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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Campground Review – North Bay Shore County Park, Oconto County (part I )


(this is one of series of posts of various campgrounds we have been to over the years... I am going through my files in alphabetical order and posting past camping trips in my blog.... something to do over this long long winter---- sigh)


This was back in May of 2009----

Ahhhh  my Steveio abandoned me for 14 days to go on an Alaskan Cruise with his dad and brothers.   What is a Camping Girl to do all alone for 2 weeks?   Well, I tossed a bunch of my fiber toys into the motorhome, called the dogs to hop on in, and I took off by myself to go camping!   

The park I chose was not too far away, along the shoreline of the waters of the Green Bay where it joins into Lake Michigan.  

North Bayshore County Park

The park is a small one, and only 2 other campers were there.   Our favorite site is #16 as it’s far on the end of a loop and we can face out to the water with the motorhome.  The caretaker when I registered said it was just fine to do that. 

north bay shore map

One man from a fifth wheel jumped up out of his lawn chair…. and frantically rushed over as I pulled in the loop backwards, to alert me to the fact that I WAS driving in the wrong way.   I told him I knew that, but to access the site from the correct direction, I had to drive around the loop backwards.   I smiled and said I had *permission* from the caretaker when I registered.  Like I said, the campground was just about deserted and only 2 campers in the whole place.   I drove around and pulled into our favorite site, and started to get all set up. 

This self-appointed host gent decided that I was a “Little Lady” who needed his help and expertise to get all set up.   I went about my business, and he kept trying to insist that he would do my hookups, my electrical connection, my levelers etc.   Finally I told him I put over 70,000 miles on my old rig by myself, and probably another 150,000 on with husband after we married, so I was quite capable of handling this myself, thank you.    (later his wife came back from shopping and said he was lonely and bored and she apologized for him!)

 campsite 16





 view from the windshield

I had dyed up a bunch of yarn in skeins.. and needed to wind them up into balls to knit socks…   they were almost dry at home, so I took them along!

drying yarn


I got all set up on the picnic table.. in the spring sunshine.   What a lovely week of winding, knitting and just doing what I darn well felt like doing!  Of course I had the dogs along too, so we went for walks around and enjoyed the park.

outdoor yarn station

outdoor yarn station 2sock stash enhancement


Once I had all the yarns wound into balls, now it was time to start cranking socks.   I hauled out my sock machine and sat in the sunshine … what a pleasant way to spend a mini-vacation!

in the sunshine

I got a whole bunch of socks done… most of which are long gone and sold by now

 done sockswisconsin wool socks assortment


It was mostly quiet all week, with a few fishermen started rolling in for the weekend.  There was going to be a big walleye tournament on Saturday  and Sunday, so the campers and boats started rolling in about Friday.   The park was about half full. 

On Saturday, a group of nearby fishing guys invited me over for a fish fry!   I brought a dessert that I thought would be appreciated (it was!)  and enjoyed fresh caught fish.  What a nice treat!   By Monday the campground cleared out and it was all quiet again.

I stayed for two more days, but then heavy duty storm warnings were issued so I tore down camp and headed home.  My darling hubby was due home the next day anyhow, so it was time to get back to the house and pick up my messes and get ready for his homecoming!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Catching up on a couple things… addendums to past blogs


Okay…. this past weekend I posted about Steveio cutting down a big rotting tree.  Seems Mr. Woodpecker wasn’t too happy about Steve removing his favorite pecking tree…. so he came to check out our suet block on the back deck!


now that you cut down my tree2  now that you cut down my tree1

This guy is just HUGE!  He takes up almost half the height of our deck railing to the ground.   They are normally a very shy bird according to my bird book, and rarely come to a feeder or around houses.   So I managed just a few shots before he flew off.  Guess the suet block isn’t as good as the tree full of bugs!


Let’s see… next item

The table loom that Steveio was restoring for me,  now it’s all warped up, tensioned off and ready to weave!

          (winding on the warp)                                                       (ready to weave)

warping up ready to weave

Some weaving folks don’t like the whole process that is necessary to get the loom ready to weave.. but I do.  Each time I touch the fibers, measure the strings, plan the project, it is all a labor of love for me.  The FUN part is the weaving… but the warping is the WORK.   Let’s just say:  “I enjoy going to work”    LOL


Last night Steveio left for his union meeting about 5:30pm   it was snowing lightly when he left.  WOWZER by the time he came home at 9pm, it was about 10-12 inches of fresh new snow!    I kept the lights on out on the deck just to watch the snow coming down. 

snow 20109  snow 20108

I snapped these last night about half way through the storm

snow 20102


Now this morning, it’s starting to blow around… the winds are picking up and making a real mess of what Steveio already snowblowed outta the driveway and sidewalk.   I snapped these shots before the winds blew it around too much…  The poor  birds are digging around in the snow trying to find the seeds underneath!


snow 201019 snow 201016

snow 201017 snow 201018

Today my little Chelsea princess will be here, and perhaps I will weave a bit during her naps.  I think its bread baking day too (in the bread machine)    Life is good!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Campground Review- on the Shores of Lake Superior at Marquette Michigan

(this is one of series of posts of various campgrounds we have been to over the years... I am going through my files in alphabetical order and posting past camping trips in my blog.... something to do over this long long winter---- sigh)

This camping weekend from three years ago was while I was attending a weaving conference in Marquette, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  We camped at the city park, called Tourist Park.  It wasn't too scenic, but it was convenient.   We took a scooter ride up to Presque Isle Park too...  and hung out at the beaches.  
Tourist Campground                 Presque Isle

Steve's reenactment of Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway...

Some beach scenes... it wasn't too warm, but we enjoyed the solitude of the beaches.  
There wasn't anyone else around, so we had the entire park to ourselves.   

One side of the island is all sandy and calm, and the other side is all rocky and rugged.

This photo taken from right over his shoulder while zooming down the road on the scooter

The dogs waited for us back at the camper... they just don't fit on the scooter! 

This was back when we still had the Coachmen, our 28 ft gasser motorhome.  

One side of the tourist park was a huge lake.. but then due to some reconfiguring with the dams and spillways, they lost all their waterfront shoreline at the campground!  This sunset WOULD have been over the riverfront where it made a nice small lake alongside the campground.   


Monday, February 22, 2010

Campground Review - Morgan Park at Timms Lake, Marinette County Park

(this is one of series of posts of various campgrounds we have been to over the years... I am going through my files in alphabetical order and posting past camping trips in my blog.... something to do over this long long upcoming winter---- sigh)

This place is at Timms Lake, in the northern area of Wisconsin, almost to the Michigan border.  The nearest town is Niagara, WI .   The park is called Morgan Park, and it is part of the Marinette County Park system.


We camped here in October of 2009, and got such a nice site... only $15 a night and in a very nice location in the park.

The colors are starting to turn... fall is here! 

Our neighbors were setting up for a huge pig roast... but thankfully not at their campsite.  Instead they had rented the pretty log building down near the lakeshore for their annual family reunion party... they kept the noise down there.. and as it turned out, most of the campers in the park WERE for their party.. so the campground was almost deserted of people all day Saturday and well into the night.  They were all down at the building by the lake.   How nice for us! 

Of course I brought along the table loom and got in some outdoor weaving!   

And Steveio got in some outdoor relaxing...... 

Our campsite was surrounded by green shrubs and trees in all directions... and there was a nice border of timbers kinda making it a *deck* edging for our area.... 

Winding gravel roads led down to a trail....   time for a nice walk in the woods! 

We walked and walked a long time on the path to an overlook ...

THAT is our campground... wayyyy over there on the other side of the lake!  

Ducky gets a bit of the "Lassie Thing" going on inside when she gets to climb up on big rocks... makes her pretend she is her movie idol! 

Still some green here and there.. but the ferns are starting to turn yellow...

Someone thinks she is Top Dog here ... leading us down the trails...

After a peaceful night of quiet camping... .early the next morning we awoke to sunshine and misty fog burning off... So with coffee cups in hand, we took a nice morning walk

And of course the doggers had to go along too.... 

It was so quiet and relaxing....   we thought that the party-ers from the family reunion would be sleeping in late after their big doings... but no, they got up early and went back to the log building to clean it all up.  Everyone bugged out fast and we were left in a nearly empty campground again.   Sure didn't feel like going home, but alas and alack, it was Sunday.. and you know what that means..... tomorrow is Monday! 


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Restoring a table loom and warping it up to weave

Another weekend project was working on this table loom I got a while back
Steveio is using some of Chris Gustin's lovely product called Howards Feed n Wax.  She sells it in her shop in Indiana called  The Homestead Weaver Studio
This is an 8 harness table that is about 70 years old.... boy oh boy does that do a HUGE difference!  Just look at it .. wowzer....
(BEFORE- with wood all dried out and rugged looking)
WPA 8 harness loom BEFORE3

(AFTER- once it all soaked in nicely)
WPA 8 harness loom AFTER0

WPA loom6 WPA loom8

WPA loom10_1

It’s a nice loom with newly added texsolve heddles on all 8 harnesses.   The table loom is  from the WPA – Works Project Administration, built during the late 1930’s to the early 1940’s.    I had a floor loom from the same maker years ago too....   The WPA was a government program back during the depression... The government had a division for the Federal Arts Program for teaching new skills and getting men back in the labor force.  They learned a trade by either making looms or weaving on them.  Some of the WPA looms were used to weave fabrics for drapes and upholstery to decorate the huge lodges in the national parks... This one came from a Joeseph Schant, and was made in Oshkosh, Wi.
Stamped on the crosspiece of the loom.      See the intricate workings for 8 harnesses?
 the maker of the loom project no 6943close up of the top

Next I wound a warp for it for some towels.. I need to run each strand of yarn around and around and back again to make long evenly tensioned threads all the same length.  This cotton yarn is for towels and is 216 threads wide.  After winding, I cut off the big sections of wound threads and put them neatly and evenly on the loom.  *Dress* the loom is the term.   Then I will thread and beam it up tomorrow... 
winding towel warp0winding towel warp1
Will weave a few towels on it to see if i like the loom enough to keep it first.. Otherwise I will sell on Ebay or to someone at a weaving workshop in the future.