I enjoyed my stay at the Black Bear Camp. John (pictured) and his partner Wade run a basic, clean and much-needed refuge in the woods just outside of Auburn, AL. Not sure if it’s a refuge for gay men or for dogs. Whatever modest money they take in from the lodge they seem to spend towards dogs they rescue.
Men pop in and out for a soak in the hot tub or to have a drink but there were a few overnighters. After being alone on the road for so long, I enjoyed sitting with John and watching CNN and then a Big Bang Theory marathon on TBS. Besides the few rooms they rent, there are two stand-alone cabins and people with tents could stay for a very low rate.
Two really good looking young men showed up to camp and only had eyes for each other. They didn’t even notice that the only other car (mine), which they parked next to, was also a silver Nissan with New York plates. I didn’t want to bother them with the usual where in New York are you from questions. Or isn’t it weird that were all from New York and now in the woods of Alabama. They might’ve told me they’re from one of those upstate towns like Pelmira and I would’ve had to pretend to know a little about it.
Except for when I stayed with my cousins in Morgantown, WV, this was the first time I felt like I was amongst friends and in a relaxed and home atmosphere. That’s community.