Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunny Days. Frigid Nights.

The title sums up our first camping trip of the year.  Aside from a small threat of rain on Friday afternoon, the weather was beautiful - during the day.  Nights were another story.  But, let's back up a bit.

Luckily, The Husband and I both had Friday off, so we took our time doing a few last minute errands, making sure everything was set for the bunny sitter, and packing the car.  We arrived at our rather secluded (surrounded by steep hills on three sides) campsite around 4:00pm on Friday afternoon and immediately set about setting up our tent since there were some gray, ominous looking clouds in the sky and the wind was pretty gusty.  After one minor snafu, we went from this:

To this:

As soon as we got the tent up, the sun came out and the wind died down.  Go figure!

The Husband got our campfire started while I blew up our air mattress and topped it with no less than 5 layers of blankets!  We've learned that camping in cool weather requires some extra insulation and, since the temperature was predicted to be near or below freezing on both nights of our trip, we brought an arsenal of blankets and sleeping bags!

After the fire was going it was definitely time to eat. I'm not a fan of attempting to cook on a campfire, so I fired up our trusty camp stove and in no time at all, we were scarfing down burgers and beans.

If you want food styling - find a food blog!
After dinner, I wandered off to find the ladies room and discovered that the nearest one had met an unfortunate demise since our last trip up here! 

I don't know if this was caused by lightening, an uncontrolled campfire, or arson, but whatever it's definitely not good!  Fortunately there are other facilities available in the area.

When I returned to our site, I was pleased to see that you really couldn't see much from the main road.

Our tent is behind the stand of trees to the right.
And the high hills around us did a nice job of (mostly) protecting us from the wind.
The trail leads up to a seldom-used service road
Although it had been pretty pleasant out during the day, by the time we were ready for bed IT. WAS. FREEZING.  To give you an idea of how cold it was, I slept in: Under Armour pants (that I usually wear if running in freezing temps), a long-sleeved technical shirt, an Under Armour Cold Gear hoodie (with the hood up), a fleece pullover, a hat, gloves, and the thickest pair of Wigwam socks I own - and I was still cold!  Fortunately, with all those layers and all the covers around and over us, we were actually pretty cozy and warm by the time we woke up on Saturday morning.

After breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee, we set off on our mini-adventure for the day.
I wasn't kidding when I said that coffee is a food group in the Rabbits & Runs houe
We wandered down past the lake.

Over a wooden bridge.
And onto the Ice Age Trail.  We've camped in this state park over half a dozen times and never noticed that there was a trailhead there!
The Ice Age Trail is a 1,200 mile footpath that winds through the state of Wisconsin, highlighting natural features left by the last glacier to cover the state.
It's also one of only 11 trails in the country to be designated as a National Scenic Trail.  Its more famous sisters include the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail.

We hiked approximately a mile out to one of the backpack shelters, turned around, and headed back - and passed a herd of slow-moving Boy Scouts on the way!

 Once back at our campsite, we made our fire, had dinner (chicken and mashed potatoes), and settled down to read by the fire until the light faded.  By midnight, we were ready for bed, so we piled on our layers and crawled into the tent.  It was definitely cold, but not as brutal as the night before.

This morning we had breakfast, packed up all our gear, and sat around a small fire made with our remaining wood to read for a bit before heading back to reality.  It was great to unplug for a weekend (no tv, cell phones, computers), but it's also great to be home (HOT running water, indoor plumbing, etc.)!


April said...

Looks like you had a great time! And pretty free of people too. I've never heard of the Ice Age Trail. I will have to look into that!

BeringSeaJunkie said...

Lots of pretty pictures! Sounds like you had a great time, which I'm glad about... it's not too often any of us get to just take a break from the world - free of TV, internet etc!!

Hope you guys get to escape soon :)

Del said...

The place looks absolutely gorgeous! (Apart from the toilet that is, though I have seen worse!) lol

Thank you for taking so many pics, I'll be showing them to my mam too and I will try and get her to comment on her own, if she can figure out how! Beautiful place and I agree with Cez, it must have been so nice to get away from the pack at work, tv, internet etc and just spend some quality time together with no distractions.

I hope you can do it again soon too, fingers crossed xx

Megan said...

Nice weekend away with just the husband! I love camping, but we've always gone with friends, never just the two of us. Now I want to! LOL

Mary said...

We've gone with my dad and siblings twice, but never with friends!