All hail the 'mancation'

Guys, imagine a place where you can spit, scratch, burp and pass gas without those around you raising an eyebrow. Is this paradise, you might ask? The mythic Shangri-la? Perhaps the dugout in Yankee Stadium? Nope. It's upstate New York. Specifically, Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains. New York's Warren County has proclaimed that it is the perfect place for a "mancation."
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Guys, imagine a place where you can spit, scratch, burp and pass gas without those around you raising an eyebrow. Imagine a place where you and your buddies can climb, hike, hunt and fish without the missus demanding that you come home immediately -- I mean right now, mister! -- to fix the broken toilet. Imagine a place where the remote control is yours by-God, and the Lifetime Channel is nothing but a flicker on the way to ESPN.

Is this paradise, you might ask? The mythic Shangri-la? Perhaps the dugout in Yankee Stadium? Nope. It's upstate New York. Specifically, Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains.

New York's Warren County has proclaimed that it is the perfect place for a "mancation." Sort of the male equivalent of a woman's spa retreat, the mancation is a get-away-from-it -all vacation where there's no Cosmo magazine on the coffee table and not a whiff of scented candles. Hiking, camping, climbing, whitewater paddling and golfing, however, are definitely on the agenda.

"Guys in need of some well-deserved rest and relaxation can also make the Lake George Area in New York's Adirondacks their ultimate destination," reads a press release sent to the SNEWS® office. "Men looking to disappear into the proverbial 'middle of nowhere' or reconnect with the great outdoors can do so in the spectacular mountains of upstate New York."

The release trumpets that Lake George and the surrounding mountains have something to meet every man's desires, from golfing to spelunking to beach volleyball. Uhh…just a quick note for the folks who wrote this release -- mancation-type dudes fantasize about playing beach volleyball with scantily clad women, not other dudes. But that's nitpicking at what otherwise seems like a swell concept.

The release states that the mancation reflects a "recent paradigm shift" in vacationing. So, how recent? Well, we dug up an MSNBC story from 2006 on the mancation trend, so the concept isn't brand-spanking new. Heck, the Wikipedia entry for "mancation" states: "The concept of a gender-specific trip has been around since the first caveman took his club and went hunting with the others in the tribe." Of course, historically this is not completely accurate. The Flintstones clearly showed that these men were not really hunting, but blowing off steam at the Fraternal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge. A tip to the ladies -- that brontosaurus meat your man brought home...well, it came from the drive-through.

In any case, versions of the mancation have been around since the Stone Age, so we suspect the trend will last awhile. Men are apparently hard-wired for this type of escape. Wikipedia goes on to say that mancation organizers "have discovered that men tend to create 'micro affinity groups' in childhood, college, or grad school, and that the groups often take trips together."

Naturally, if a guy refers to his buddies as a 'micro affinity group,' they will beat him senseless. Dudes hate to admit that they need guy-time. But the folks at Lake George are certainly onto something -- www.visitlakegeorge.com.

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