Both of us were suffering from awful head colds, but who cares. We can be sick at a campground as easily as we can be sick at home, right? It was not bad enough to keep us in bed. I loaded up the rig and when Steve got home from work on Friday, we took off to the woods.
We did want to take along a grandchild, it was Chelsea's turn, but we didn't want her to catch our sickness. She will have to wait for another weekend. So sad. The joy of taking the grandkids in the woods is very precious to us, and we would have enjoyed having her along.
We were not even sure of where we were gonna end up, it didn't matter because at this time of year in Wisconsin, the crowds are gone and campsites are plentiful. We wandered up to McClintock Park in the Marinette County park system, about 60 miles from our house. The last few miles were on gravel roads, but with the recent days of endless rain, it was not dusty. (With a rear-engine diesel you have to be careful of dusty conditions)
The campground had one other campsite occupied of the 10 available, so we pulled in a good one, overlooking the Peshtigo River it all it's beauty and serenity. I am not exaggerating one bit when I say it was "Picture Postcard Perfect"!
Views up and down the river in front of our campsite:
We were in a great site, among the tall Hemlock trees. Not so good for the solar panel re-charging, but we didn't care. It was such a peaceful spot, and for $10 a night we were happy to be in the woods and enjoying our weekend.
The changing colors of the autumn woods are about at peak season in the hardwood sections of the trees, and the reflections on the water surface made it seem like it was on fire!
Speaking of fire, many areas of Wisconsin are in danger of spreading the Emerald Ash borer beetle, so we are careful to buy campfire wood and use it where we burn it.
Marinette County Park system has these nice racks with an honor system of $3 a bundle. It's nice to see them replenish the rack each day on the weekend so we can all enjoy a campfire, and have enough wood to go around. Sometimes during the summer, by the time when we get to a park late on Friday, there isn't any wood left for us to buy.
Of course Duke and Ducky were in their glory with walks around the campground and down along the river. This time we made sure Dukie didn't lose his palookie butt in the river. LOL And speaking of sassy doggers, look who thinks SHE belongs on our new chairs? I think NOT! DOWN! BAD DOG!
(I swear she is laughing at me)
The colors were just fantastic, and the photos don't do it justice. The sky was as blue as you could ever imagine and the accents of the leaves cannot be captured with photography. Add in the smells of the mossy damp woods, the sunlight on the drying grasses and the rich scent of moist dew evaporating like the smell of fresh laundry on the clothes line. A whiff of campfire smoke blended in. Ummmmmmmm We have to remember these kind of days when we are knee deep in snow and slipping on the ice!
The prettiest florist's bouquet of flowers can't compete with this:
Of course, we were still feeling all stuffed up and icky from our colds. We doused ourselves with Nyquil to sleep at night and gulped some Claritin D for 24 hr help on the sinuses. I simmered up a pot of homemade chicken vegetable soup that really hit the spot! Can you taste it from where you are sitting?
I love these two little Anchor Hocking soup tureens and keep them in our motorhome. Sadly, I am missing one of the rubbery soft lids that go over the top. If anyone has one lid leftover from a tureen that has long ago been broken, I would LOVE to buy it from you!!! All I need is one. It is in the shape of the bowl and the rounded handle all in one piece as a lid to seal in leftovers. I keep checking thrift shop bins and free boxes at rummage sales. One of these days, I will come across one. I just know it!
Saturday morning we drove over to the picnic area of the park, about 1/2 mile north of the campground. We were too sick to walk that far, otherwise it would have been an enjoyable amble through the woods. In the picnic area we observed a tall younger man in his 30's assisting a very elderly man, stooped over, seemingly to be in the last years of his life. He helped him to a nearby bench to sit and gaze upon the waters and the rapids of the McClintock Falls. The older gent sat for a long time on a bench, and the younger man left him to his solitude. Later we saw the younger man slowly assisting him back up the long flight of steps with a walker to his waiting handicapped van. What a loving soul to take this old gent out to the woods on a lovely fall day.
We strolled along over the walkways and bridges in the park, finding quiet spots to sit and rest and reflect on the day... and the passing years of our own lives.
Steve and I are travelling together on the journey for the rest of our lives... and enjoy being companions as we get ready to hit the road full time. It is such a peaceful reflection of our lives....
I took a break with the dogs, and sat down on some warm dried grasses by the riverbank. The water was gurgling past me in little eddies and swirls. Steve went back for an outhouse break and snapped this pic on his way back. This is me, doing what I enjoy. Forget the bright lights of the big city --- I am at peace here, in the woods.
Wandering around the park, from bridge to bridge, leading to some islands in the river. On two of the islands are these adorable little cabins that can be rented out from the park! How sweet, it looks almost like Hansel and Gretal should be walking up to the door!
The doors had a wooden sliding bolt so we could peek inside. What a wonderful place to hold a family celebration or a quiet retreat. The river was just outside the back door and it added a welcoming feeling to the entire place. The huge stone fireplaces on each end must have held many a roaring blaze, warding off the nighttime boogie mans and wild creatures of the woods! LOL
We wandered back to our little Tracker and drove the short distance to the campgrounds. Most of Saturday was spent sitting in lawn chairs, looking up up up.... my oh my, what a view from my chair!
By Sunday, Steve was thinking we needed to get moved a bit closer to Green Bay so we could pick up a television station (namely CBS) to watch the Packer Game! We were too far north to get any television stations at all, and not sure about even finding a radio station that would carry The Packer Network. We packed it up and hooked the Tracker on back and headed south.
We found ourselves at Bagley Rapids national forest campground and pulled in to site number 4. Now we could get the game and enjoy one more day! Steve has pre-arranged to use up a precious vacation day of time for Monday, because of the promised weather. There was no way we were going back to Oconto to watch the game, instead we moved the "house" to where we could watch the game! LOL
We were not disappointed in the least with our new location either. Same colorful woods, same peaceful campground, and a gurgling river again too. This time it was the Oconto River, the very same one that floats on south and east past our home.
As we pulled in, the campground hosts came over to hand us a few new booklets, and we discovered we were related! They are relatives of our daughterinlaw Heather and our son Dan, and they had even been to our kids wedding! We shared some trip ideas and camper ideas with them, as they were enjoying their new to them Bounder motorhome. After a nice visit, we got set up on our site and sat out in our lawn chairs. Instead of watching the game on the tv, (who wanted to be INside on a day like this???) We found the station on the radio and listened to the Packers trounce the Broncos! Watching the game *in our minds* was fun too! Score was 49-24. Whammer!
We also made the most delicious turkey breast in the pressure cooker, followed up by 40 minutes in the Easy Bake oven. Yummmmmmm fall apart tender and delicious! Added a pot of mashed taters, fresh green beans and a glass of wine. It was a feast all right, followed up by some low-cholesterol brownies I made up for Steveio. We ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture!
(Hey Paula.. the Rich Guy swept off the table!)
This campground has about 28 sites, of which there were four tents overnight and us. Everyone was quiet and the place was peaceful for a good night's sleep in the woods.
Monday morning was just as lovely as Sunday and Saturday. Waking up to the sunshine, crisp air and birds singing. We perked some coffee and had some sweet rolls in the Easy Bake oven out on the picnic table. I was working on socks out in the sunshine and Steveio was supervising me. LOL I got another 8 or 9 pairs cranked out to add to my store.
We walked down along the rapids and enjoyed some sunshine on a big rock. What a view! Four guys camped in tents nearby were going to kayak on the river up a ways. No thank you, looks too cold for me.
By late afternoon, we packed up and headed for home. Now look who thinks she needs to ride on the King Sized Bed??? That is because we took out the couch, then we kicked her off the chairs, what is a poor dog to do? LOL
Our trek on homewards was sad, but we know in a few days we will be heading out again if this weather keeps up as promised. Fall is in the air, and the farmer cut down all the corn across the road from the house, so I guess that means it's time to prepare for winter.
As I type this, a flock of geese are flying overhead.
But just for now,
for a week,
we can enjoy this