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Sunday, September 24, 2023

CAMPGROUND REVIEW - Boot Lake and Boulder Lake in the Chequamenon Nicolet National Forest near Mountain, WI

Last Sunday we took care of a few little things, helped out Steve's dad and his friend Sandy, and then came home to watch the Packer game. Sadly, they lost at the end.

It was a beautiful day, so in between the commercial breaks of the game, we ran out totes of groceries and some clothes to put into the motorhome. 

At the end of the game, we tossed in the dog and headed on up to the Northwoods of the Chequamenon Nicolet National Forest. There are about six or seven campgrounds in the Laona district. The one we are heading to is off Highway 64 just west of Mountain, Wisconsin. This time of year there really isn't a problem with getting the rustic wooded campsites, especially on a Sunday afternoon. 

We set our sights on heading up to Boot Lake. We hadn't been there in about 10 years but we did drive through last year on a ride in our convertible. We figured we would head back that way and see what we could find.

Here is a link to the National Forest website for Boot Lake:

Boot Lake

Campground Details:

The campground sits at the north end of Boot Lake and overlooks the scenic 263-acre lake. It has 36 campsites, of which 19 are reservable. There is a camp host as well as a beautiful swimming beach, shaded picnic area and boat landing with a dock.  The campground has vault toilets and drinking water.

I will add:
There are no electrical sites, and the drinking water is from a well-hand pump.
Cell phone signal is sporadic and weak. The only antenna over the air TV stations are PBS.


Camping here is $18 a night for a rustic site. 

With the Federal Senior Access pass it is half price, so it's only $9 a night. 

No credit card kiosks, bring cash or check to put in an envelope and put at the pay post.

Take note, Boot Lake does not have a dump station nor portable freshwater fill faucet.

It was an absolutely beautiful gorgeous afternoon with blue sky, puffy white clouds, and all the trees are just starting to change color.

We drove into the campground and we're surprised to see that out of the 36 sites, about half were already filled.  We managed to find a very nice site with a view of the water peeking through the trees. It wasn't the exact one that we had been hoping for, but it was really maybe the second best or third best of the choices. 

I think it was 

site number 9? 

It was very quiet and peaceful. We could barely see the people at the next campsite through the abundance of underbrush and trees. They were in tents, but extremely quiet. We barely heard a peep. Nobody blasting crazy music, nobody singing songs, nobody running a crazy diesel generator heater device like last week! It was complete peace and quiet!!! 

From our chairs we could look at the lake through the trees and down the little path from our campsite. Every now and then we could hear some loons at one end. And some cranes were over at the other side. Overhead a couple times we saw a V formation of geese flying south. What do they know? It's only the middle of September?

We sat out in our chairs for the rest of the afternoon and then lit a campfire. Grilled up some burgers after throwing on a few ears of sweet corn from our neighbors Sheryl and Ed. Sometimes we like cooking over the campfire if we have a good bed of coals going. 

We walked down our little path to the shoreline of Boot Lake.

Everything was so picturesque. At a few campsites down they had a little boat parked along the shore. And down the road a ways there is a boat landing access. How nice for when they are camping to be able to launch their boat and keep it right by their campsite. We saw them go out in the evening to do a little fishing. Not sure if they caught any, but it sure looked peaceful and relaxing. We had been thinking we should have brought along our canoe. But really the only way to haul it is to tow our Saturn and put the canoe on the roof! Steve has been looking for a little canoe trailer smaller than a regular boat trailer that is lightweight and that we could tow behind the motorhome. Wouldn't it be nice to paddle a canoe through these peaceful waters?

It's good to get away. Even for just a few days like this. Steve needs to kick back and relax once in awhile. When we were at home he works on too many projects. I think this is good for the soul. 

The next morning we decided to bake in the new Camp Chef oven. I think I'm going to call it my Easy Bake Oven! Although it's not too small. It can take up to a 9x13 pan. And with two racks, and three positions, it's really versatile to cook a variety of items. 

I mixed up some little pouches of Betty Crocker blueberry muffin mixes. These are my larger muffin pans so it takes two of those mixes to bake up six muffins. We set it out on my folding Lifetime table with a piece of heat reflecting insulated fabric underneath just in case. I don't know how hot it gets underneath. But this fabric works well. It's actually ironing board fabric that you can buy by the yard at Joanne's fabric and craft store. I had made some ironing platforms for my quilting and covered with this fabric. So this was a leftover piece that I decided would work out perfectly underneath the oven. When not used for the oven, I cover my laptop computer in the front passenger seat with it so the hot sun coming in through the windshield doesn't damage the computer. Dual purpose fabric used for a variety of things. That's what we try to do in the motorhome is have multiple use items... it means less gear being hauled along.

Back to the muffins... 

They baked beautifully and evenly with the hunk of pizza stone underneath. That helps spread the heat around and keeps it from being concentrated in one area right where the burner is. That works in all RV ovens to lay a pizza stone in the bottom right above the heat shield over the burner. 


While I was baking the muffins Steve decided to get the solar panel set up. Our batteries had only gone down to about 88%, but he wanted to top them off for the day. He set up this portable 100 watt panel setup which we can move around to soak up the sun from whatever angle it is at. This way we can still park in the shade and get solar charging. 

We didn't get a lot of sunshine, and we really didn't want to fire up the generator. 

By the second day our batteries were down in the 70% range. We really don't care to let them get down that far at all. We were using the propane furnace at night which also uses 12 volt battery power for the blower. Had gotten down to 41°. Brrrrr but we were cozy inside the motorhome. 

Steve was thinking it might be nice to check out Boulder Lake again which is about 14 mi to the south. There are some sites there that are electric.

In a hop, skip and jump we could load up the motorhome and head on out of Boot Lake before we had to pay for another day of camping. Check out time is at 2:00 p.m. and we headed out about 1:30.

We drove on over to Boulder Lake. Here is a link to their information on the website:

This campground features electricity at some sites, an RV dump station, three shower and flush toilet facilities, an expanded beach and amphitheater. Vault toilets and hand pumps still exist. There are 89 single family sites and 6 group sites.

The campground has a picnic area, swim beach and boat landing. Fishing is good in the 362 acre Boulder Lake which has walleye, northern pike, bass, and panfish. Several nearby streams offer trout fishing, too. 

The campground also features a hiking trail. A wooden boardwalk begins your journey into another world of primitive bog vegetation, deer trails, squirrels' nests, and the workings of woodpeckers. Hike up and down the ridges around a large open bog area. The huge boulders you'll see are the calling cards left behind when the last glacier receded and formed the rugged terrain over 10,000 years ago. Campers can access the trail from several points in the campground.

What we like about this campground is that it is long and drawn out with little loops here and there. That way you are not camped in an area where every single piece of traffic drives by your campsite. There are 2 loops with electric... One is when you first enter the park (9 through 16), and then a loop way back up in the corner that we like to go that has 14 more electric sites.

Camping here is $18 a night for a rustic site. $28 for electric. 

With the Federal Senior Access pass it is half price, so it's only $9 a night for rustic, and add $10 for electric use. We paid $19 a night with our pass. 

No credit card kiosks, bring cash or check to put in an envelope and put at the pay post.

Boulder Lake also has a dump station and fresh potable water available via faucet to fill your tank. Thank you Whereas, Boot Lake does not. 

What is nice about fall camping in the Chequamenon Nicolet National Forest is that right now all of the sites are "first come first serve" . Although in the summer you would need reservations at this very busy campground-- this time of year you have a pretty good chance of getting a good site by just driving in.

We were pleasantly surprised that among the 14 or so electric sites in that loop, that only four were occupied. We snagged site number 52. We could not see a single person or another RV from our site--  they are so well spaced out.

The woods are full of little sounds of rustling chipmunks gathering acorns. Every now and then an acorn falls down and plops on the roof of the motorhome. It can be quite startling at times until you realize it's just the acorns.

We set up the awning and put out our little gigaws and spinners and solar patio lights. Steve hooked up our EMS from Progressive Industries, an electric management system, which is a surge protecting system on the post... and all was good to go to plug in. 

Binney said that was enough for traveling in one day, 14 miles suited her just fine. She relaxed in her lawn chair and would open her eyes every now and then to look at the chipmunks bustling around. She has long ago learned that she will never catch them, so it's not worth trying to chase them. 

I simmered up a little mug of apple cider... 

I add a teaspoon or so of this wonderful spice mix. I bought some packets of these a few years ago. We might be heading that way later today I might have to stop and pick up some more! It's from Mud Creek coffee shop in Stockbridge, Wisconsin. 

It was such a beautiful day that I asked Steve to set out my folding table again. It folds in half and stores neatly in the rear compartment of our motorhome. I took out my little Singer Featherweight sewing machine and started to work on my quilt. This is an extremely pleasant pastime to sit in the woods and sew or daydream or create or just chatting with Steve. 

I only have about eight or nine more blocks of this quilt to go. Then I will be able to put it all together, add the border, and put it on my large quilting frame at home to finish it up. 

The pattern is called North Star from the Missouri Star quilting company. When it's done it will look like this:

Those are just laid out but not yet sewn together to kind of see what it will look like. 

We finished up the next few days by staying at Boulder Lake. It was so quiet and lovely. We took a few walks around and just relaxed. At night, the TV stations came and went sporadically but we were able to stream on our Roku by setting Steve's phone on hotspot. He has an unlimited data plan from Visible through Verizon. We also use a WeBoost cell phone booster to get in a stronger signal when it seems to get congested on the towers in the evening. More people in the area going online.

We had to pack up on Thursday and head on home. Not that we really wanted to because the weather was absolutely gorgeous. But we had another commitment to take care of... 


Ewok and Biscuit were here for a few days while their family was out of state. They are two little stinkers who love to come and visit and romp around and pester Binney. She usually looks at us and wonders "When are they going home?"

I also picked the last of my garden tomatoes. There's a few green ones on the vines yet that I'm not sure if they will ripen or not. I might have to pick them and ripen them in the house in a paper bag. It's good to get them off the vines before the first frost. 

We had damp foggy weather rolling in, and the last two mornings looked like this out in our backyard.

By mid-afternoon the sun breaks through the fog and my she-shed is bathed in sunshine. I brought in my quilt pieces from the motorhome and was working on them at the treadle machine. I think I'm ready for some hibernation and some quilt-making for a few days. 

After a few appointments this week, vet for Binney and dentist for me, we might go camping again. Perhaps a loop through northwestern Wisconsin or even into Minnesota?

Stay tuned, you never know where we end up.


  1. lovely camping. We purchased folding kayaks to take camping. We had inflatables last year and did use them, but this year upgraded to the Tucktec brand folding kayaks. They work really well and take up very little space. We are enjoying using them. Whether or not we are camping or just heading to the lake or river in the area.

  2. Love your camping get-aways. Glad to hear you have an EMS to protect your lovely RV.

  3. Nice site... One thing I love about being retired is camping on Sunday nights!


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