Camping in Chenango Valley, NY

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Broome County Fair
Our first overnight of the summer vacation was near Binghamton, NY, at Chenango Valley State Park, where Fran had camped once before when the boys were very young. We arrived in good time, had a meal that included squash we had brought from the Rose Tree garden, and had time for a drive around the countryside. To our surprise and delight, it was the opening night of the Broome County Fair. Not only was it a just a few miles from our campsite, but admission was free! It's not a large fair, but it is an authentic farming community event with tractor pulls, cattle, goats, chickens and other farm animals there for competitions. They even had an old-fashioned gospel sing under a big tent. We felt like we'd stepped back in time 40 or 50 years.

The big draw of Binghamton was the Eureka Tent outlet store where Fran hoped to find a freestanding backpacking trip that we could try out in the days to follow, and we went directly there after breaking camp the next morning. We spent a couple of hours considering all the features of the more appropriate models and then taking down and setting up a couple of the floor models. By the time we made our choice, we were in the middle of a tremendous downpour. We dilly-dallied another half hour or so before realizing the rain was not about to let up, and we made a mad dash to the car, with our new "Mountain Breeze" tent in hand.