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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Camping - Bagley Rapids - Nicolet National Forest in NE Wisconsin

(this post is made by a solar powered computer!)

Here we are at Bagley's Rapids... a mere 45 miles northwest of our home, on the same Oconto River!  If we put in here on a rubber raft, we could possibly float all the way to our house, portaging over a couple dams and slogging through a couple sloughs.

The sites are really far apart compared to how they look on this map below.  We can not see the neighboring sites, as it is thick underbrush and tall trees separating each site.

We pulled in Friday afternoon in the rainy drizzley weather, but the tv promised to be in the high 70's on Saturday and high 80's on Sunday!  We will see... we will see....

We have not come here for years, because during the summer months, most every site is occupied early and it's hard to find one big enough for us to fit on anyhow when the pickings are slim.   We can fit on about half of the 30 sites here.   Many of the sites just have a short parking area and then a tent pad up a hill or placed further away.    Also this park has a penchant for huge boulders placed at the ends of each parking area to prevent folks from pulling too far into the site.  This can cause havoc on bumpers and undercarriages if one it not too careful in backing up. 

Steveio was feeling a bit drowsy and icky when we got here, so once we backed into our site, (with me outside guiding him)  then we just turned off the engine, and crawled into bed for a nice long afternoon nap!   That is what we like about motorhomes, no unhitching, leveling, pulling ahead tow vehicle, and crawling back into an unheated trailer (we used to do that with our travel trailer so we know whereof we speak)    With the motorhome we can pull in, turn off and stay inside cozy and warm outta the rain.  

Later we did put blocks under each of the leveling jacks and hit the button to add a bit of stability, though the site is nice and level to begin with.  We can hit our levelers with controls either up on the front dash area, or in a compartment outside near the back of the rig.  So even leveling is something we can do from inside when it's pouring rain if need be.  But we do like the put bigger blocks under each leveler foot, as a larger footprint seems to hold more stable and less likely to mush in the soft ground and become unstable again.

After a good long nap, we woke up and saw it was still raining.  So we took the Easy Bake Oven (really a Coleman Instastart oven) inside the kitchen, set it up and baked two big chicken pot pies for supper.  (from Aldi's -- our favorite)  

After an evening of some tv, some computering and some looking at freebie papers and magazines, we noticed the rain had stopped.   So we hooked up the doggers and took a walk around the campground.   There are about 6 tenters here and 2 trailers and us.   Nice and quiet, considering there are 30 sites.  They are well-spaced apart and we can barely see our neighbors to the east. 

We came back with two sets of wet and slightly dirty dogger paws... so we wiped them down a bit with a towel and put them directly into the bathroom area with the door closed till they dry off.  Another nice feature of having the side entry door in a motorhome instead of the front entry like most diesel rigs.  We are not traipsing through the living area to get to the kitchen and bathroom each time, over the carpeting and past the fabric furniture.  With our rig, as you come in the side door, you are either directly ahead into the kitchen, or left into the bathroom or further right into the livingarea.  Our last gasser rig was like this too, and I think it would be a deal breaker on any future rig, having a side entry door.

About an hour before dark, we saw a pickup truck drive around slowly, looking at sites.  They made three laps and finally backed into the site next to us to the west.  We can only see the truck, but not the tenting area pad which is located up on a hill, overlooking the rapids.  Out of the truck tumbled three little girls!  all in skirts! ewww we were thinking of the skeeters, but didn't have many bothering us on our walk, so I guess they were ok.   

We turned in early and dreamt of the weekend once it warms up and dries up around here.  The rapids on the river is right behind our campsite, and there is a split rail fence to help prevent someone from walking along in the dark and falling down the steep bank to the river below. 

Now it's Saturday morning.  I woke up early at 5:30 and started the coffee.  We use the Coleman drip coffeemaker on the stove in the motorhome.  Sure beats firing up the generator this early to make drip coffee...    we would never do that to our neighbors, especially the ones in tents!  

Once the coffee is done, I transfer it into a metal thermal carafe to keep it warm throughout the morning and for a sleepy Steveio once he gets up. 

The ATandT aircard is barely making a hookup connection here, so I am having a hard time replying to any blogs.  It seems to let me see them, sometimes taking longer to get the photos in place on each one I open, but most of the text shows up.  I can scan back later to see the photos as they appear.   I might not be able to post this blog I am writing until I get back home, so saving it on LiveWriter till I have it complete.

About 6 am the doggers decided they needed to get out and do their thing....  so I got outta my jammies and pull on some sweats and tennies.  It's up to almost 60 already out there, and drying up.  The sky is still cloudy, but promised sunshine later and warmer temps are on the way.   We snooped around a bit and then came back into the rig to find Steveio STILL snoozing.  We were as quiet as we can be, so he can get the rest he needs when he feels so ill. 

I sipped coffee, read blogs, and decided to break into a pack of donuts I bought at walmart yesterday.    Maybe tomorrow I will bake muffins, but today seems to be a Donut Day.   Shared one with the doggers too.  They were happy.

About 8 am dear Steveio started coming to life!  He said he felt good and the rest did him wonders.  We made the bed together, but usually we have a rule that the last one out has to make it.  It's not so easy getting around the king-sized bed, but if two people are making it one from each side it goes much better.   He sat up and had coffee with me, and also partook of a donut.  Ummm good decision!   But then we filled our cereal bowls, his with his heart healthy oat cereal and mine with banana nut granola.  Such a pair, huh?
I think after breakfast here, I am going to set up my sock machine and do a little cranking.  Got some orders to work on and I can't think of what a nicer thing to do but work but to work on them in such pretty surroundings!

While I cranked socks, Steve did some pretty serious contemplating about the inside of his eyelids....  
(he works so hard all week, he deserves this!)

Our solar panels are charging up the four golf cart batteries already this morning and it’s still overcast and dreary.  We were only down to 86% this morning from all yesterday afternoon and evening use.  Not too bad!   Will be fully recharged I suppose before noon.  Even with all these trees!!

A nice walk along the riverbanks led us past the rapids and down to a small waterfalls.   What a nice quiet area to sit on the rocks and think and let the afternoon pass by.

Saturday evening we cooked out chicken breasts and corn on the cob out on Steveio's newest grill.  Some day I will do a blog post of ALL the grills Steveio owns, he is a collector!

 While he did the grilling , I was cranking socks and the dogs were laying so nice and quiet, as usual.  We do not tolerate any barking from them in a campground, so it's flyswatter patrol to whap em on the nose if they deem to bark at passersby.

So after we cooked, we decided to take a little walk.  We took the trash along with us to the recycling area and once we were done with that, we went around the rest of the loop, taking note of which sites are the best suited for our rig for future reference.  Suddenly the skies opened up and we got rained on all the way back to the campsite!  The weatherman didn't predict this at all!  Where was our nice sunset? Where was our campfire?    We rushed  back to the site, and my sock machine, the lawn chairs and even the MP3 player were all wet!   Dashing around to bring things in and dry them off, including 2 wet dogggies brought into the bathroom too.

So instead of a campfire, we played a few rousing games of Yahtzee and I won 2, we tied one, and he won one.  (I let him win so he didn't feel so bad)   The rain was not letting up, we turned on the tv and watched a movie instead of our campfire.  Sigh.

Sunday morning dawned sunshiney and bright, and I got out and did some walking around and snapping pics. The woods are full of these wild flowers, called trilliums, and you can smell in the early morning dampness.

Our friends, Sharon and Fred were coming up to meet us for breakfast at the Chute Inn restaurant, a.k.a. Little Blue Restaurant (nicknamed that by our kids when they were younger).  We hopped on the scooter, getting over there about 10 minutes before they did,  and saved a table till they got there.  After a nice filling breakfast, we went back to the campsite to gab and enjoy the outdoors for a while.  We are making plans for future trips and vacations.  They are retired, we aren't - yet!

Sharon and Fred are fellow camping buddies with their fifth wheel....  and we enjoy going with them and their dog, Brandie.

By mid-afternoon, it was getting so hot out, about 92 and humid, that we finally all went inside the rig to escape the heat.   Finally later Steveio fired up the generator and we started the front AC unit up to cool the rig off.  It sure is nice to have that as an alternative, and the other travel trailer in the park was also running a generator and their AC for the afternoon.  Our neighbors to the west were packed up and gone, and the neighbors to the east still had their tents up, but their cars were gone too.  So we didn't feel too bad about using the generator in the middle of the day.

Once Sharon and Fred left, we loaded up and headed home again.  Keeping the front of the rig cool with the dash air, we drove as far as Oconto Falls where we made a pit stop for some groceries.  Steveio again fired up the generator as he waited in the parking lot, while I ran in for a cartfull of stuff.  Imainge buying tubs of sherbet on a hot humid summer day?  And going right into the parking lot to unload them directly into the freezer!  Now how cool is that???


  1. Looks like you guys had a nice and relaxing weekend camping. The weather in WI is warmer than in CA right now. I like your easy bake oven, and if we start to do any boondooking that is something I would seriously look at. Great post and nice review of the campground.

  2. I'm impressed with all the gadgets and devices you guys carry. Makes for some real comfortable camping. But where do you keep it all? ;c)

  3. Well I don't know about you all but I feel totally rested and peaceful just reading about your weekend. It certainly sounds like a wonderful camping weekend. :)
    I also appreciate your tips on the Coleman products for drycamping.
    What brand loungers do you all have? They look very nice and comfortable. Ours are getting older and will need to replace soon.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful restful weekend with us. :)

    Mike & Gerri

  4. Paul and Marti.. that is an easy one to answer. Look at this post on April 7, 2010...

    (or copy and paste this link)

    We have a place for everything and are still below our CCC, cargo carrying capacity. The diesel rigs can carry a lot more on their heavier frames than the gas engine rigs on lighter frames.

  5. I enjoyed reading about your camping weekend!! I will have to ck out that oven.
    Sorry the weather was so lousy! I hope nothing ruined that got wet.

    Cindy and Walker

  6. Mike and Gerri, we got them about three years ago at the Shopko chain of stores in the midwest. They are called The Ultimate Relaxer Recliner. I just googled the name to see if they were still made, and I found a whole mess of links for them.

    We once bought a cheaper version at Ace hardware for our folks for a present, but they are not as nice as these are.

    I am sure you can find them by the brand name.

  7. What a nice weekend, even with a little rain you guys stil look like you made the best of it, Keep the blogs and camping pictures coming, Rigg's will be going on his first campout out this weekend . Sam is going to put either a guard or plexiglass over the bottom panel of the screen door so he doesn't push the screen out. Like our German Shepherd did when Donna forgot and picked up the fly swatter, to swat a fly, you guessed it our big brave police dog went through the screen getting away from what she thought was Mom on a swatting mission. Glad you had a good weekend Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  8. Yep, sure know what you mean by the convenience of a motorhome over the trailer types. We would never go back to towing a trailer of any kind again. Looks like a nice quiet spot you had there for the week-end. For us that is priority one.

  9. That looks like a beautiful campground, that is just the kind Kevin and I look for if we want a campground. A lot of people don't like this because the trees interfer with satallite dishes for TV and internet. We love it for privacy and solitude.

    Kevin and I both love Yahtzee, we generally have a game while we are eating our supper each day.

    Glad everyone had a great weekend, dogs included. Too bad about that rain though.

    Kevin and Ruth

  10. That is a lot of dog to share a bed with! I thought our kitties took up a lot of room :)

    That grill looks like the one we just bought....what does Steve the grill expert think of it?


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