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Monday, June 5, 2023

CAMPGROUND REVIEW- Chalk Hills Dam near Amberg WI, Weboost Review and Sewing

Oh my, we've been so busy lately that I didn't get around to posting again on my blog. I better catch up with the campground review!

They say three times is the charm right? Well last week we wanted to go camping during the week. We drove up north of Marinette, WI and thru Menominee MI to Fox Campground. We pulled into our favorite site up at the end and we were suddenly besieged by millions of lake flies! I'm serious--- I am talking millions. Within stopping the motorhome in 2 minutes we were covered on the sides almost to the point of being black with flies. They don't bite but they are awfully messy and irritating. They even show up on the weather radar meteorologists maps as CLOUDS!  They were in complete swarms after a huge hatching. Now we know why there was only one other camper in the park. They were inside, hiding out!  So before we even had a chance to get out or check out the site we decided to move on....

We drove back as far as Cedar River. Just north of Cedar River bridge, we turned to the west and worked our way all the way in the back forestry roads to the Cedar River State forest. We know of a nice remote Campground back there with about 15 to 20 sites. We worked our way back and arrived to find nobody else in the entire campground. Guess why? As we backed into our favorite campsite right up to the river we were besieged by mosquitoes. Now don't get me wrong, mosquitoes don't usually bother us too much. But these were swarms. It was the middle of the day and they were absolutely nuts! We can only imagine how bad they would be by evening??  One of my quilting friends who lives nearby in Wallace and said the mosquitoes are worse this year than any year they've ever been up in that area! It's like a super duper hatching of very hungry young mosquitoes that are very eager to sip our blood. They were flying up our nose and in our ears while we were thinking about backing into our favorite site. I was waving my arms around like crazy and it had nothing to do with guiding Steve in to the campsite. I plunged back into the motorhome and said we have to leave. As it was, probably a good 20 or 30 mosquitoes snuck into the motorhome with me just in that short second or two that I had the door open. We spent the next 15 minutes swatting mosquitoes inside the motorhome until we killed them all. Time to drive back on out and keep going further west, inland and away from Lake Michigan.

We headed another 20 miles inland to the next campground we knew of.

We are now 97 miles into our search for a campground for a couple days!!!


This is a favorite campground that really isn't too far from our house, only about 50 miles. Unless, of course, you take the long way like we did trying the other two campgrounds first.

It's a privately owned campground called Chalk Hills Campground. It is located on the Menominee River between Wisconsin and Michigan just over on the Michigan side. It is on Highway K between Amberg, WI and Stephenson, MI. 

The owners are wonderfully accommodating and will take reservations either by email or just over the telephone.
906) 639-2286 or email info@ChalkHillsCampground.com

Here's a link to their website:


The campground is comprised of only 25 sites. It is a single loop with a few pull through campsites and other sites are back in. They are spaced apart with shrubbery and trees in between.  There are a lot of wild raspberries growing around. The sites and road are all gravel.  No pavement.  Each site has a nice table and fire ring. They've made a big effort this spring to level out some of the more angled sloped sites. It has beautiful trees and is rustic enough to feel like you are getting away from it all. There are two very clean sets of outhouses and a little playground within the campground. 

At the entrance there is a water spigot. Be forewarned, it does not have threads on it for attaching a hose. It has something to do with state regulations that they cannot have a threaded faucet there, so it's not their fault. But there are ways to work around it. So you can either fill via buckets and gravity fill on your RV or you can implement a "water thief" which is a rubber device that can slide onto an unthreaded faucet. Then you can attach your hose to the water thief.

Some of the sites have 30 amp posts and other sites have 50 amps. Please refer to the chart and map below:

Our favorite sites are number 4 and number 15. Both will pull in a TV station from as far away from as Green Bay during the evening hours. Cell phone coverage is sporadic. Best signal is if you walk up near the entry building and registration station. 

Things to do near Chalk Hills Campground.

  • Fishing: The Menominee River is just a short walk away. Because the river is boundary water, if you live in either Michigan or Wisconsin you only need a license from that state to fish.
    • Bait is available at Camp Shakey on MI G12 at intersection of Hwy 577(8 miles)
    • Bait at Cennex - Driftwood - in Amberg, WI. CtyK to Amberg, right 1 mile to station on left.(9 miles)
  • Boating: There are two boat launches nearby
    • 2 miles North at WE Energies site #4
    • 4 miles South at WE Energies site
  • Golf: All are public 9 hole courses
    • Indian Hillls Golf course in Stephenson, MI (approx 15 miles away)
    • Green Acres Golf course on Cty Z, WI (approx 12 miles away)
  • Zoo:
    • De Young's Family Zoo is a MUST SEE to believe. This zoo is a unique hands-on experience and features many large tigers. You won't forget your visit! It's also very affordable.
    • Check out the DeYoung's Zoo website
  • Restaurants: In case the fishing doesn't go as planned
    • Long Branch Bar in Faithhorn, MI 
    • Green Acres Golf course Bar and Grill
  • Waterfalls: The paths are very rustic so consider this if you have small children
    • Pick up a Marinette County Waterfalls Tour map at a nearby gas station
    • Peminee Falls on MI State Rd W2 - (just up the same road North about 7 miles)
    • Dave's Falls on WI Hwy 141 near Amberg
    • 12 Foot Falls-WI near Dunbar.This is difficult to find, so be ready for an adventure.
  • Swimming:
    • We advise against swimming in the Menominee River near the campground as the nearby dam creates a dangerous current. There is NO SWIMMING directly at this campground.
    • Shakey Lakes Park on MI G12 has a wonderful beach(no lifeguard) for a nominal entrance fee (approx 10 miles away)

We were there last week, during the weekdays. Just pull in and find an empty site without a reservation tag on the post. $20 in the envelope at the entrance gate and you are all set. There's a list on the door at the entrance gate that tells you whether or not sites are going to be reserved in the next few upcoming days. That way you can plan accordingly and choose a site that will be available for all the days during your stay.  The owners drive through often, as they have a cabin nearby. They stop and chit chat and make you feel very welcome. 

Here we are on site number four, one of our favorite sites. New gravel has been spread this spring and it will take a little time for it to pack down more firmly and get a little harder. But it was good for us and worked well under our motorhome. 

Upon arrival, it was getting close to supper time. Steve whipped out his Blackstone griddle and started up some barbecued chicken breasts. I had asparagus to throw on at the end to give it a little toss and tumble with some olive oil and seasonings. 

This is what we enjoy the most. Sitting back and relaxing. Looking off in the woods and seeing nature at it's finest. Every now and then we would see a squirrel or a chipmunk. It was sooo peaceful! 

As evening fell, the mosquitoes were getting a little pesky. But nowhere near the levels of what we experienced over at Cedar River! We took out one of our Thermacells and set it up between our chairs. It easily kept the mosquitoes at bay with about a 10-ft bubble around us. We sat out comfortably until darkness fell.

We decided not to light a campfire. Things have been extremely dry in this part of the state. There's been little to no rainfall for weeks. The fire danger is quite high. Although technically we could have what's called a cooking fire, we decided not to chance it and left the fire pit empty.

Two weeks ago we picked up these matching recliner chairs that match the regular folding sitting chairs that were over by the campfire. They were all from Dunham's Sports and we found that they collapse down flatter than our other older zero gravity chairs. They are also 10 pounds lighter than our old ones. So all four chairs can collapse together along with the little folding table between them. They all fit in the back compartment of our new to us Winnebago View. 

The next morning, while we were sitting and sipping our coffee, look who just happened to wander through our campsite. We think she was on her way down to the river to have a drink. On her way back I think she found some clover growing in an open area. She looked at us a couple times and realized that we weren't coming over to hurt her, so she might as well keep enjoying her breakfast. Binney didn't even see her through the low brush so she didn't even know that there was a dog between our seats on the tarp below. 

I had mentioned up above about the cellular signal being weak. We had recently invested in a newer Wilson Cellular antenna booster product. Our old one was the silver Wilson truckers booster. This one is the WeBoost Drive Reach Mobile Signal Booster Kit | 470154 that has a larger range. 

We found a spot to temporarily locate the outside antenna. But we are going to adapt and do something else later. The antenna is magnetic and needs a metal ground plane to attach to. Of course, most of our motorhome is aluminum. In the meantime, we just stuck it up to the front hood of the Sprinter chassis. We temporarily routed the antenna cable through the edge of the door and under the carpeting. That will work for now.  Later we will put the red box up in the cabinet behind the tv... and reroute the antenna through the interior television cable, out the back compartment to the auxiliary antenna hookup, and mount it on a grounded plane pole. That we can attach to a metal pizza pan and set it out on top of the slide or the roof when needed.

The inside antenna that goes near your phone is a small black rectangle you can hold right next to your phone when you're talking on it. Or you can set it on the seat near you. It has a very short range. 

We have ordered the larger range interior antenna that we can just set on the countertop. It does NOT come with the extra little adapter---  you NEED to order that separately. We didn't know that. The little original plug is a push on type, but the extra desktop antenna is a threaded type. So you have to be sure to order the correct adapter. We didn't. It will be here next week. So we don't have it completely set up yet. But as it is for now, it works and increased our signal by 2 to 3 bars. We were able to stream TV through our Roku by setting up our cell phone as a hotspot. 

Here is a link from the Weboost website. But you can also find it on Amazon and also in many trucking supply stores or websites:

Of course, we don't spend ALL of our time just sitting around watching tv. That is just for nighttime before bed. During the day we are out walking or fishing or enjoying the weather under our awning. 

I also set up my cute little folding 2 ft by 4 ft table and my antique Singer featherweight sewing machine. 

I take all of my sewing supplies in that little overturned grey tote next to my chair. I take along just enough to work on and don't overload the motorhome. We have to be careful of our cargo carrying capacity weight. But I absolutely have to make room for my sewing machine which rides safely in the closet in its case. It's tucked between our clothes and the firmly latched closet door. It's a valuable antique and I'm very careful when I take it anywhere. But it sews the best and is so small and portable to take along. 

I'm working on some beautiful quilt blocks that when it will be put together it will be called a North Star Quilt. The little tin box on the table in the pic below that says Celtic Favorites was from a CD set my mom had given me. I have long ago transferred the CD songs onto my cell phone. But the case was so pretty I now use it for holding my sewing machine bobbins and packs of sewing needles. I think of Mom whenever I open it up and it makes me smile. 

Here is what the quilt is going to look like when it's completed. This is a photo from the website where I got the pattern:

And here's the video on YouTube of how to sew it:

While I am busy sewing, Steve always finds something to do. He putters and putzs around the motorhome and does the maintenance as needed. Here he is removing all of those horrible bugs that were splattered onto our windshield. It took hot water and quite a bit of scrubbing to get everything off. Now we will have a clear view for our way home.

Binney does her job while we are camping. She is steadfastedly on patrol --- she is dutifully on guard watching for any intruders. Yeah right. LOL

My friend Judy came to visit us at our campsite. She lives nearby and brought over some quilts that she has been recently working on. She also brought us some delightful treats of homemade applesauce and a lovely quilted journal for marking down our RV travels. What a thoughtful person. While we were sitting there chit-chatting, we heard some rustling coming through the woods. Yep, right alongside of our camper this little guy was on a mission. He was working his way through the woods. Stopping every now and then to snuffle the ground or chomp on a leaf?  You don't often see porcupines out in the middle of the day. This one seemed like he was awfully young. Maybe his mama didn't teach him all the rules?

We laughed that he came to join our quilting group, and he even brought his own pins and needles!

He went on his way.
We didn't disturb him. 

Later that evening, the winds had died way down. We decided we would have a little campfire after all. The campground owners stopped by and said it wouldn't be a problem because our campfire pit area was so surrounded by packed dirt and nothing combustible nearby. Also, we have a bucket and can quickly access water by pulling the valves on our gray water tank. That is all the water from our shower and kitchen sink that can be quickly used to douse a fire if things got out of control. We also have an outside hose that can spray from our fresh water tank too. But we kept it small, and burned it down to the coals before bedtime. We enjoyed our s'mores. Before we turned in for the night, Steve emptied our gray tank into the buckets and completely doused the fire before we went to bed. 

So that was another midweek camping trip on the books. Over Memorial weekend we went up and stayed on our daughter and son-in-law's private property at their cabin. I will write more about that later. This week we are looking to go up to my brother's cabin on his private property. 


  1. Glad to see you are enjoying your new RV. I still have my Safari Trek and although it really could use the clear coat redone I still love it and am planning a month long September trip out to the PNW to see friends

  2. I love that quilt pattern, it's going to be so pretty. Bugs! I know, I know, they're necessary for the birds and all but still, pesky.


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