Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Willow River State Park, Wisconsin - Sometime in June

I had to do it – I had to get outta town.  I could tell it was time – every time I saw an RV on the road, I just got that itch.  It was building and building – I do believe they call it hitchitch in inner RV circles. 

Back in the old day, pre-retirement days I would live for the weekends.  Everything was planned around the weekends because that was the only time I had available.  I would join the masses trying to fit everything I could into the few weekend days available.  Nowadays I find that I still plan around the weekends but it is different, I plan to do everything I can during the week while the regular people are busy with their nine-to-fives. 
I decided to leave Tuesday afternoon right after my weekly riding lesson.  This would work out great because I keep the RV out at the stable where I also keep my horse.  Very efficient am I.  The plan was to come back on Thursday with an option to stay over Thursday night I felt like it. 
I ended up at Willow River State Park in North Hudson, Wisconsin.  Twenty minutes from the barn.  It could not get any better – hardly any driving and I’m in a campsite.  I had stayed in this campground last year doing a trial run with the new RV – this would be a repeat performance. 
Willow River has three campgrounds.  I have only stayed in the newest one where the trees are just starting to grow.  The best campsites in this loop, the 100 Campground, are 16, 17, 18.  I was in 17 this time.  Electricity, all major TV stations, picnic table, fire ring.  The sites are fairly large.
When I got there I had to go down to the 300 Campground to the dump station there to take on some water.  If you remember, a lot of times when I would fill up with water, as soon as I moved the rig, half of the water in my fresh water tank would siphon out.  Hilltop Trailers could not duplicate this issue so as a consequence, it was not fixed last time I had it in the shop.  It seems to not happen if after I fill up the tank, I open up one of the drains and let a little bit of water out.  This seems to break the siphon factor up.  Don’t know if it is an actual fix, but water has not siphoned out since I started doing it.
Willow River is known for its waterfall.  You have to go down a very steep hill into a gorge to get to the waterfall.  Last year when I was here I discovered a trail that got me back to the campground which circumvented the huge climb back up the hill.  It went along the river down to a lake and there were only a few brief hills to get us back to the top.  When I got down to the waterfall, I sat on one of the benches for quite a while just listening to the water.  It was cooler in the gorge and it was wonderful to just sit. Recharge the batteries, zone out – just be.

Miko On The Trail

As you know, Miko is nuts about deer.  During our evening walk, she spent a good portion of the walk walking along on her hind legs, leaning against her harness.  That way she was tall enough to look over the tall grass looking for deer. 
When Miko and I were lounging around camp toward evening fall, a vole came running across the campsite.  He headed straight for Miko, saw her and stopped and looked.  Miko was just lying there watching him.  Then he made a mortal mistake.  Instead of heading in the opposite direction, he headed straight at Miko.  She was up in a flash, grabbed the vole, shook him a few times and that was the end of Mr. Vole.  I felt bad for him, but I also thought this was a true case of Darwinism in practice.  How dumb can you be to stop, see a large carnivore in your path and run straight at the aforementioned carnivore.
Besides the hiking, a lot of the time was spent catching up on some paperwork and computer tasks that I had just never gotten around to.  When you are out camping, sometimes there seems to be more time to do that kind of thing.  In-between the hiking and lounging of course.
My RV broke again – gee, isn’t that a surprise?  This time I had no hot water – couldn’t figure out how to fix it.  So, when I needed hot water, I just heated up water on the stove, just like in the olden days.  Toward the end of our stay, if I had the water pump on, the water heater would make this constant clicking noise.  I ended up only turning on the water pump when I needed to use water.  Otherwise I kept it off.  I now have an appointment with Hilltop July 7th for them to look at this current issue.  Sidenote: when I got back to the barn one of the other boarders who just so happens to be a heating/air conditioning guy showed me the reset button on the water heater.  By pushing this button, I was able to get hot water again.  The water pump clicking is still going on, but at least there is hot water.

Since this campground was only 40 minutes away from home, Tony came to visit on Thursday morning.  We hiked, we ate lunch, we lounged.  It was one of those perfect days – warm, lovely little breeze.  I decided that I really needed to stay one more night.  When I got up to the Ranger station to pay for another night, I found that my campsite was not available.  Somebody else was moving in.  So that settled it – I was on my way home. 

I'm going to have to do more of this type of mid-week getaway camping.  It certainly does recharge the soul.