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Sunday, October 3, 2010

CAMPING - PHOTOS ADDED NOW - West Bass Lake county campground in Florence Co, WI

(when I posted this blog yesterday, I was not able to add the photos...
I was limping along on a weak aircard signal--- 
so I am reposting it now today with the photos in place) 

FRIDAY -   We are trying out a campground that is new to us... It's a county park called West Bass Lake Campground in Florence county of northern Wisconsin.    We found it on a map a while back, but never came here before.  Steve was done with work by noon, so we hit the road by 1pm.  This was 85 miles from home and we sure enjoyed the colors on the way up.

When we turned down the last road to get to the park, we saw a sign for Homestead Township park, but it was on Bass Lake, not WEST Bass Lake, and only had 2 sites.  Wayyy too difficult for us to get into or out of.  We knew the website said it was a much larger park, so we unhooked the toad from the motorhome while up on the road, and I drove ahead and scouted it out.   Having the portable handheld CB in the toad, I could call back to Steve and tell him to come ahead once I found the bigger county park.

We had our choice of 28 of the 29 sites here... there is only one other camping trailer up near the pit toilets.  And they are gone hunting. We are down along the lakeshore, with the nose of the rig looking out to the water.  What a nice site, among all the yellow and gold and orange leaves.  It is peak of the color season for the leaf peeping.

It was drizzly rain as we were getting set up in our site, a far change from the sunshine and blue skies we left back in Oconto, 85 miles away. The rains started coming down harder, but we were inside and dry and we cranked up the heat.

Poor Steveio had been up since 2:30 am the night before as he had to be up and at work by 4 am for testing fire alarms at the university.  Once a month all of the fire alarms must be tested in every building on campus, and can not be done while students, faculty and classes are present.  Soooo the facilites management crew has to rotate schedules  and do the testing.  Steve ends up doing it 4 times a year.  That also means he is done with work by noon.  Soooo it had been a very very long day for him on Friday.  Best thing to do now?  Curl up and take a nice nap with the rain doing a pitterpat dance on the rooftop!

I let him sleep till 530pm and figured he better wake up soon or he would be sleeping through the whole evening, and be up all night!   Then I got a good idea.  I knew nearby in the town of Florence was a great restaurant called Dina Mia, where they have the **BEST**pizza**ever**!!!  I grew up in Iron River where the Dina Mia pizzas are made for the grocery store and convienence store sales, and also the Riverside Pizzaria is part of their chain.  As teens growing up in Iron River, it was THE place to hang out.  And I have never had a pizza like theirs anywhere else.

Soooooooo thinking of that pizza, and knowing we could get some in Florence, we took a ride in the rain in our little Tracker.   Sure is nicer having that option compared to the scooter!   It was still raining-----

Once we got into the restaurant, we changed our minds on the pizzas (we can buy some to take home and bake another time)  once we read the menu.  Steve had broiled walleye and I chose a seafood chimichanga with guacomole!  Yummmmmmmm   I had a glass of wine and Steveio enjoyed some Johnny Walker Red while our food was being prepared.  We had a friendly waitress who was chatting about camping and her new puppy and the place was not that busy so she could be a good server to us.  Our food was fantastic!   Plus before leaving town, we bought four large rectangular frozen pizzas to bring back with us to the motorhome.  Rectangular is good, as they are about cookie sheet size.  We can cut them in half, and put half sections into our Easy Bake Oven (my Coleman Instastart Oven) and have just enough for the two of us.

I drove back to the campground in the Tracker, dodging deer left and right.  I think we saw about 14-15 deer just in the 15 miles back to the campground. It's the beginning of *rutting season*  where the males are busy with one thing on their minds, and don't pay attention to cars or people or roads or anything.

We made it back after dark, and the doggers were happy to see us come *home*.   We had already eaten up all of our restaurant food, so no doggy bags for them!  With our catalytic heater going on medium, it took the chill out of the rig fast, as we had turned it off while we were gone to Florence.  The rain was letting up now, and as we watched the local weather before bedtime, Saturday would be clearing up and Sunday sunny too.

SATURDAY-   This morning was crisp and cool at 38 degrees, but warmed up somewhat as the sun came out.  We took a loop around the campground and paid for another day, continued walking around the park.  We stopped at the little picnic area and boat landing.  There are a few cottages on this lake, but most seem summer type, not year round, and folks are gone for the season.

We had seen a sign for a flowage and waterfalls on the way here last night, so we hopped in the Tracker to go check them out.  The first road we took was for Hall River Flowage and drove back in quite a ways till we found the river.   There was a nice equestrian parking and camping area with access to the trails that network across the area.  We got out and walked around a little bit, but not much to see....

From there we drove further east on County C and came to the sign for LaSalle Falls....  we drove back in a long ways on dirt "2 tracks" and finally found a parking area.  We were not sure of the trail's length to the falls, and the sign didn't say how long a hike it would be.   But we set off anyhow, with camera in hand.

As we got about 1/4 mile down the trail, it started to rain.
As we got about 1/2 mile down the trail, I wanted to turn around.
As we got about 3/4 mile down the trail, it stopped raining
And once we reached the falls HOLY WAH!  
(It was worth the hike!)

We could hear it roaring through the trees before we even saw it

The thunderous crash and the smell of the rich woodsy air mingled with the moist smell of water 

The water is a rich dark brown from the tannic acid of the pines... looks like Root Beer!

I can't believe I sat this close on a rock..  it's wayyy above the crashing waters below

And on and on the rushing waters go... downstream until they get calm once again

The photos can not capture the sights and smells and sounds of the roaring water...the warmth on our cheeks as the sun peeked through the trees. The smell of the damp woods with that rich earthy scent.  The rustling of the leaves under our feet and the fog of our breath as it was still only in the low 40's.  It was soooooo worth the hike!

Once we made it back to the Tracker, we decided to hop, skip and jump over to Quinnisec, MI which was only about 18 or 19 miles away.  I knew of an RV dealer there and Steve had a couple projects in mind that he wanted supplies for.  We drove over there and walked around inside, but there was not a single thing we felt we could not live without. HAHA

There are only 2 or 3 RV dealers in the whole U.P. of Michigan

Across the highway from Northern RV is a small waterfalls by a rest area. So as Steveio used the restrooms, I snapped a w pics of these falls too.  Pretty place for right alongside the highway! It is called Fumee Falls and folks post on the little bridge for wedding photos... because we found rice and flower pedals strewn all over the place!

Before we headed back to the campgrounds, I told Steveio to drive into Iron Mountain, MI to see if a small city park was still there that I remembered.  I had not been there in 32 years, but sure enough, turn west off US2 onto C street and go all the way west to the end.  This little city park used to have three buffalo when I was there last, but now it's just deer and ducks and geese in the pen.  Lo and Behold there was a pretty albino buck!   I even snapped a few shots through the chain link fence of him and another male rattling and scraping their horns with each other.

 Too bad these guys are all in a pen... but I would imagine they are too domesticated to ever survive in the wild.  Even having this many bucks in one area would be unheard of in the woods, they would all be fighting for their own territories.   Sigh.

Enough running around for the morning, we headed back to the motorhome to make some lunch.  I had Dina Mia Pizza on my mind!  Yummmmmm  baked in the Easy Bake Oven to golden perfection, bubbling cheese, crispy thin crust and sauce like no other.... we had the sausage pizza, with that distinctive Italian flavor ....   It didn't last long and we gobbled it down!

Now it was time for some serious napping... heh heh.   Steveio was out like a light for an afternoon nap, but I made the mistake of turning on the tv.  Oh my, here was the movie "Edward Scissorshands"  which I have never seen!   Being a Johnny Depp fan, I had to stay awake for 2 hours to enjoy it, while Steveio snored beside me.

He woke up at the end of the movie, and was recharged to work on another project.  This one is also inspired by our Safari friends Mel and Snap Snap Snap Paula...  See, for some STUPID reason, the designers at Safari thought that trimming out a dome skylight in the shower stall with CARPETING would be a good idea???   IN the shower stall??? Carpeting OVERHEAD???   Over the years the moisture would build up and get greyish moldy looking areas around the edges of the carpeting.. where moisture comes dripping down off the skylight .. .remember.. this is IN the shower.  (I say 20 lashes with a wet towel for the designer who came up with that bright idea)

Well, our fine friends, the Stuplichs, figured out to remove the brass trims, remove the carpeting, and install wide rubber floor cove base moulding around the area, with the bent lip edge upwards to the dome.  Using a good adhesive caulk (PowerGrab) Steve glued it all up.and replaced the brass trims.  WOW.. what a difference!

After that project was done, then it was time to start some supper.  I hauled out the pressure cooker and threw in some chunks of tenderloin and some onions. Steve peeled up some taters and carrots.. added a can of shrooms and some frozen peas.  Added some onion soup mix, some steak seasoning, 2 envelopes of gravey mix, and set it simmer for 12 minutes under pressure on the stove.  WOW this place sure smelled good!  At the same time I tossed a couple big biscuits in the Easy Bake Oven.  AHHHHHHH a meal fit for a King!   (and a Queen!)

Here is my smaller pressure cooker (and my prized Pyrex coffee pot in the background)
We keep them both in the motorhome all of the time

We even let the doggers have a bit of the gravey over a handful of dog food in their dishes for a treat too. Spoiled rotten mutts!

Now to work off that full meal, we took another nice walk around.. and met the neighbors up in the only other occupied site in the park.  They had been out hunting (it's bird season here)  and had two nice bird dogs to sniff and wag tails with Duke and Duchess.  They had a campfire going, but I don't think we are going to light one tonight. It's going to get down in the low 30s - high 20's tonight and I am thinking I want to take a nice shower and hop into bed early.  Yawwwwnnnnnn   some camper, huh?  That walk to the falls really did me in.

We got back  to the motorhome just in time to grab the camera 
and snap a few shots of the sun as it was setting over the lake.  

I loved how it was peeking through the tall pines once it got below the treeline, 
and the reflection on the water made a nice finish to the day.

Sunday morning was rather chilly at 30 degrees when we got up, but the sun soon warmed everything and we had a clear blue sky day!   We listened to the Packer Game on the radio, because even though we got in 8 stations on the digital TV,  none of them were FOX which was broadcasting the game.  So we had to use our imaginations.  Oh, by the way, the Packers won!  (barely)

I just HAD to take a pic of this camper on the way home..... I kid you not!  

I guess they were tired of having roof leaks? 


  1. sounds like a great weekend, and the pictures will only enhance when you can post them. :)

  2. You two certainly eat well while you're out camping.

    BTW, you can post your blogs (and pictures) on Live Writer, save them and then publish them once you get an internet connection. That way you have the blog just as you like it and just wait for internet.

  3. What a wonderful weekend you're having. Sounds delightful!

  4. Good to see you had a nice weekend trip, We had Adam over so it was the next best thing to camping, Hope I get to try some of the Dina Mia Pizza someday, I wonder if it competes with PA Pizza. The MO. pizza sure doesn't unless I make it myself.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  5. Man am I glad that I had pizza for supper last night!! Your blog would have had me hunting some down... :-)

    "Males busy with one thing on their mind..." huh... are you SURE you are talking about deer?? Baaahaahaa! Sorry, couldn't resist...

    I always show my little girl the pics of your doggies... she adores them! They always deserve a treat too...

    Carpet above a shower... allrighty then... Is there ANY thing that your hubby can't fix or find a solution for???

    Sounds as though you've found another great campground. You're good at that!

    Be safe...

    Kerri in AL :-)

  6. It looks like you had a wonderful week-end. You even do fix-ups on your mini vacations. Those darn Stuplich's and there carzy ideas, huh?
    Love all the pictures except the pizza. If you had told that pizza was involved I would have been there in no time flat. Gosh, it sure did look good. Made my mouth water.
    I guess those people will never have a leaking roof problem again. Mel said that is probably not a bad idea.
    You be good now and maybe we should plan a trip in 2 weeks?????
    Snap, snap, snap, Paula
    BTW, Don't ya just love a pressure cooker? I love mine and it is also in the coach.

  7. Pictures look great. Another great camping location.

    Love the little park across the road from the RV place. Looks so pretty with the bridge and little falls.

    The travel trailer looks funny with a real roof. The ideas people come up with!

    Kevin and Ruth

  8. Wow, do you ever pack a lot into your weekends!!! And still have time to watch a movie. How do you do it?

    I'm surprised at all the green leaves on the trees, thot you'd be snowed in six feet deep by now up thar in the frozen North! ;c)

  9. What an amazing trip you had! And I can hear the splashing sound of the water as you described it. Anyway, I’m surprised about the carpeted shower. I think it's not a good idea at all. Good thing you had it already fixed, so there won’t be a problem in the future. So, are you in for the next camp?

    Lisa Pilon @ Prairie City RV Center


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