´¯`•. August 22, 2016

Camping Review


IMG_5887 (444x333)Setting up our new camper!

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After setting up, we went for a sunset swim with the inflatable boat.
(We have two, the other has a leak we’ve got to fix, yet.)

IMG_5824 (333x444)Sunsets at the lake are one of my favorite things to photograph.


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Whilst on a bike ride, the boys find tiny toads.

IMG_5831 (407x444)We had to make a trip to the County Seat to register the camper.  I’m not on the title (grrrrr), so it was a 45 minute wait for nothing.  But we did get fake flowers at the dollar store to gussy up our camp.  The kids gathered stones for me, and helped to arrange the flowers.  We’ve since moved them OUT of the *GLASS!* vase, and into a plastic container, so I feel much better about it!

IMG_5839 (377x444)Afternoon project for school.  Mostly it was just for fun.  Pretty!
Barely got it done in time for the rains to begin, again.

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The game cupboard.  For when it rains. (And otherwise!)

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We also sprawl and read…

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And of course we bring out the computers, with us.


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The sun out, we bike past flooded areas to Stony Beach for a swim.

IMG_5851 (444x235)A group of older women hobbled up for a picnic.
I half wish they wore red and purple.
Whatever happened to the Red Hat lady movement, anyhow?

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Looking for stones at Stony Beach.  It’s named so because the first 15 feet or so are rocks, before you get out to the sandy bottom to swim.  Most people don’t like this beach for that very reason.  My kids LOVE searching for special stones, and utilize them in castle-building.

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Lake Blue Cheese.  I don’t know why, but they always dig one.

We had to go go Allendale, after lunch, and we found our next hike and checked it out… but because it was SO wet, we sadly had to leave it for another day.  Instead we went to Goodwill and got a camper coffeemaker.  Isaac busted the carafe of my last one, and it was specialized, so I needed a whole new unit.  I overshot the turn-in, so we had a little ‘hike’ to the store from a playground.  That was kind of fun, too!  And the lady at the check-out had lots of recommendations for places to hike/swim in Ottawa.

IMG_5885 (444x333)That night was a campfire night, as we were going to make supper on it.  The kids LOVE to burn the tips of long sticks.  But with the torrential rains from Sunday night, it took a while to get our fire going… and the sticks were stubborn!

IMG_5889 (333x250)Foil packet suppers.  I’m experimenting, again…!

IMG_5890 (333x250)Mater was camping for the night near us!

IMG_5892 (444x269)Kind of an ominous sunset, that night.
Pretty, but portending more rains.

IMG_5899 (333x242)Isaac and I play with the sun, a little

IMG_5901 (333x444)Our camper was leaking.  (More like water pouring in.)  Brian pulled apart the A/C, which is where the water was coming in, and the parts inside were hanging on completely loosened screws!  Tightening them helped a lot, but there’s still a bad seal at the roof we have to deal with…


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The next morning the kids got out our play box and did lawn games…

IMG_5918 (444x333)  … their style.  They also attended a Junior Ranger event by themselves.
(They were cranky I didn’t go, but it’s for kids,
and they don’t need me all the time.)

  We went home for a while to regroup and get showers, and we had a quiet night
of bike riding, supper, and playing cards with snacks.


We had to go home early, but
were back out to do some sketching by the waterfront.

IMG_5925 (444x326)Theme: At the Beach

We had three visitors over the course of our camping.  First, my mom’s cousin Sharm (she and her sister’s families are out at the lake all summer) came to see our new camper.  She’s looking at getting something different, soon, too… and was interested in what we’d bought.  Then Thursday my cousin’s wife – Rebecca – was out at the lake and driving around, and she didn’t know we were there until she saw us.  She pulled in and had a look around our new trailer, too.  Then my BFF had a family reunion/party up north, and asked if her daughter could borrow Lydia on Saturday so that her girl would have someone to be with (no other kids her age at the party).  So she got to see our camper, too!

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The full sturgeon moon over our campfire!  Gorgeous!!


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Critter tending and our home trip was early,
so we could get back out for the junior ranger event: Clouds!

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Things were dry enough for us to take our ‘adopted’ trail hike.  We clean this trail once a month for the summer, as a part  of our ‘Leave No Trace’ badge-work.  We actually ended up taking the trail twice, because the SD card to my camera got left in the computer at camp!  Besides, it’s a rather short hike, and we like it so much back in the trees.  It really wasn’t a big deal.  Plus they had fun trying to find exactly the things I’d attempted to photograph the first time with no SD card!

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Always something new to see or discover… or photograph!

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And we came out with more litter than we expected to!

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We went to the beach that night to do our annual sand sculpting,
but the boys were too wound up and busy running!
Lydia and I got ours done, at least.


Lydia got up with Brian and went to work with him.  It’s only three or so blocks from my BFF’s house, so that made it easier for them to pick her up.  It meant an EARLY morning for her, though!  And of course the boys were immediately out of sorts, with someone missing from our crew.

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So I took them to an empty paved lot, and we did chalk art.  The camp hosts (new people – we met them at the cloud event, when I helped the man move another picnic table over for the unexpectedly large turn-out) came over and we talked like we’d been friends for ages.  The irony of it?  He’s ex-military.  Another TCK person, that I *instantly* click with.  Isn’t that crazy?!  We had a good time talking, though.  And the boys had wanted to do chalk.  It was good timing, because there was rain on the way – in a BIG way.

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Did you hear about the five tornadoes that touched down in West Michigan?  They missed us, but the accompanying rains did NOT!!!  We were absolutely floating!!  Our shabbat lunch was completely washed out.

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During a lull, we took a bike ride to assess the damage.  The lots were completely underwater, with children ‘swimming’ in them, floating boat toys in them.  This isn’t actually as unusual as it sounds.  The idiots that paved the campground built the roads UP, so that the lots are where the water all flows into.  It floods all. the. time.

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This is a parking lot.  It shows how much flooding we got!

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Even the moonshine was cloudy!


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The beach was damp, but that makes for THE best sculpting.  So we took the boys out to do their projects supervised (and with some parental help).  This went much better.

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While we were there, a plane landed!

Then it was time to pack up, and go home.  Which was followed by unpacking, mowing lawn, weed whacking, trimming trees by the road and over near the camper, Brian working on side jobs, and some yard play.  But man…!  What a busy week!

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