Clear Air and a Clearer Head.........
I had forgotten about exactly how much I miss the place. During the summer it's pretty much an every weekend thing for me...spending time on the mountain top. Roseland is sort of a special place for a lot of people and most outsider's don't really have a sense of what it is all about. Roseland sits atop a mountain ridge and is quite isolated from the world. It's 250 acres are surrounded by mostly forest although a mining company has started to encroach upon us but that is another whole issue. I suppose that there isn't anything that we can do about that at the moment unfortunately. After two or three days there most people don't want to leave the confines of the camp. Its almost like a gay shangri la. I think the appeal is that you can go there and forget about what the rest of the world is doing and just be yourself. If you want to be left alone, no one bothers you. If you want to join in the comraudery there is plenty to be had. On weekends there is always a party at the main hall with some sort of theme event going on. Usually, most of us end up on each other's decks throwing some kind of food and cocktail party. There are over a 100 seasonals who are there full time and most weekend's during peak season there are another two or three hundred tenters, cabin renters, or people who stay primarily in the guest houses. The pool is the main center of attraction during the summer and it gets quite busy. It's great for sunbathing and taking in all the sights. You see a little bit of everything there. Big guys, skinny twinks, older, younger, married, bi, couples, singles, and every sort of swimsuit or lack of swimsuit that could possibly be found! It can pour down rain and some of these guys show up at a party wearing designer clothes. I said only a bunch of gay men in the woods could crawl up out of the mud and look like they are ready to hit the runway.
The best part, for me anyway, is the fact that so many people really do care about each other. It is almost like a commune mentality in some sense. If you need help with your camper, SOMEONE always has a tool that you can borrow, or will help you fix your crisis du jour, or will at least lend a cocktail or a helping hand. We all manage to help each other. Its a very nice feeling. The other thing that I love is the fact that you are truly out in the middle of nowhere. If you want to run naked through the camp ground no one cares! No one is there to judge you. It is a very liberating experience.
I sat outside for most of the day soaking up the sun and enjoying the conversation with people who I hadn't seen in months. It reminded me of how much I missed the feeling of companionship and male bonding. When I am home in Pittsburgh I don't really go out much. In my 20's and early 30's I went out most weekends and had a very large set of friends. Some close, some not so close, but we always had a great time. Now that I am approaching 40 the need for the bar and club scene has diminished for me. What I miss most is the feeling of community. During the winter months I feel very isolated and I miss the feeling of friends being around. I tend to be a very social person. I know that some people enjoy solitude, which can be good sometimes, but for me friends and loved ones are very important. There is something to be said about having good friends.
I left today feeling good. The mountain air cleared my head, just like it always does. My spirits were lifted from feeling a little glimmer of spring. Soon the pool will open and life will once again return to the mountain top.
Posted by Michael Bell at 6:56 PM