As is common with New Yorkers we were feeling the itch to get out of the city for a night. We had heard of a vintage plane aerodrome a couple of hours north of the city Garret wanted to check out, and Emily had a random interest in camping for a night. So with a $40 tent from Target and a rental car from Newark, off we went! It turned out to be a nice overnight away from the city, discovering both a unique, venerable airfield and how much a $40 tent can endure from Mother Nature.
Saturday, June 20th
Based on a few renting experiences we prefer renting cars from Enterprise at Newark Penn Station (not Newark International Airport). This is based on a few points: 1) renting a car in Manhattan is usually ridiculously priced, plus you pay more in bridge/tunnel tolls, 2) airport rentals usually have additional taxes you don’t incur by renting at a stand alone car rental and 3) Newark Penn Station is a quick and easy $5 ticket on the NJ transit from the city.
We snagged the car on Saturday morning and drove two hours north to Rhinebeck. Just on the outskirts of this small town was the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, basically an interactive museum where the artifacts on display also happen to take to the air and simulate dogfights. This incredibly unique museum was thanks to Cole Palen, who spent decades obtaining and restoring aircraft from the 1900s – 1930s. While Garret enjoys both history and aircraft and therefore easily had a great time there, Emily enjoyed it as well, and the crowd consisted of all ages at the airshow. Three hangers filled with static displays complemented the afternoon airshow.
After the airshow, we crossed the Hudson and went to Target in Kingston to stock up on camping essentials, you know, basically turkey dogs and s’mores. Then we drove south about 15 miles to Mills Norrie State Park and set up camp. Garret gathered firewood and we cooked said turkey dogs and s’mores before hopping into the tent just as the rain began to fall.
Sunday, June 21st
It ended up raining, as in down-pouring, literally all night long, but our cheap tent served us extremely well, only leaking a small amount of water in the corners. In the morning we quickly threw all of our (wet) supplies in the car and broke morning bread at a diner in Hyde Park (where FDR is from) before driving back down Newark and returning the rental. What a quick refreshing night away from the city!
(De)parting words of advice!
- A one day camping getaway from the city is definitely doable, even by train, although sometimes easier by car rental because of the gear.
- If you don’t have a ton of camping equipment, or room for the camping equipment, getting by with the minimals is also possible (tent, firewood, food).
- Take some time before or after the camping to discover the quaint towns that usually surround you.