This summer has been our inaugural season with the Andestuga. We set out on two trips to state parks and finished with a visit to a favorite national forest campground. It has been a delight and pleasure to go through a process of learning how to utilize this phenomenal camper exquisitely matched to our style and interest in camping. The camping life exists out of doors with hikes, bikes, and canoe paddles. The evening is spent around the campfire. It is at night that we climb into the quaint and efficient Andestuga cabin. Cool air circulates through bedside windows and out the roof assuring a comfortable sleeping temperature. Reading lights over our shoulders illuminate the evening’s foray into fiction. The use of the galley to prepare meals and wash dishes has been a delight.
After establishing camp, we typically go for a walk to observe the campground community that is growing around us – particularly enjoying seeing young families engaged in healthy interactions. The presence of a teardrop camper remains unique enough to be noticed. One caught our eye. On our evening walk to witness the camaraderie of campers gathered around campfires we returned in the direction of our fellow teardropper. Our jaws dropped as we passed by. Through the window we could see they were engaged in watching TV. It was a beautiful evening and they were watching television. They had the simplistic beauty of a teardrop and they were inside mesmerized with the pixels of light dancing across their liquid crystal display. Ugh, sigh, groan. I am something of a purist when it comes to camping. Those purist genes were planted in the summers I spent guiding canoe trips in the BWCA. Camping was meant to be a retreat into the simple pleasures found in listening to the crackle of a fire and the wind blowing through the overhead pines. Carting along the technological trappings of the 21st century feels like an abomination. (OK, in the face of self-disclosure, I do have to admit to bringing my Fitbit to track my steps, my iPhone to capture images, and my laptop to type this blog entry)
If life can follow a plan, I hope to launch Andestuga LLC when I retire. While my productivity may be limited to one (maybe two) teardrops a year – NONE will go out equipped with a TV – or an air conditioner. Whoever buys an Andestuga will have to pass my litmus test. Buyers will need to commit to my definition of camping. I’ll even sell for less if they can commit to camping purity.