Whenever I tell people that I love to camp they look at me strangely and say “you don’t look like the camping type”. Then they ask “Do you have an RV?” to which I reply “No, we sleep in a tent!” At that point my credibility is suspect. No matter. My happy memories are amazing.
We have a tradition of doing a two-week family vacation in August. When we started, we went camping. We went to a place called “Spikehorn” which has now been returned to the DNR. Each family had its’ own site (usually 3 sites total) as adjacent to each other as possible. There was a garage outfitted with Ping Pong and puzzles and board games in case of rainy days. Nice days included bike riding, hiking, the lighthouse down the road, and of course the water views of Lake Michigan. It was the Malibu in my Pineapple. We’d bring our dogs, our books and leave all stress and responsibility behind….aaahhhh.
My husband has an addiction to LL Bean so we had the 3 pod LL Bean tent, one pod for our son, one pod for us, and the center pod for clothes and the dogs. (To tease him my sister put “CC Carrot” on her big orange tent just to keep up.)
We cried when Spikehorn closed. It brought an end to sending the “interesting” owner a Christmas card to butter him up and making the critical New Years Day call to secure our sites for the coming summer.
We moved on to Peninsula State Park. It took multiple computers, amazing timing and my sister’s steadfast supervision to acquire 2 lakeside campsites adjacent to each other for the right 14 days in August. Stress? You bet! And it all paid off.
When you say “tent camping” people say “eeewwww.” They’ve never seen our campsites. Tents set in picturesque locations overseeing the water, a centrally located fire circle for cooking, singing and drinking, multiple picnic tables placed end to end covered by a 22 foot canopy. At the end of the tables stood our “kitchen” which consisted of a sink, a propane stove, a prep area including spices, knives and cooking tools and any creature comforts needed to make amazing meals. The kitchen also included a complete set of metal dishes, pots and pans and color coordinated silverware. We incorporated this with Sandy’s original green box which was complete in it’s own right, just a bit heavy (80 pounds minimum) for the weaklings in our group.
We used to put all of our food in one tent so that the raccoons and heaven forbid bears would go somewhere other than in our sleeping tents looking for treats. One night we all returned late and tired. We put our white Styrofoam boxes on the picnic tables which were closest to my tent. In the middle of the night I heard the most gosh awful sounds…squeeking, fighting animals and screams. I peeked out of my tent to see our picnic table covered with raccoons. They were fighting over our left overs and eating everything we had left out. The next morning when we crept out of our tents we cracked up…Among the pieces of white boxes were spears of green. Everything else was gone. It was this trip we learned that Raccoons don’t eat dill pickles.