SOME PEOPLE LOOK forward to Christmas Day as the greatest day of the year. Some people, especially children, think Easter is the day of days to get a basketful of colored eggs and candy. Dreams of turkey drumsticks, stuffing and all the fixin’s make Thanksgiving the day some people wait for with bated breath.

Outdoors people generally think in terms of the opening day of deer, duck, turkey or fishing season or, well, you pick the opening day and you’ll find people just dying waiting for the day to come.

One of my favorite days is rapidly approaching. Since January, my wife and I have had reservations made for five camping trips this spring and summer. My lovely bride and I will pop up our A-frame, hard-sided camper for the first time this year next week, at the Brule River State Forest campground on the famed Bois Brule River.

A day after we leave that campground, you’ll find us at Pattison State Park outside of Superior for a very special camping weekend; more on that in just a bit.

May 31, Gordie, the wonder yellow lab, and I will head way north, far up the Gunflint Trail in Minnesota to camp and fish in that great wilderness. Then, in mid-June, it will be off to a new favorite for me, my wife and our dogs at Brunet Island State Park in Cornell.

Finally, the last of our camping trips for which we have already reserved sites will take us to Bay Furnace national forest campground on Lake Superior a few miles outside of Munising, Mich., for a few days of camping, hiking, visiting waterfalls and undoubtedly taking a Pictured Rocks scenic boat tour, which we have thoroughly enjoyed in the past.

If that sounds like a full season of camping, it really just starts with those trips. There will undoubtedly be weekend outings at campgrounds right here in the Northern Highland–American Legion State Forest, mixed in quite possibly with an outing or two out east in the Nicolet portion of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, along with another trip or two west in the Chequamegon portion.

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, we like our camping and with my lovely wife’s soon-to-be retirement realized, we now can pretty much pick up and go whenever we darn well please.

Camping has long been a part of our married life, beginning when I took my young bride on the first real camping trip of her life to Mississagi Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. That trip almost ended before it began when we pulled into park headquarters and were greeted with a large, posted sign that warned of keeping all food safe in a vehicle overnight as there was an ongoing bear problem there.

Of course, my lovely bride was positive that every night there was a large herd of bears circling our little 7-by-7 nylon wall tent, each drooling over which would be the first to pull off a drumstick or thigh from one or both of us. Forget that there were never any tracks around the tent each morning, not even those of a chipmunk. When my wife said there were bears there in the dark, there were bears there in the dark. Who was I to argue?

Since then, we have camped in many places in several states. Those outings are usually some of our best days of the summer and I’m sure those we enjoy this year will be just as good.

As for our weekend at Pattison, we are looking forward to having our friends and children share the memories of the day when we began our 50 years together, almost 52 if you count dating and engagement days.

That innocent young girl from Mondovi never knew what she was getting into the first night we met. That is a little story in itself.

In the winter of 1969-’70, UW-Eau Claire first allowed visitation two evenings a week in men’s and women’s dorms. One evening found me visiting a girl in Oak Ridge Hall whom I had been dating for about a month.

The format was, you checked in at the front desk, the attendant called the room in which your girlfriend lived and she was required to escort you to her room with doors kept unlocked and open at all times. Yeah, you bet on that count.

Anyway, one Sunday evening, just after I began my visit with the girl from Solon Springs, her phone rang. It was the front desk. Her boyfriend from back home was there and wanted to come up. A reluctant OK, was the answer.

Then, in a moment of inspiration, the girl from Solon Springs went across the hall, knocked on the door of the girl living in that room and asked her if I could hide out there for a little bit. The shy, young farm girl said yes. I never dated the Solon Springs girl again.

Since then, the Mondovi girl and I have been writing the rest of the story.

We’ll be writing some more of it at Pattison on what will be a weekend to remember for us.