Posted by: thewhimsicalbee | May 24, 2010

Life: A camping we will go…

First camping trip of the season was this past weekend!

Last year Hubby and a couple friends bought some property up north, about a 2 or so hour drive. Then Hubby found a 1968 Concorde camper trailer. After much cleaning and some remodeling, we deemed it habitable. It is actually a pretty nice and roomy trailer. The toilet is porcelain (unheard of in most campers) and I am just glad that it works. No going out in the woods for me.

We leave it up there year-round. Weekend before last, Hubby and friends went to clear off more of the property. One of his friends had bought a new-to-him camper and it was bigger than his old one and needed more room to park it. I had a breast-feeding class, so Hubby was on his own to clean up the trailer and prep it for us using it this past weekend. Well, he had quite the surprise: A squirrel had decided to move in for a while. He ate quite a bit of the foam cushions we left in there (maybe this fall we will bring them home!) and scratched them up as well. (I cannot believe the amount of foam that squirrel ingested.) And the squirrel was still there when Hubby opened up the camper. No longer a member of the living, but still there. Apparently one of his nails/claws got caught in some trim and he could not get loose, though he did try to gnaw off some of the trim. And then he must have “expired” at some point, still dangling from his one claw. So glad that I was not there for that nasty scene (because Mr. Squirrel also went to the bathroom on just about every surface too), and it most likely would not have been healthy for me to breathe in the icky smells.

Friday night we arrived up north later than we planned. About a half-hour into the trip, we had to pull over on the side of the highway to tighten the straps on our new kayak, as it about slid off the car. Then we had to stop at Home Depot so Hubby could purchase some ratchet straps to better secure it. The couple that was following us up there needed some life jackets, so then we stopped at Walmart. This other couple was tent camping, so we wanted them to have *some* daylight left for set-up. Our final stop before reaching our property was at a grocery store for ice and coffee.

Unfortunately, it started to sprinkle immediately after we pulled in. Two other couples  were already there, with their campers all set-up. And the tent couple had to set-up in the rain. It could have been worse. We told them they could use our dinette bed if they got wet, but all went well.

On Saturday we met up with one more couple to go kayaking. I was going to use our new, sit-upon kayak. It is made by Pelican and is actually pretty comfy to use. Someone did lend me a seat cushion to use (but at at the end of the day, it was not making much difference). I was concerned about tipping over (which I did twice on last year’s trip), and Hubby thought this style would be easier for me to tip the water out of and get back on. Well, I did not tip! Three other guys did (one multiple times!), and unfortunately the radio was a casualty of the Pine River. It still was not working yesterday morning. Once again, an alleged three-hour trip turned into a five-hour trip. I think part of this was waiting for others to catch up, and we did take a few breaks (eat some snacks, potty breaks) along the way as well.

One difference of kayaking on the Pine River that we did not deal with as much on the Pere Marquette was the amount of private property. Two hours worth of the river trip was privately owned. Well, being in my eighth month of pregnancy, it was impossible to NOT stop for potty breaks. On our first stop, we were met by a guy on a four-wheeler telling us that we were on private property and needed to leave. The sign that read “KEEP OUT” was about 20 feet from the river, so we thought that was where the property started. Wrong. If you were on land, you were trespassing, according to Mr. Four-Wheeler. We do not know if this guy owned a majority of the property on the river, or was the “neighborhood watch dog,” but it creeped me out to occasionally hear the sound of a four-wheeler in the woods. Especially when I was by myself, either because I was catching up to part of the group or I was ahead. Deliverance, anyone?! “Dueling Banjos” kept going through my head…We did glimpse the same guy later, much farther down the river. Guess he spends his weekends patrolling his property.

All in all, it was a beautiful day to be on the river. We had a great time and no one was seriously injured. Just the one guy that tipped multiple times banged his shins a bit. I felt good that night, but Sunday morning I was so sore. You do not realize how many muscles you use to kayak until the next day!

What a fun, yet too short, weekend. : o )



  1. […] that was great time, and it was just enough for us. (Much better than five hours! See previous post for details.) About when I was going to ask “How much further?” we were done. Little […]

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