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Tuesday, September 12, 2023

CAMPGROUND REVIEW - We Energies Wilderness Shores Rec Site #1

Even though we just got home from a month-long trip, we had the urge to go camping again already by the weekend.  So we tossed some stuff in the rig and away we went.

It was a beautiful Friday morning with sunshine and blue sky. Those white puffy clouds mean the humidity is low. Just perfect to get away and escape into the woods. We don't often go camping on the weekends, but time is running out, and winter is coming.

If you read my last blog, you will know that I am very happy to have my laptop now accessible from the front passenger seat. I have my GPS dongle sitting in the windshield and it functions perfectly. Microsoft Streets and Trips is still operational, even if they are no longer supporting it. I love having the big screen with the accessibility to plan a trip and look forward, look back, zoom in and zoom out. 

The new laptop stand with articulating arm works perfectly. It is bolted right to the seat frame and can rotate with the seat to face the rear of the coach. It works really well and does not vibrate at all as we are driving. The only change I'm going to make is to switch over to my corded mouse. Twice I dropped my cordless mouse and it went down in the stepwell by the door. If I had the corded one I could have easily retrieved it.

We headed up to a little out of the way place called the We Energies Wilderness Shores Rec Sites. There are thirty different locations scattered around northeast Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, all maintained by this energy company.  Here is the blog post from another time when we were there:

The We Energies system has various dams built along the Menominee River. Around the edges they have cultivated little recreation sites for camping and fishing. Here's their website with more information.:

Our favorite one is called Rec Site #1. Located just south of County K, at the border between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, near the Chalk Hills Dam. So we set our sights on getting there early and looked for an empty campsite. At Rec Site #1 there are 4 little campsites to occupy first come first serve. The rate is only $15 a night. It is rustic camping with no hook ups or water source. There is a pit toilet, trash can, and 4 picnic tables and fire rings at each site. There's a pay post and envelopes for cash only. No reservations, no credit cards, nor any campground host.

We pulled on in and managed to snag site 1 C!!!   The sites are 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D. How wonderful! A beautiful shady site, and we can pull right up to the water's edge with the motor home. It is grassy and, level as all 4 sites are. We have a little picnic table and a fire ring made of rocks.

We are on the Michigan side of the Menominee River, and just across the river from us, down about 10 miles, our oldest daughter has a cabin near Wausaukee.

We got set up. The view out of our door and our windows is absolutely fantastic. We are only about fifteen feet from the water. 

 The colors of autumn are rapidly changing in the area. Trees are starting to turn faint hues of red and orange. The last of the wildflower blossoms are opening up to the sun before the first frost takes them out.

Binney got out and about and sniffed around the camp site. She gave it her seal of approval and settled down in the sunshine next to the fire pit. She supervises us setting up camp.

We put out the slides and our camping ground mat with our relaxing recliner lawn chairs. This sure was quite a comfortable site, and it was total peace and quiet. The neighbors next to us were out fishing and we didn't hear a peep.

One we were all settled in, we whipped up a quick lunch. Then it was time to relax and take a little nap for the afternoon. We had all of the windows wide open and a soft breeze blowing in off the river... it was a very pleasant afternoon

We had bought some firewood nearby on our way into the campground, and Steve unloaded it next to the fire pit. It turns out, the neighbors that came back from their fishing excursion and invited us to share their campfire for the evening. So we carried some over by their fire pit.

We were treated to a beautiful sunset, and nice camaraderie around the campfire. They had caught some fish and decided to cook them up and share sample tidbits with each of us around the fire. What a treat. Fresh perch and bluegill... yummmmm!

As the sun was setting, I snapped this picture of the neighbor's lawn chair and fishing pole. I hadn't gotten mine out yet, but I planned to do it the next morning.

Our new neighbor, Chickie, did something we've never seen before. She has a little shovel and some old aluminum disposable pie tins. She shovels hot coals out of the campfire and sets them into the pie tins. Using her shovel, she carefully slides them underneath each person's lawn chair from the back side. The heat coming up off the coals can really be felt while sitting in the lawn chair! Every 30 minutes or so she would replenish the trays underneath our chairs!

We sat out around the fire with them till well after 11:00 p.m. and a few beverages were consumed. It was time to toddle off to bed as the temperatures were dropping and it was going to be a very chilly night.

We did have some other people that moved on the other site next to us to the north. Two couples who set up a couple of tents earlier in the evening. They were kind of loud. But we certainly did not expect them at 10:00 PM at night to fire up a diesel heater and place it between their two tents!!!!  From the noisy diesel engine, they ran two hoses expelling heat into each of their tents! This diesel heater was quite loud, similar to a generator. Of course there are generator restrictions in the campground after 10:00 PM. We weren't going to cause a ruckus by complaining about it, because really there wasn't anybody to complain to. So we just bit our tongues and put up with it.

By early morning, I glanced at the outside temperature which was down to 41°! Brrrrr but we were cozy warm inside our little motorhome. Their diesel heater had run out of fuel about five o'clock in the morning. They were slamming and banging around and having an argument amongst the two couples. I kinda presume it's one who didn't have enough fuel along for the the heater?  They settled back down by 5:30 and had to finish the night by sleeping in their idling vehicles.

We got up and perked our coffee. We were just going to ignore them. They were prepping to go out fishing. So we didn't need to have a confrontation with them anyhow. There would have also been a slight language barrier, although I've heard a few English phrases and words every now and then. My high school French is not nearly good enough to follow along with their French Canadian dialect.

With coffee cups in hand, we took Binney for a nice little walk out of the campground and around towards the boat landing.

It was such a beautiful morning, crisp and cool. Just the type of morning to put on a nice, thick sweatshirt and sip a steaming, hot cup of coffee. The birds were singing, and it was absolutely magical. I love fall camping!

It was a short walk over to the boat landing. Binney doesn't like to go walking too far any more. Everything was calm and peaceful. The river was like a sheet of glass, perfectly mirroring the images along the shoreline.

We walked out along the launching pier to check for any signs of fish in the area. Binney had her own ideas and said, absolutely no way, no how was she coming out on that pier? 

We didn't see anything of any size other than a few minnows flickering about here and there. But I still decided that I was going to dig up some worms in the woods and overturn a few rocks around the campfire pit and see what bait I could find.

Well, I was getting breakfast together, Steve decided to haul out the solar panels. We really didn't need them because the batteries had only gone down 7 or 8% from watching a little TV before we went to bed. But he wanted to charge up our batteries, of course, without running our generator. In no time at all, he had them topped off to 100 percent. These Thunderbolt Panels from Harbor Freight are kind of handy. They separate into four individual pieces and can be stored away in a narrow compartment. I made flannel fabric sleeves for over each one so they don't get scratched. They can be hooked together in pairs or triples or all four, or just single. Each one is 25 watts. 100 watts was enough to top off our batteries. Steeve thought if we had needed more than that, we could have started up the generator.

In our last blog, we mentioned the new little camping oven and stove that we had bought last week. This will be a good addition to our meal prep equipment. Inside of our motorhome, we only have a built-in 2 burner propane cooktop, no propane oven. The only oven is a microwave convection combination, which requires either electrical hookups or the generator running to bake things. So our next best alternative was to purchase this Camp Chef propane oven and camp stove. It was either that or cut out the countertop and put a complete RV oven and stove in the motorhome. We did that in our last Safari motorhome and it worked really well. Here is a link to that project:

This cute little Camp Chef oven rides in our closet. We carried it out and set it on the picnic table and made sure it was kind of level. It will run off either a 1 pound green propane cylinder or a 5# or 20# propane tank with the hose.

I added a pizza stone to the bottom surface of the oven. This is an old RV'ers trick. It helps spread the heat to distribute it more evenly while baking. It eliminates the hot spot and burning of the pans or cookies in the middle of the tray.

We fired up the oven to make some toast on the baking racks. Steve made some bacon that he set aside in the oven to keep warm. Then he started up a square griddle full of hash browns and at the end I fried up the scrambled eggs. We usually cook in pairs and make a great team! 

We are pleased to report that it worked perfectly fine. Our outdoor cooking was a success and we could use anything as large as a 9 x 13 pan in the oven.

Our friendly neighbors next door were getting ready to go fishing again. They had two very friendly golden retrievers. This one was named Brooks, and he came over to visit and become Binny's new boyfriend. She really seemed to like him and kept following him around. Soon though he had to jump in their truck and go fishing down the river below the dam.

The sun was out, and it really seemed to be a really nice day. There was absolutely no rain forecast for the next three days.. (or so we thought). It was so nice that we hung up our solar lights on the awning and put out our little whirly gigs. We were only planning to stay for one more night, maybe two, but we felt like putting them out anyhow. Then again, if our neighbors to the north of us were going to be loud and obnoxious, maybe we would pack it up and just head home?

Everybody was gone fishing, so our campground loop of four little sites was again totally peaceful and quiet. We were the only ones there. I wandered around in the woods a little bit with a stick and dug out some of the moss covered lumps and piles of piles of leaves. I found four little red angle worms and one maggoty looking grub to go fishing with. Good enough for me. Who needs to buy nightcrawlers at a store?

I set myself up next to the water and had my little fishing buddy at my side. It was her job to guard the worms in the container while I was busy feeding the fish. I had lots and lots of nibbles, but no good bites and no big fish at all.

About supper time, Steve thought maybe we should give the oven another try. This time we were going to make a pizza. The cookie sheets I have couldn't quite contain a whole pizza. My pizza pans at home are a little too large. I'm going to have to look for 10 inch ones. So instead, I did the next best thing, I chopped the frozen pizza in half and put 1/2 on each of the cookie sheets. I always lay a piece of parchment down to keep things from sticking.

While the pizza was baking, we took out the cribbage board and played a couple games. This is the one that our granddaughter, Chelsea, made in her woodworking class last year. It's one of our prized possessions when we go camping.

Pretty soon the pizza was done to perfection. Look at that! Absolutely no complaints... the oven baked evenly and perfectly all around. We did add a little oven temperature gauge. The reviews of this Camp Chef oven said that the gauge that is installed at the top of the oven is not inaccurate. Mainly because the sensor is located up at the top and really doesn't give an accurate reading of the temp in the middle area of the oven.

As the sun was going down, we were treated to another really nice sunset. But some clouds were rolling in from the West. We checked the weather app on our phone, and realized that the weather had changed. Suddenly it looked like there was going to be some extensive rain showers coming our way. We decided to roll up our awning and put away our lawn chairs before we went to bed. It was a lot better than trying to deal with wet stuff in the morning if it did rain.

And yes, our tent neighbors to the north fired up their diesel generator again right at bedtime. They must have went and got some diesel fuel from somewhere. We tried to drown out the noise by playing our TV for a while, but then there was another noise starting outside. What was that? RAIN! and lots of it!

It poured and poured during the entire night. At times, the sound was almost deafening on the roof. Other times it was a gentle rain that was so peaceful and easy to sleep to. We had no complaints, we were high and dry. As for those noisy neighbors, at first light, they were packing up all of their wet gear, and they weren't too quiet about it either. They threw it all into their vehicles and left the campground. Oh, well.

We perked our coffee and hung around the campground for a while. And then we decided we would contact the kids and see if they are still at the cabin. They were just getting ready to cook breakfast. So they invited us over. It was a mere 12 miles away. We hopped in the motorhome and headed on over. What a nice way to have an early morning breakfast on a rainy, icky day.

So that was about it for camping at one of our favorite spots in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We will go back again probably one more time during September. They do close up by September 30th and they are not available for camping into October or November, like a lot of the National Forest campgrounds are. So if we want to enjoy it one or two more times, we'd better get back up there..


We headed on home and took care of a few tasks around the house. The rain was splattering on and off all day. But that's okay, we were going to curl up and watch the Packer game by 3:15. They won and it was a fun game.

I've been picking tomatoes every other day and canning them up. We brought a bag full today to go visit Steve's dad down at the Hospice Center. Excited to get fresh tomatoes, that he cut one up right away and ate it as soon as we came in his room.

I got a special package in the mail from Canada. In my blog a few posts back I mentioned where I had bought some beautiful fabric at a quilting store in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. I realized I hadn't bought enough of this fabric --- and it's been discontinued. I can't find it anywhere else. I was able to internationally call up the owner of the store, and she took my order over the phone. She cut all the remaining yardages that I needed. Of course, in Canada, it's called meters. She bundled them up carefully and put them in the mail. I got them yesterday, and they are absolutely beautiful.

Last night, we decided to watch some Monday Night Football. it was to see how our EX Packer player, Aaron Rodgers, was doing in his new position with the New York Jets. We settled down in front of our fireplace and tuned into the game. I had a mug of spiced apple cider to sip on. We were ready for some Monday Night Football! Well, it didn't last long before Aaron Rodgers was out of the game.

From there on in, I decided to do some sewing instead. I half listened to part of the game and later we turned it off and tuned into some HGTV shows instead. It was a lot more entertaining.

And as a final note, our oldest grandson has been working a summer job at the A & W root beer stand. He is continuing on into the school year, working on evenings and weekends when he can. His boss let him off early. He needed a ride home. He's only 15 and not yet driving. He couldn't reach his parents, so he did the next best thing. He called me up and asked if I could pick him up???  

He dubbed me "Grandma Uber"

It is a name that I will proudly wear from now on.


  1. looks like a nice little spot for some relaxation. Except for the noisy neighbors... Oh well. maybe next time will work out better.

  2. What a great rig you've got - easy to drive down the road and a breeze to get set-up when you get there. I love the idea of the charcoal embers in the pie pan under the seats - clever! Also, that new stove/oven combo looks awesome.


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