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Saturday, May 13, 2023

CAMPGROUND REVIEW - Mauthe Lake Kettle Moraine Northern Unit, Wisconsin

We loaded up the motorhome and headed on out for a few quiet days during the middle of the week. We pointed our nose down towards the southeast part of Wisconsin. 

There are beautiful twisty two-lane roads going down throughout the Kettle Moraine into the northern end of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. We decided on spending a few days at Mauthe Lake. 

For those who don't know, kettles and moraines refer to topography left over from the glacier.

When the ice melted, this material was deposited, in some instances, across glacier-formed valleys. Some "kettles" were formed this way. The Kettle Moraine is an area of varied topography — parallel, steep-sided ridges, conical hills and flat outwash plains, mostly composed of sand and gravel.

A moraine is material left behind by a moving glacier. This material is usually soil and rock. Just as rivers carry along all sorts of debris and silt that eventually builds up to form deltas, glaciers transport all sorts of dirt and boulders that build up to form moraines.

We decided to drive down south of Fond du Lac and a bit to the east. This park is located between Fond du Lac and Milwaukee in the southeast part of Wisconsin.  

N1490 County Road GGG
Campbellsport, WI 53010

Here is the website:

We drove into the park and the office is not open during the week due to budget cuts. All we needed to do was drive into the park and drive through looking at the sites. Then go online and see if that site is available. Once you determine which site you want is available for the days you want, you click on it and pay online with a credit card. If it is the actual day that you are there to already occupy the site then you do not pay a reservation fee. 

This campground is $28 per night for RV sites with electric included. Be sure to fill with water up at the entrance of the park or at the water fill kiosk near the campground host. There are 135 sites, of which 51 are electric.  I am not sure of the rate of the non-electric sites, but the website would tell you.

Wisconsin State Parks used to use ReserveAmérica to handle all their bookings, less than stellar service for sure. Now instead they use the Going To Camp app or you can reach it through their website to make reservations or to pay for campsites. It's much more user friendly and makes more sense. 

We chose site number 220 which is very close to the lake. It's on a little back loop, just around from the campground host. The only traffic that really drives by on the little road of this loop are the ones actually using these sites. The main traffic is over behind on another road. It makes it a very nice quiet site for anybody camping in this stretch.

This one is a pretty deep site that a larger rig would easily fit on. Many of the other sites are NOT big rig friendly, so be sure you add the size of your RV when searching online. 

Local TV stations fade out during the day, and in the evening they are sporadic even when camped along the lakeshore. Cell phone signal is one or two bars, and seems to drop out on data every now and then. We haven't hooked up our Weboost antenna cell phone booster yet, but I'm sure it would have helped in that situation. 

We nestled our little 25-footer back near the corner closer to the power post. There's also a fire ring and a picnic table. The gravel appears to have been newly spread last fall. Someone had the lack of brains and emptied a charcoal grill in TWO spots before packing up--- dumping it right into the gravel. So there were two big spots of charcoal grill remains that we were careful to avoid and not walk through. Why didn't they just dump it into the fire pit? Thoughtless people leave a mess for everybody else. 

As for the park itself, it is located near the little town of Dundee and little further away Campbellsport or Cascade. We made sure to be fully loaded up with supplies for three or four days so we didn't need to leave our campsite to go and get anything. 

Everything is neatly kept and the outhouses and bathrooms are in top condition. The host stopped by and made sure our campfire ring was totally clean because someone had been on our site the night before. Very friendly nice people and wished us well to enjoy our visit. 

Right across from our site is this beautiful open area to view the lake. There is a nice little bench there to sit on and admire the sunsets which we found out later were spectacular!

The woods are all in bloom with these delicate blue tiny flowers. I'm not sure if they are edelweiss or arbutus?

The shoreline is pretty shallow although it is slightly rocky. Not really made for swimming. But there is a really nice swimming beach over at the entrance to the park. It is perfect to pull up a canoe or a couple kayaks and tie them to the tree if you are camping nearby.

The views were beautiful and there was not a lick of a breeze. The lake was calm like a mirror and we enjoyed sitting along the shoreline for a while when we were taking a walk with the dog. 

At the entrance gate there is a large map depicting all of the trails in the area. The trails meander all the way through the entire State Forest system here and include the group camps to the north and Long Lake as well as some of the other sections of the famous Wisconsin Ice Age Trail. There were a lot of bikers going down this trail and we saw a large amount of them were e-bikes. The newest trend. Incidentally, dogs are allowed on the trail but not over in the picnic or beach area. They do make a dog specific picnic area near the entrance which is really nice for those of us who love our canine companions.

As we walked along, everything was starting to bloom out and the birds were just going crazy with their songs. We were blasted from every direction with beautiful bird calls. It was a great day to just meander along.

We could hear some loons out on the lake in the far corner, and somewhere we could hear sandhill cranes squawking. Overhead geese were busy flying by heading back to the northern regions, and there were a few ducks here and there bobbing along the shoreline.

Back to our campsite... 
Steve plugged into the 30 amp post with our new EMS system. This is more than a surge protector, it is a complete electrical management system from Progressive Industries. It protects from brownouts, surges, crossed wiring polarity and open grounds or neutrals. It won't let the rig even access the power if it's not correctly wired at the post. On our larger motorhome we had the wired in unit. But on this one we really don't have the accessibility in the back compartment to wire one in. So this time we chose to purchase the portable one. They are rather pricey, so we were sure to lock it up around the post with a heavy cable gun lock to the loop of the post. We also have a welded chain packed along for other post configurations. We know it doesn't solve every single theft problem, but we hope it's sufficient enough to deter anyone from thinking they can walk off with it. 

Steve hauled out his beloved Blackstone griddle. Although it's a little heavier than our gas grill, he chose to take the griddle instead. Storage space and weight is to be kept to a minimum, so we have to choose which items we really want to have along. 

Soon supper was ready with delicious hamburgers. I steamed two ears of sweet corn in the husk in the microwave, and set out an assortment of veggies. 

A blog or two back I talked about removing the curtains over our bunk area and over the two windows. It opened it up and lets a lot more light in. Plus we had removed the bunk mattress and suspended it in the garage in a tarp like a sling. We will only bring the bunk mattress along when the grandkids are going to join us. Otherwise we will just use the bunk as additional storage space. One bin is my current quilting project and needed sewing supplies. One is extra blankets for cuddling up in the evening on the loveseat.  And one is for all the odds and ends that get brought in and plopped on the counter?!  I hate that!  So things like my purse, dog leashes, bug spray and other junk can go up in a tote out of the way. 

The sun was out and it was an absolute gorgeous day stretch of two or three days. Steve was unwinding and relaxing in his chair and we were completely enjoying the spring weather. It's been a long time coming to Wisconsin! Can you imagine that just eight days ago we had a bunch of snow??? 

We noticed about five or six very brave Baltimore Orioles around the campsite. They were zooming in and out and checking out our little rotating geegaws off the awning. I had fortunately brought along an orange or two. I cut one in half and we wedged it into the tree branches around the campsite. Within just minutes the Orioles came down and started gobbling away at the oranges! At home I also put out dishes of grape jelly, but I didn't have any along. Who knew we were going to have orioles going nuts around our campsite?

Now I know they say you should not feed wild birds that are out in their natural habitat because it teaches them to rely on people for food instead of their own natural instincts. But these are not birds that hang around in the area --- they are on their migratory path North and won't be around long. So it's not like we're teaching them to stay here all winter waiting for a daily orange handout! LOL

The birds coming and going didn't seem to bother Binney a bit. She curled up in her lawn chair and took a snooze. As a matter of fact, we all did! I think we've really been waiting for this ever since we've gotten the new motor home. To just kick back and relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.

On Wednesday, my friend Vicki who lives nearby, came to visit. Of course she brought her two shelties Stuart and Tara! Binney says that Stuart is her boyfriend. She really doesn't like many other animals or any other dogs at all. But for Stuart she makes an exception.

She and Tara give little sniffs to each other and respectfully say that they are both matriarchs and will share the space.

But Stuart makes her little heart go pitter-pat and he is her boyfriend. So she gratefully accepts his sniffs and we took a little walk together before they had to go home again. Isn't he handsome?

The sun was setting and again it gave us the most beautiful view, this time with a clearer image of the lake. The night before it was a little more clouded. Absolutely gorgeous!

We enjoyed a campfire and s'mores for dessert. We did have to buy some firewood because we didn't haul any along with us. Wisconsin State Park system has a new method this year for purchasing firewood. It is a big enclosed trailer located near the office. You can use either a credit card or a $5 bill and a $1 bill in the pay slot for a $6 bundle of firewood that is automatically dispensed. We purchased two bundles. 

Thursday's weather was getting quite a bit hotter than the two days before. We had picked up a roll of this reflectix insulation that is really like silver layered bubble wrap. It's stiff and rigid and can be rolled back up when not being used. We had originally planned to line the back surfaces of the cabinets with it to help insulate from excess heat intrusion. We also wanted to cut two oval shaped pieces to pop in the upper bunk windows because I had removed the curtains. A while back we had seen somebody had rolled layers of it across their front windshield and just tucked it in the door jamb openings on each side. It made a difference on the amount of heat coming in the front windshield. Although Winnebago has these really cute accordion pleated shades on the inside to block out some of the sunlight or use as nighttime curtains, they really aren't meant for the strong heat of the summer sun. So instead, we will just roll these up when not in use and stick them in the closet.

Our little rig is all set up here on the campsite with the slides out and the awning deployed. Even though it's only 25 ft long, we think we're going to be pretty comfortable traveling around in this one. The tank capacities for freshwater, gray water and black water are a little small, only in the 30 gallon range. But we will learn to adapt. On the last motorhome we had 100 gallons fresh and 50 gallons of each gray and black. 

Oh, the other thing we put out were some solar awning lights. These are two strings of lights clipped to the edge of our awning. The little solar panels that go with them are flipped up on top of the awning poles and set to absorb the sun during the day. They look pretty cute at night!

Our evenings were relaxing and the night times were peaceful. For the first 3 days and 2 nights, we didn't have anybody else camping around us except the host down on the end of the loop.

Again we had the most beautiful sunset going down with streaks across the lake. The peepers were going in the swamp and it was a beautiful spring evening. 

Our only complaint was suddenly another RV pulled into the site right next to us. They immediately turned on the music as they were setting up. Then they turned it up even louder! Even worse, they both took turns singing to the music at the top of their lungs! And believe me, neither of them could sing. At all. 

The songs weren't that bad but the accompanying donkey-like braying was less than desirable. We waited for about four or five songs to see if they would turn it down. So instead of dealing with it ourselves or having a confrontation, it was just easier to walk over and let the host know.

He strolled on over and spoke with them. The music was then turned down to a more reasonable level. But then they would holler back and forth to each other to get over the music. He was outside at the campfire and she was inside the camper hollering out the window back and forth over every little thing they were doing. We gave up and went for a long walk instead. 

When we got back, they were quiet. Maybe the host spoke to them again?

We were treated with the most beautiful sunset ever. 

Incidentally, someone sent me this cute little idea for making s'mores. Presently, we roast the marshmallow and we put it between two Keebler fudge stripe cookies. (Instead of graham crackers and chocolate bars). That works really well and is less messy. It also avoids the problem of someone sneaking away with all the chocolate bars and not having enough for s'mores? 

Anyhow, I think we might try this new one next time with the grandkids. They might be a little messier to eat, who knows? But it will be fun to try them.

While we were sitting at the campsite, Steve spotted another deal on his favorite Facebook Marketplace. This time it was a couple sets of portable 100 watt solar panels, still brand new in the boxes! The guy selling them was only a short distance away from Steve's brother Pete. We checked with Pete and he was able to go over there and snap them up for us. 

On the way home Friday we stopped at his house to pay him and picked them up. So this will be another new project to play around with. More on that in the next blog! 

1 comment:

  1. your water tanks are still larger than ours. Fresh is 26, grey is 16 & black is 9. We have learned to make do. We can go about 4 days boondocking before needing to empty. I do so enjoy your posts about the campgrounds and your rig.


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