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Monday, March 22, 2010

Campground Review - Lake Ottawa - Ottawa National Forest Aug 2009

(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)

Here are the links for the information on Lake Ottawa:

Lake Ottawa campground information

Well, here we are again at our favorite campground one more time for the summer in 2009.  This time it was in August.  We took a different site, because my sister doubled up with the folks on site number 17.   This one is across from those sites, we are now camped on the lake side.

 Ottawa Lake 2009 August

Yup, the lake is kinda down the hill on a path through the trees.  Not up close like some campgrounds.  This site is the one my sister usually takes, as they can keep the boat down there moored to a tree and just walk up and down to the boat.  Sure beats launching the boat and having to load it back up at the boatlanding each time.  Plus, our guys like to walleye fish at night, so they can just pull in to where my sister leaves a lantern burning along the shoreline.

We were enjoying these two little lads who were back and forth in front of our campsites as they rode bikes, played with water toys and found lots of mischief to get into.  We didn't know who they were, but by the end of the weekend, they were our *buddies*  LOL
 Ottawa Lake 2009 August1
They said they were playing Cowboys and Indians. and those are targets on their backs!

Mom's picnic table was covered with craft stuff, because the county fair was coming up and they were making and gathering items to enter.  Mom and my sister both usually enter 50-60 items each year!  They get a big fat check from their winnings too.   Mom entered two of my handwoven towels, a knit hat and booties, and some other crafts I had done.  I let her keep the prize money, tee hee. 
 Ottawa Lake 2009 August5

Ahhh  they roped me into helping them! 
 Ottawa Lake 2009 August7
The guys are busy working on something, so we women occupy ourselves with plenty of crafts, cooking and companionship.  Seeing as I live 150 or so miles away from them, this is our only time to get together on the weekends.  Wait till you see how we canned pickles at the upcoming review for Runkle Lake!   --- gotta wait till I reach the letter R for that one, so far we are only on the O's for campground reviews.

Here is Senior's camper   (I talked about him before in other posts)  He got rid of his older Class C motorhome and treated himself to a nice new travel trailer!   Now he has a working fridge and everything else... the Class C was getting tired and things were breaking left and right.  Time for the post man to reap the rewards of his retirement... and camp in style!
Ottawa Lake 2009 August8

We all got set into our respective campsites for the weekend.... It was warm and sunny and dry

Ottawa Lake 2009 August10

Ottawa Lake 2009 August11

I think I had this on my modifications page.  But I will post it again. These are small single mantel lanterns by Coleman, and we can either screw it onto a 1 pound cylinder with a plastic foot base to keep it from tipping over, or else hang it from the awning and use a hose and a 20 pound tank.   Sure puts out a lot of light for a little portable lantern.  The big ones we used to have were so fragile, and often we would end up breaking the glass lens or the mantles too easily.  This little one is very durable and we have not changed the mantle in it for about 3 years since we bought it.  I wrap it in bubble wrap (when it's cooled off)  and store it in a plastic tupperware container for storage.  Just one of those things that make rustic camping much easier.  Remember, this campground has no electric, so that means no street lights to see by.   When it's dark is VERY dark in the  thick tree-filled woods.  Even with the moon or stars, it's very dark.  
Ottawa Lake 2009 August12

Ottawa Lake 2009 August14

My brother Butch came out for a visit, he decided to not camp this time.   So here is his newest bike.  
Ottawa Lake 2009 August16

This is my sister and her husband, Schmoo and Fuzz  (Linda and Michael)   
posing for a shot after a long day of fishing.  
Ottawa Lake 2009 August17

(psst!!  He actually didn't catch it, it was floating on top of the water dead - he later disposed of it) 
Ottawa Lake 2009 August18

This is August... sooooooo  it's that time of year for roasted sweet corn!  YUMMMMM  I can almost taste it now by looking at this next picture.    

When I was a child, our family had run a corn roast for a city-wide festival.  Nobody in our part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan had ever seen roasted corn before!   They would walk by our booth and go "ewwwww it's burnt" and walk away.   Finally when the first batch was done, Dad peeled back the husks, dipped the golden perfect ear of corn into a big coffee can of melted butter, shook on salt and handed them out to all of us kids.  We had to walk around the grounds, eating our corn and exclaiming how GOOD it was!   Folks would ask where we got that, and we would lead them back to our booth.  Heh heh  

To roast the corn, Dad took a big metal culvert - the kind for ditchs under driveways.. and cut it lengthwise in half.  Then he welded on legs to the bottom to make a long U-shaped grill to fill with charcoal briquettes.  On top for the cooking grids he used the metal racks from a bread delivery truck.  He and the crew of guys would walk back and forth, up and down the row, turning the cobs over till they were done.  Mom and the other ladies would peel them back and help folks dip into the butter (no double-dippers allowed)   and collect the money.  We children were the free advertising team!  LOL

Our corn roast booth was in high demand for every festival and civic event after that!

To make grilled sweet corn, we soak the cobs about half a day in salt water before tossing them on the grill.  When the outside is all brown and black, the inside is done perfectly!  It steams itself on the inside.
Ottawa Lake 2009 August19
Steve uses the stick to keep tapping the grill portion, to keep it slowly rotating over the fire for even cooking of the corn.   It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!   Usually there is a beer in the other hand to keep him occupied in between pushes on the grill.

Ottawa Lake 2009 August20
See, although there is a cooking grid on this type of cast iron fire ring from the National Forest, it's too low to cook over without burning your food.   So we swing it out away from the fire and use our tripod instead.

(In a past blog, I had a pic of the type of fire ring we DO like in the National Forest Campgrounds.. that make more sense to cook over, as it's adjustable....    CLICK HERE   here for that post)

Ok... once the majority of the corn is done, it's time to start the rest of the meal.  We set the corn to the side to keep it warm in the roasted husks, and then set on the "Shishes"    we made up beef/chicken/shrimp kabobs on the fire.  They were marinated ahead of time in a big dish pan, and then skewered up for the fire.

Ottawa Lake 2009 August21

Of course, my little buddy Autumn is here again!   Her grandfather, Senior, is camping with us across the road, so she can spend all weekend with us.  Otherwise she has to beg and beg her daddy to haul her out to the lake when we are up camping.   This weekend we worked on painting rocks!   Her friend, Jenney, came along for a camping sleepover.    

Ottawa Lake 2009 August24
We pick out nice round or oblong stones, and paint them to look like mice, bugs, frogs or whatever strikes our moods.  I always have bottles of craft paints and brushes in my motorhome.  This is a great rainy day project and keeps kids occupied.

(we super glue little black leather tails to the mice)

Ottawa Lake 2009 August26

As usual, when camping at this lake, some friends and family came out to visit.  Some come, some go.  But there is always someone stopping by.   Sitting around the campfire, enjoying a few beers, cooking a nice dinner.  That is what weekend relaxing is all about.  Also we take nice walks, go swimming, go fishing, work on repairs to various family's campers or vehicles and just all in all relate to each other.

And thus ends another review of a camping weekend for the Pfundtners....  

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