And the road goes on forever...

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Hideout at the Shore

October 25th to the 27th became our final camp out of the year as we headed towards Lake Michigan’s shoreline just north of Two Rivers at Point Beach State Forest. This property runs amid miles of shoreline and older growth forest and is one of WI’s most popular, staying full most weekends through October. Since we arrived before noon on a Friday there were a handful of 30-amp hookup spaces still available that hadn’t been reserved. Also, because temp’s lakeshore run a few degrees warmer and the trees were later to turn, the area was just peaking in terms of its fall color. I’m a sucker for Fall, so enjoyed this tremendously. An all-night Saturday evening rain brought an end to the peak and by the time we left Sunday, many more leaves lay on the ground.
This park is renowned for its paved trail, open to bikes and hikers, which runs all the way into Manitowoc, a distance of about 12 miles. In addition, there are many off-road trails in the park, which loop in various directions and along the shoreline. We took off on one and ended up at the kayak site camping area. These sites allow for one night’s stay for those kayakers who are traversing or traveling along Lake Michigan’s shoreline.
We hiked about 3 miles on various terrain, taking in the views, lighthouse, pond swales, fall colors and towering trees. The CCC built much of this area (and others, see last photo) during the late 1930’s and planted over 650,000 trees. It’s all very natural in appearance and lacks the plantation look that so many forests in WI express. The large building now houses a Nature Center and small restaurant. It would have been nice to hike further but I think I am developing arthritis in my right hip and it was expressing itself quite liberally for me to call a halt to what I was doing!
It was Sunday just before we left that I found Lake Michigan with the waves I had come to enjoy. It brought back the sound if not the smell, of the great Pacific, which we’ve both missed immensely. 
By the time this trip rolled around, we had made the furniture changes to the RV we were hoping to do and it provided so much more comfort! Huge dinette, gone; in its place my re-stained round table with two chairs still in need of matching stain. The hideabed and two barrel chairs also gone, and two full size recliners now reside whichever way we choose to position them, still leaving room for the kitty condo. Marc replaced all the overhead 12V lights with LED lighting which brightened up the interior considerably and also greatly reduced battery draw. We have one more LED flush mount fancier fixture to install over the dining table. We’ll also be taking the Fantastic fans from the TS to install in this trailer.
One thing we are continuing to assess is the poor performance we have right now towing with the Chevy. Marc is unsure if the trailer needs larger axles/tires or the truck needs heavier springs, etc. It is classified as an HD truck and came complete with all the tow mode paraphernalia but it continues to be a wiggle wagon and feels unsafe going down the highway, especially in winds. We are waiting for next Spring to try it out with the Freightliner to decide if that will be our permanent tow vehicle. 

Now, our attention will turn to the interior of our house, which we hope to make further progress with completing now that Marc is home for good. He’s sorting out his workshop in the basement in anticipation of many long, cold, snowy days when there’s nothing for us outdoors.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Hideout in the Woods

Our new trailer is aptly named since we are usually on the lookout for places that are less traveled by others (for the most part). That’s not always easy here in WI, which doesn’t have the vast tracts of public lands that the west encompasses, and where at least half the population owns “a camper” and are out using them every weekend. 

Thanks to my recent scouting trip however, I did find a small and at this time of year, underused county campground, perfectly rustic and empty in nature. Arriving around noon on a Friday we were one of only four campers, one of whom left shortly after we arrived. I was elated when I saw what I deemed to be the best spot for our trailer, empty. Because of the way the site sits, sideways to the lake; we were mere feet away and had a gorgeous unencumbered view out our picture windows. Even the cats enjoyed it!
We had a calm morning dawn Saturday so Marc took the opportunity to put his drone in the air so we could see just how large the lake was. Most of it lay around the corner, with us down one slender arm. It was also noteworthy to see that we were indeed, so far off in the forest, with nary a manmade structure in sight except for the power lines. We heard duck hunters off in the distance.
Weather built after that and we spent the afternoon indoors playing Mexican Train as rain descended. It was short-lived and we were able to get some calm reflective photos of the lake afterwards towards dusk.
Sunday, we pulled out after a leisurely breakfast since fog was thick and showing no signs of clearing. This proved to be the perfect spot for off-grid total relaxation and will make a good future camp for a fishing spot where we can park the boat right at our spot.