Journal Categories
Journal Tags
« Rearing Black Swallowtails | Main | Rock climbing »

Camping, a dry run

I camped with my family when I was little and have fond memories of the experience. The Girl Scouts often got me out and about, too, and then in high school I camped several times with friends. That, however, is the extent of our camping knowledge, but we have friends who have also enjoyed camping in the past (with far more experience between them) and our sense of adventure got the better of us, so this weekend, on a day's notice, we packed up and headed over to Irish Hills to camp for one night in the state park there. The event was an unqualified success.

There was a lot of teamwork setting up tents.

And then we were hot and tired enough to have to go swimming.

Then more setting up—a fire and lanterns, water for dinner, food stuffs, yadda yadda. A one night dry run was probably a good idea, but I'm not sure I'd ever plan to camp for just one night again.

Mmmm...campfire food.

Scavenger hunt in the woods.

Roasting mallows for s'mores by the fire.

Playing card games with four year olds is a whole different animal.

Bedtime story by the fire. Thankfully Curious George is the only one who got sprayed by a skunk.

The biggest success of the trip? The Stanley Thermos we got for Christmas. We made coffee before leaving home on Saturday, around 11am, and poured into the preheated thermos. On Sunday at 7:30am the coffee was still hot enough to enjoy.

And yes, by the way, that is Calvin peaking out from behind a tent room divider. We had a three room tent for the night. This was new to me. Also new was the existence of electrical outlets (several of them) at each and every campsite, and the rampant use of them throughout the camp. Aside from the apparently popular trend of stringing your tent or RV with gaudy novelty lights (so, as my dad says, you can find your own site when you're stumbling in drunk at 3am), there was even a site with a flood light trained on an American flag all night. Camping. It's not what it used to be.

But we got a good night's sleep, and had just as many helpers the next day to take the site down.

Then we went GeoCaching.

And then we went into Irish Hills for a little amusement before heading home. Finding amusement in Irish Hills, however, is a little like visiting a graveyard for good eats. All the places Jon remembered from childhood visits were dead, though not gone.

The Prehistoric Forest—closed for about seven years(?) but listed as a creepy place to explore uninvited.

Stagecoach Stop has only been closed since 2008, but its heyday was back in the 1970s when US12 was still the main route between Detroit and Chicago, before the interstate. All this according to the creepy fat old bearded guy who was driving around the place in a golf cart. We think he used to own it and/or the hotel next door (which is still open). Either that or it's even creepier that he was buzzing around on that golf cart.

There is something photogenic about dead and dying 1970s attractions, though.

What? it is.

There's nothing quite like sitting on the feet of a giant lumberjack. Actually, according to creepy bearded guy this lumberjack used to be one of the Muffler Men.

And lunch at neon barbecue. Creepy bearded guy was here, too. Maybe he owns the whole US 12 strip in Irish Hills. Or maybe he wasn't even there at all—all that shows in the picture is his cart...

Camping. It's something we will definitely be doing again.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.