure to their bed. The young and beautiful (at least on this particular weekend) did not come to the Woods to be ogled and or fucked by old men in their 40’s especially men with hang ups (or fetishes I should say) for skinny and hairless children (in age comparison, not literally children) and when they failed to find the 20 something year old twinks my sexually desperate friends responded by telling everyone they met the only people that go to the Woods are fat, old, ugly men desperate for sex. (see: “Fat Old Ugly Men Desperate for Sex“). So between my snooty wealthy friends and my younger oversexed friends ranting and raving about how horrible the Woods are very few people in my circle shared any interest in even trying out this wonderful gay mecca.
So I’m home now… I think about my friends that thought the Woods was such a horrible place. Maybe I see the people at the Woods through beer goggles. I mean sure there are overweight people and there are men who are there for one purpose, sex, and yes there are men that are unattractive. But for the most part there is more to these people than their weight and their looks. When you sit down and talk to them you find out they are descent and nice people that are there just to have a good time and a fun weekend, not there to judge the other guests.
I’m 185 at 5’8″ so I am FAT. I am 50 years old so I am OLD. I don’t think I’m attractive, maybe average. To my lecherous friend that did come to the Woods desperate for sex and when he didn’t find it started to claim that was why everyone else was there and he wouldn’t lower himself to those standards, to him I’m sure I’m UGLY, so I am UGLY too. I’m fat, I’m old, and I’m ugly…but the one thing I am not and that is desperate for sex. This friend that was so demeaning in his description of all the other guests barely took his eyes off Grindr the entire weekend and when he finally did get a nibble on his sex app fishing line he was too afraid to follow through and meet with his fellow sex searchers.
To me my friend was disgusting, sitting there all day long looking at guy after guy after guy. What fun is it to be camping with someone that has nothing but sex on his mind and then when he can’t find it accuses everyone else of being there for that same reason but too ugly for him? I really don’t care anymore. I barely have any interest in sex anymore… sex is something the young enjoy… when you are old like me (a decrepit 50) your hand and a good porn video will handle satisfy your needs. So while I don’t quantify or qualify people by all of the criteria as defined by my friend (twink, shaved, thin, prepubescent looking) I guess he is right… I am a representative of the type of people that go to the goods… Old, Fat, and Ugly… (see: “Mid-Life Crisis?“)
Lately when I have gone camping I have not been able to find the energy to go out and enjoy the many fabulous events The Woods Campground have successfully thrown for nearly a decade and despite the negative comments of my friends I continue to think of these weekly or biweekly weekends as truly enjoyable and even though I don’t go to many of the events anymore, they are there and an option for those odd spurts of energy I may have at any given point. Lately every weekend while hearing the revelry from the other campers, the disco pounding the night away, the people laughing around the bonfire, the passersby walking by my camper…drinks in hand on their way to enjoy whatever debauchery drunken gay men enjoy when there are few limitations to inhibit their sexual exploits and as all these things keep me awake till the wee hours of the morning… I stay inside… sometimes wanting badly to join in the fun but often just too lazy to get out of my warm comfy camper… so I sit on the couch watching I Love Lucy, Golden Girls, or whatever other mind-numbing show is playing on Hulu while the partiers party.
So as I write this I’m home and I’m angry. And I’m mad at The Woods over something that isn’t even the Woods’ fault but I have to be mad as something. I was so looking forward to this weekend but it is also so very easy to push be over the edge. It’s Nudist weekend, one of my favorite. There were so many naked men there it boggles the mind and despite my oversexed friend’s disparaging comments about the physical appearance of the men that come here I only see men whose appearances are a contradiction to my friends claims that only fat, old and ugly come here… I see fit men in their 20’s and 30’s… swimming, dancing, drinking and enjoying themselves to no end. This just further support my theory his claims are the result of these same virile, handsome, young men not wanting him as I’m sure in their minds he appears to be what they perceive as an old and ugly man making “desperate” advances towards their youthful bodies.
Saturday morning arrived and I was ready to face the day with a new attitude… I woke up that morning and thought to myself “I’m sick of waking up and not experiencing life” at this point I can almost recite episode by episode, line by the line the dialogue of both every “I Love Lucy” and/or “Golden Girl” episode not to mention “Keeping Up Appearances”. I decided I am indeed not that old yet and was only hurting myself with my negative attitude. Starting that day I would try my best to attend the events planned for the day, no more staying in, I was going to get drunk and I was going to have fun. It was early morning when my friend Darwin showed up at my site to let me know that he and his partner Silver had arrived. He came to tell me to bring a beer and join them and I was going to do just that… I told him to give me a few minutes and I would be there so he headed back to the pool. Unfortunately though, while Darwin was talking to me my dog was barking at him. My dog tends to bark at anyone on the other side of the gate and will continue to bark until they either come in or leave. I wasn’t too concerned about his barking because there was no one else camping on our road this particular weekend other than a couple 3 campers over so I just ignored his barking as I continued talking, as Darwin walked away my dog gave him a few farewell barks well suddenly out of the camper directly next store I hear a man yell “SHUT THE FUCK UP!”
Yikes! My neighbors were there. When had they arrived? Were they there all night? No they couldn’t have been because their car wasn’t there so if they just arrived wouldn’t they be wide awake? It was well after “quiet time” which I believe ends at 10AM. Why would my dog’s barking bother them if they had just arrived and were wide awake? Its was only for a few minutes, I mean only long enough for Darwin to ask me to join them.
Were my neighbors just being assholes? Just being mean to be mean? Mean like so many people in my life… mean to make me feel unworthy and bad about myself, especially this morning when I had vowed to myself to change and start having fun? I just couldn’t understand for what reason they would yell “SHUT THE FUCK UP” at 11:30 in the morning when most people were awake? As a matter of fact the music was already coming from the Pool and it was quite loud… They wouldn’t be yelling for the pool music to shut up? No that would be ridiculous since they generally are some of those that stay out late at night enjoying the loud music that keeps me awake in my camper.
The bellow from the camper disturbed me to the point that I couldn’t focus anymore. Gone was the notion of having fun, all I could here in my mind was “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” I would no longer be comfortable knowing that my dog’s barking had disturbed my neighbors so intensely that they had to yell shut up in a such a rude manor. I never got to know the handsome young man that camped next door to be but I did meet his older boyfriend (only by a few years, not only like me and my husband with a nearly 10 year gap). The young man was beautifully built and quite handsome and pretty much knew how beautiful he was and because of this, his conceit, his attitude, he was very ugly to me. So over the last couple of years we never said more than “Hi” to each other but today however he chose “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” I was pissed. It wasn’t like my dog had barked for hours on end, the course of our conversation from Darwin’s arrival to his departure couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes.
Several minute later the shouters left their camper in their golf-cart to head to the pool or to the office to complain about me and my dogs barking… whatever the case my weekend… as much as I wanted to salvage the rest of the weekend and start having fun had now been ruined… I would not be able to feel comfortable knowing that any moment my dog might bark again and then I would have to hear another “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” coming from next door… so I packed up and we left. We drove the 2.5 hours back home after having just arrived the evening before because I did not want to take a “chance” my animals might disturb what were turning out to be a couple of high strung fags.
I know I will never be able to keep my dogs so quiet that I cannot risk my neighbors ever being disturbed again… so at this point I am confused as to whether we can ever return to the campground and this is of course what I posted on Facebook which resulted in my being called a “Drama Queen”, perhaps I am being a drama queen.. but do I really want to forever worry about my dog barking again… of course there are so many other people with dogs I’m sure they will yell “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” again… Why are people such jerks? Seriously it was just a dog barking for 5 minutes. You want to hear reason to complain, my neighbors at home leave their dog out 24 hours and it barks all the time 2AM, 3AM, 4AM… but do I yell “SHUT THE FUCK UP”… well at least not yet.