First Camping Trip of the Year
What a way to kick off the camping season but with snow on the ground! Cool and refreshing! But first, let me tell you about the events that led up to us finally getting on the road.
We started the weekend with a frenzied rush to put the finishing touches on the house Friday morning. The realtor and the folks taking the pictures and arial footage came at 9am and I was literally vacuuming the last room! Rick was busy getting the RV ready to pull it out of the driveway so it would not be in the pictures. Then the issues started! The photographer started the pictures and he was loving the staging, getting great shots and then he went downstairs. He came back up with a sheepish grin on his face and said, I found a mouse. WHAT??? Dead? No very much alive and I have him trapped in a room. Oh Hell No!! Yes we live in the country and get them from time to time, but have not seen one in well over a year. Seriously??? On the day the house goes on the market??? Off to tell Rick that he needs to catch a mouse.
Well he was having issues of his own with the RV. The back hydraulic jacks weren't coming up. With a bit of work and patience, they finally did. Well, then, with the recent snow/ice storm, the 50 amp power cord seemed to be frozen in the snow/ice and was not budging. By now the photographer was outside and standing in the snow waiting for the RV to leave the driveway. One moment please... With alot of elbow grease and chipping away, we were finally able to get it out into the cul de sac and pictures continued. Then the photographer with the drone started her indoor walk thru, which was pretty cool to watch as she went from room to room.
By this time the realtor was putting the multi-lock on the front door and asked for the key to put inside. I went to look for a key and since we never enter into the front door, it took a moment to get some keys. Umm, well, when we replaced the front door, we never had it keyed to the other doors so the keys I was trying did not work. Here we go again, a mad search around the house, dodging the drone lady, to find more sets of keys and nothing was working. By then I was ready to sit down and cry. Where are the keys?? How are realtors going to show the house? Come in through the garage? Lovely!! I look back now and laugh at how crazy I must have looked running around and the entire time the realtor was soo calm! I am sure she has seen much worse. By now Rick was back and he tried the keys including the shiny new looking keys on a ring all by themselves. BINGO! They worked. Just took a bit more to push them in since the lock had never been used. Alright then! With drone arial footage done, we finished up with the realtor and set off on down the road to a relaxing weekend of camping. Here is how the house looked after all the snow we got this last week. Would have loved to have a snow-less yard but oh well, she looks pretty in the snow too.
We stopped in town for a bite to eat for lunch and a socket to put the anode rod back in the water heater. Then we were on our way. The campground, Ottowa Lake State Park, was only an hour from our house and took the freeways through Milwaukee to get there. Traffic was not bad at all, which made for a stress free drive since this is only the second time camping with the new 5th wheel. We arrived a little after 1pm and was surprised to find out that they were going to be pretty busy for the weekend, even with all the snow on the ground.
We checked in and had to fill up with water at the welcome station since they had not turned on the water at the dump station or at the restrooms. While filling up, we met a really nice couple, Allen & Lynn, from Madison, WI who were taking their new to them 5th wheel out for the first time. Rick was more than happy to help them through filling up and getting their water system ready for use. We chated with them and their friends and took tours of each others RV's. Allen was even smart enough to bring a shovel which came in handy for our sites.
Once we got to our site, we found that even though it was a sunny site, it was still snow covered. The temperature was in the 40's and it was getting a bit slushy in the gravel drive and pad area. The firepit had a mound of snow in it. Rick did a great job positioning the rig on the first try and the new observation/backup camera really came in handy! We quickly set up and then began the snow removal process since it was starting to melt and making things a bit soupy. As you can see above, we put the mat out in front of the door because that is where we were getting a bit soupy. I scooped out the firepit and Rick got the handy dandy collapsible metal rake out, which did a fine job of combing the snow. LOL However, we wanted it to go away a little faster and he went and borrowed Allen and Lynn's shovel and in no time we had a nice opening around the fire and a path to the truck.
At this point it was time to sit back, start a fire, have a cocktail and soak up the sunshine and watch all the other folks pull in for the weekend. It sure is nice to get to the campground early and people watch! There were 2 groups of boy scouts in tents and a couple other tents as well as pop-up campers and other assorted RV's. Friday turned out to be a beautiful day in the high 40's with sunshine and blue skies. Perfect for a camp fire. We ended up grilling some filets and had it with some rice pilaf and boozy sauteed mushrooms, oh and a bottle of wine. Not your average camping fare but it was the first camping night so we did it up special!
Saturday we needed to make a run into town to get a couple items we forgot to stock in the RV...like toothpaste! We stumbled upon this little convenience store/gas station and found that they had a whole meat case with fresh meat and salads. Well alrighty then! We got these cheddar burgers for lunch and they were fantastic over the open flame.
Now, before you think that all we did was eat all weekend, you are right!!! LOL We did get a couple other things in, but with Saturday not being a sunny, warm day, we stayed close to the campground instead of hiking the trails. We went for a nice scenic ride, took a couple walks around the campground, read and just plain relaxed! After a crazy, busy week of getting the house ready to sell, it felt good not to have to do much of anything if we didn't want to.
Saturday night, friends came to visit and Rick cooked another wonderful dinner and we played Left, Right, Center dice games. For those that aren't familiar, it is a dice game played with quarters and dice marked with L, C, R and a black dot. You do exactly what the dice you roll says. So if you roll three L, then you pass three quarters to the person on your left. Well, Saturday night was not my night and I did not win a single game, nor did Rick. Denise and Elwyn left with full bellies and wallets!
Sunday we did some more relaxing and made a leisurely "big breakfast" , as we call it when we camp, of cheesy scrambled eggs and hashbrowns and thick sliced bacon over the fire.
By Sunday late morning, the sun had come back out and our site was starting to shed more of it's snowy blanket. This is what it looked like when we were about to leave. Hook up, dumping and the drive back went well. We took the RV up to my Dad's to park it while the house is on the market. We also met the folks who were buying our old camper there as well, so that they could come get it. We had stored it for them for the winter inside at my dad's and they were grateful for that since they did not have a storage place lined up.
We are now back home and always in "show the home'' mode. I am constantly making sure everything looks just right so we can leave at a moments notice if someone wants to come look at it. We had 5 showings over the weekend and one of those being a second showing. We will see what happens with those, but look forward to more traffic this week.
We continue to get things ready as well for the estate sale happening in 3 short weeks. In two weeks, we move the boys to their new location and Rick and I will float between there and the RV. It will be strange to say the least, but we are excited for the next chapter!
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Alan and Lynn
4/25/2018 01:07:00 am
We really enjoyed meeting you and wow we are mentioned in your post. I am hoping as we turn the page of life and can begin traveling more with our 5'er we can catch up with you and spend the weekend. We learned so much in a short period of time and enjoy your company. Looking forward to meeting on the road and following your adventures!
5/9/2018 05:46:30 pm
Looking forward to meeting up again. Good luck with your new 5th wheel!
5/11/2018 01:20:14 pm
Well the house is sold and the estate se is in progress! Things are progressing nicely!
6/28/2018 04:16:55 am
I never thought that a winter trip would be great. I don't know what came into your mind. But I am so glad to see that your trip while the snow is falling down went well. A camp during a cold season is not really common, since people are so used to going out during a hot season. But your story as well as your photos proved that you can defy everything as long as it is for your own happiness. The family surely had a great time!
6/28/2018 07:04:53 am
It was a freak April snow that surprised us but we made the most of it. Definetly a trip we won't forget!
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