By Robert Stoneback
The Daily Item
MIFFLINBURG — Campers were out in full force at the Raymond B. Winter State Park in western Union County as eager outdoorsmen used the long holiday weekend to escape the busy modern world.
“We try to get out here once or twice a season,” said Gwen Auman, of Spring Mills, who was camping over the Memorial Day weekend with her husband, Travis. The two were enjoying a fire by their camper, while their golden retriever, Jessie, was curled up asleep on a towel after a day of swimming in the lake.
Like many other R.B. Winter visitors, the Aumans go to numerous state parks throughout the year. This was their third trip to a state park in 2013. “It’s a way for us to relax,” Gwen said.
“It gets us away from the rat race,” Travis added.
R.B. Winter State Park, along Route 192 in RD Mifflinburg, is “smaller and quieter” than some others they’ve been to, Gwen said.
Boyd and Donna Askey, of Snow Shoe, were spending the weekend with their five grandchildren, who were busy roasting s’mores around a campfire next to the family camper Sunday afternoon.
“The kids like coming up here to fish,” Boyd said. One of his older grandkids, Caleb, already had caught five fish.
Donna and Boyd go out three or four times a year to state parks, but R.B. Winter is a special place for them.
“I was born and raised here,” said Donna, the daughter of an avid camper. “Every weekend, we’d be at R.B. Winter.”
There’s nothing difficult about roughing it for a few days, Boyd said, since he and Donna already live in a house in the woods.
Also joining them was their 18-month-old cockapoodle, Samantha Jo. It cost a little extra per night to bring her along, Donna said, and the pet-permitted campsites fill up quickly at R.B. Winter.
Joy Haines, of McClure, and her husband, Bill, have been camping at R.B. Winter for a long time. They were camping out over the Memorial Day weekend with their grandchildren and will return again near the end of July.
“It’s quiet, the kids enjoy it,” Joy said. She and Bill find little trial in being away from civilization. “We’ve been camping since 1965, we’ve been doing it a long time,” she said.
Many people prefer state-park camping to private campgrounds because they are less expensive, said Violet Harris, who works as a camp volunteer along with her husband, Bill. Prices range from $19 to $33 per night, depending on whether the campers are area residents, what days they are staying, whether they bring pets along and whether they want electricity.