Friday, February 6, 2009

Memorial Day - Lake Neshonoc Lakeside Camp/Resort

We finally booked Memorial day weekend for an outing. We really want to get to Wisconsin to see Rich and Beth and the girls so we thought that weekend would be good for an extended trip. We are really looking forward to seeing them again, and there will be a NEW Clements, yet to be named who we'll get to see too - We are REALLY excited about getting to Wisconsin.

The one thing you always have to keep in mind on Memorial and Labor Day is that anybody who owns any type of camper or likes to tent camp is camping on these weekend. There are a couple state parks in that area of WI that are booked solid for any kind of electrical hook up. Another private park I checked (Pettibone) had four of there over 100 sited left so key to success here is getting thing planed and scheduled ahead of time.

We are staying here and it looks like a GREAT set up. We may be adventurous and leave on Thursday late afternoon and stay WHEREVER about half way up. Makes me nervous not having things scheduled but worse case scenario we can pull off in a city park or a truck stop somewhere to sleep as we wont be making a "camp" per se on Thursday night anyhow.

I really, really want to get to the point where we simply get hooked up and GO. With no certain destination in mind, kind of like wandering nomads but that makes me a little nervous too - Not sure why, I feel that would be a GREAT adventure and a great way to see things you may not see on the way. HECK, half the fun is the travel getting somewhere...

This weekend the weather is going to be great and it will be hard staying put but I have a big Honey Do list to do including fixing our dishwasher that just went on the fritz, so I guess its best to stay home.

Until next time...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Trip 12 - Mahoney State Park

We really didn't anticipate our first trip of 2009 to take place in January but we were having a terrible case of CABIN Fever. After a several emails between Valerie and I on Friday afternoon, "should we", "I dunno", "maybe", "could be fun" etc. etc. etc. we decided what the heck, we were game for adventure. I don't really thing people who don't have a trailer or do much camping really understand but, its kind of like a "sickness", this camping thing, and you can only go without the antidote for so long until you gotta get your "Fix". I'll forgo all the details but its not just as simple as hooking up and taking off especially when spontaneity is involved. Our destination was a mere 30 miles away and we started working on making it happen late afternoon and finally backed into our spot at 9:30pm Friday night, then there's quite a bit left to do after getting parked but NONE THE LESS it was all worth it.
I didn't "unwinterize" due to the fact that I didn't want to have to "re-winterize" it again but that wasn't really a problem as we picked a spot close to the modern restrooms where their were showers and toilets, oh sure a little inconvenient, but not a big deal at all.
I was really surprised how warm the camper stayed, I mean granted the nights were only going to get into the high teens or maybe low twenties so I guess in retrospect I really wasn't that surprised. We used a couple of electrical ceramic heaters and it kept it REAL toasty in the camper. We have a propane furnace that works well but since we were hooked up to electrical why waste the propane. We did run it to help quicken the warm up process but once it got up to temp it was maintained with the space heaters. Propane also causes a LOT of condensation inside your camper and with electric that wasn't an issue at all.
This was our first pull out of town with the new F350 and I REALLY REALLY REALLY am happy with it. We set the cruise on 65 and many times going up some of the hills on the way to the park the truck never even downshifted at all. The power that thing has is OVERKILL for my trailer but how great is that. The old CHEVY did okay and at the time I thought it did a great job but looking back it was like a YUGO at the INDY 500. There was a point on one of our trips last year into a headwind where the CHEVY really struggled and I got down near 7MPG. No struggling here and although I didn't figure mileage cause we really didn't go far enough to get an accurate reading I know it isn't much worse with the trailer than it is without it. I know exactly what people mean when they say the towed something and "didn't even realize it was back there."
We didn't do a whole lot during this trip, we didn't have a big agenda, sat around the campfire a lot of the day on Saturday, Valerie and Alyssa played a couple of games, we napped, went sightseeing in the park, had a HERO's season TWO movie fest and really relaxed and it was very peaceful and excellent.
The Phillips 19" flat screen SANTA brought the family worked very well in the camper and really turned out to be a BIG space saver. Counter space is at a premium in the camper anyhow so we are very glad to have it. Just need to figure out how and exactly where to mount it IF we mount it.
It's kind of ironic, Santa also brought me a new air compressor specifically to take camping, and we had a low tire on Sunday morning. "WOW BOSS, I get to put the new compressor to use already!!" low and behold I had everything I needed except for the correct chuck to fill the tire. I had taped it and put it onto a quick release valve a couple of weeks ago and set it on my workbench at home, never making it back to the compressor or into the camper. Fortunately it wasn't ANY lower or I would have had my first experience with changing a tire on the camper. We made it up the road to the Flying J and all was well again.
Winter camping has a many advantages compared to camping in a FULL park in the Summer. There were a grand total of TWO of us in both campgrounds (over 100 sites) and the other guys was a full timer in a motor home who had been in the park since October. I guess there aren't as many in this neck of the woods who had the same thoughts as we did and in all reality they missed out on a great weekend of camping.
Photos from our first trip of 2009...
Happy to be there... :-)

New small flat screen - Thanks SANTA :-)
Our Site - Little Creek Campground #46

Hanging by the Campfire


View from Lakeside Campground

Ice Skating Rink - (Probably 75 people skating)

Lower shady part of the campground

Was still a LOT of snow where the sun doesn't shine directly


Solar powered facilities including washer and dryers

YES, Sam and I had a good time too...

UNTIL next time.........
PS: OH YEA, our trip to the MASTERS will be here before you know it. :-)