First Camping Trip!

Last night we returned from our first family camping trip. Last Friday morning, we left to go to Dub-Dub, aka WW, aka Warriors and Warlords, an SCA event taking place in Cadott, WI. It was held at the same place that Country Fest or Rock Fest occur. This is the first year that WW has used this location (there was a problem with the site they had formerly used).

This was also the first time Shane or I had been to WW, so neither of us can compare this site to the former site, but I can tell you this site was huge and we only used maybe a quarter of the space available. And while it did mean a fair deal of walking to get from one area to another, in general it wasn’t too bad. There was a lot going on, and Shane and I managed to get to what was most important to us. We also volunteered to assist at Info Point.

I found this to be a good way get an idea of what was occurring, meet people, and garb watch. Garb watch? you ask. Well I was watching to see what others were wearing as garb, to give me ideas of what may beat the heat, be comfortable to wear, look good, etc. I now have plans for a bit more summer suitable garb. I have also received opinions from others that linen is a cooler fabric to wear than cotton and would like to try it for myself. As for one other tidbit I’ve personally gleaned … cotton canvas “wicks” heat away. I first learned this from using a butterfly chair with cotton canvas and after a while always ended up cold wherever it was near my body (even through other clothing). I really think I may have to give that a try when making fitted garb and see if that keeps one cooler as well.

I think Allyssa handled the heat better than mommy did. From what I can find online Friday the temperature was 86° but that certainly doesn’t take heat index into account. I can tell you it felt a lot warmer than 86°. Then on Saturday it shows 94° although, when I was in the chirurgeon building for about 20 minutes on Saturday, I overheard someone saying the heat index was 114°. That I can most certainly believe, I know it felt hot enough to melt. I should mention that the chirurgeon building had A/C and daddy was in there for about 30 minutes or so with Allyssa before I went in there to feed her.

I should also mention this was my first camping trip in a very long time. The last time I went camping in a vehicle/camper was when I was 10 and went on a trip to Canada with my aunt, uncle, and cousin. The only time I ever went camping in a tent was somewhere between ’90 and ’92. As you can see, I am not much of a camper, and my idea of what to do at a camping event is find the nearest hotel. On the other hand, Shane has been camping many times, including living at a campground for a summer or two.

So we ended up camping at the event, I really must say that the shade flies, (pop-up canopies) we purchased earlier in the month really came in handy. This particular site does not have shade. It does have a few buildings, and one with A/C but no other shade to be found.

We slept in the van, which has a very useful queen size bed, and Allyssa slept in the bassinet. We had purchased a large 50 gallon cooler to bring food in so we were covered there. Shane doesn’t believe in brats, dogs, or burgers for camping. Instead while we were camping we had Portabella mushrooms with Roquefort cheese and shrimp with ginger and paprika on Friday night. Then on Saturday night we had bbq ribs.

Except for the extreme heat, camping wasn’t bad as I recalled. The second night was actually warmer and a bit more humid than the first and therefore not as comfortable sleeping but all in all not too bad.

After breaking camp on Sunday, we planned to hit several state parks on our way home. On Sunday we visited Brunet Island State Park, Chippewa Moraine Ice Age State Recreational Area, and Wissota State Park. We ended up staying the night at Interstate State Park, which is the oldest state park in Wisconsin. It was especially nice after it cooled down due to a storm that passed through in that area.

Interstate State Park was a beautiful park to camp at. We actually stayed at a site which was close to the showers/flushies and had a river view. We were a bit concerned that we might be disturbed by semis going down the hill because of the grade and then a sharp turn at the bottom, but they didn’t wake us during the night. I must also say I really enjoyed the campfire we had. It was very relaxing to take some time to read a book, and just enjoy the fire and river view. And the Burgundy Pepper sirloin steaks we had brought with us were absolutely wonderful when grilled over the wood fire.

It was around 2 pm before we were finally left the St. Croix Falls area. After which, we stopped at Willow River, Kinnickinnic, and Merrick State Parks. It was actually the second time we have been to Merrick as it is only about 40 minutes away, but last time we didn’t get anything stamped from them and now we have a park map with their stamp on it to add the State Park book we are compiling.

We don’t have any digital pictures of our camping trip, because we forgot the digital camera at home. We did pick up a couple of disposable cameras though so we do have pictures which we will need to have developed and perhaps we’ll post some of the pictures then.

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