Travels with Charley

The cool camping blog. Trying to find gear, supplies, adventure and activities for the 21st century camper.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Late Summer Camping Update

Haven't been posting much this summer because we have been on the go the whole time, boating and camping. The summer started on Memorial day weekend with a failed camping attempt. As I pulled the camper up the drive my wife told me one of the tail lights was out. It was not a burnt bulb, and despite the advice of a friend (Lou!) I didn't find the fault for three days. Heed my (and Lou's) advice: when you have a trailer electrical problem upon hookup, always check the trailer-to-tow vehicle plug first. The ground wire had pulled loose and was shorting out the left tail light. Open it and the receptacle first and look for loose wires.

Our first successful trip involved a trip to the Saginaw Bay shoreline for a few days where we relaxed and hiked. Beautiful setting and beautiful weather. It was then off to Traverse city for a couple of days of fun where we learned that we really really like kayaks. Crystal River Outfitters is a great place to rent kayaks - recommended!

July was supposed to be a month without camping, until a heat wave hit. We took off for the weekend on a moment's notice and it was the most fun short trip we've had. We found a nice little park in Michigan's thumb, right on Lake Huron. We went kayaking again around Pt Aux Barque and discovered Turnip rock! That night, while sitting around the campfire, we looked out over the lake and saw the lights from the boats in the Port Huron to Mackinac race.

Next up was the Airstream Rally in Grass Lake Michigan. This was a rally of people that have mostly met online at various forums and just plain friends. Campers from 1963 up through the 2007 model year were there and we had a great time touring each other's campers, sitting around the communal campfire and at the potluck dinner. Applecreek campground was a very nice setting for this and if you are staying in the Irish Hills area of Michigan, I suggest you try them out. BTW, we bought kayaks on this trip.

I go tent camping with some buddies this weekend to the Sleeping Bear Dunes and we're off in the Airstream towards the end of the month. I hope to have my thoughts on Duck tape flat packs, Camelbacks and making coffee on a Coleman stove when I get back.


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