NRF - Most Excellent Memorial Day Camping Weekend

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Ed Call, May 31, 2010.

  1. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks to those that have paid the ultimiate price for our freedom the family had plans for a camping outing this weekend. We booked what had to have been the last available RV site in the state and our itinerary was booked for Twin Harbors State Park near Westport. In order to depart on Friday I had to close up the tent (we have been "camping" in the driveway off and on since April 15th because the girls love to sleep in the tent trailer.). I also had to load it up with all the essentials for the weekend. This took me the better part of an hour and the entire time it was raining near Kingston as hard as I've seen it rain in a long time (not quite like DryFlyLarry's hardcore rain and hail storm photo, but pretty nasty rain).

    Hitched up the prepped trailer, loaded the girlies and off we go.

    There is construction less than 1/2 mile from my house and while sitting waiting for the flagger I joked to the wife..."I sure hope that I remembered the key for the trailer"...knowing full well that I keep the key in the truck almost all the time. (I said almost and you can already see where this is going.)

    Drove about four hours, in the rain. Set up the camper, in the rain. Could not find that key I joked about because the magnetic box in which it resides was taken out of the truck for the Yakima trip a month ago and it is sitting right where I put it in the drawer of my desk. No worries, I'm on the high road, we are all enjoying a long weekend and I can improvise. I simply positioned a picnic table at the side of the trailer so I could have the family step up and I could lift them over the locked door that is about two feet long and normally, when properly unlocked by those that know what the hell they are doing, forms the step up into the trailer. Of course the full height door attaches with cam locks and velcro but opens outward, so it can't be of any use except to secure us inside when we are done for the night.

    I cooked dinner in the BBQ grill box, in the rain. I'm saying in the rain alot, but I really don't mind, it is pretty warm, mid 50's and the girls are all dry and happy and waiting for some camp chow. Cooking on the grill is a joy and doing it in the rain is not all that bad either. Getting rave reviews for the chicken and beans is a huge plus. About now is the time that the misses realizes that this last available spot in the state does not have a fire ring. After putting the kids to bed we turned in early ourselves since there was no easy way to create a bonfire that could be seen from space, in the rain and in the small box shaped BBQ grill. I'll have a better plan in the morning. It rained like crazy all night Friday night.

    Saturday started as rainy as the day before, but around 10 it slacked off, the sun peeked out and we headed out on foot for the beach, about a half mile away. The locksmith arrived just as the rain ended and sun came out. Best $97 bucks I've spent in a while to fix one of my classic mistakes. Now we could get back to our long weekend. We got to the gorgeous, wide open beach after crossing a couple of big dunes and everyone had seemed to forgotten it was all wet and soggy. We spent a couple hours roaming the beach as more and more beachgoers started to appear on foot, in SUV's and everyone was taking advantage of the sunshine. In rolls the grey, now more rain. I'm impressed that all three of my ladies are not fussing at all about soaked clothes, sand sticking to everything and a ten degree temperature drop as the rain arrived. We played a lot of indoor games but as the rain lightened up we played outside for a bit and the girls found some time to climb a tree or two in the crowded campground. I got to cook two meals on that grill outside, in the rain. I did get it really going though and had more than enough serious wood coals that I could pull some out and share with a neighbor that was having a really hard time getting his fire going in the rain. His was blazing in no time. They had a couple of young boys and their boys and our girls were not letting the weather dampen their spirits and they played with all the toys both groups had brought. It rained all night long, sometimes very hard. Great for sleeping!

    Sunday we tooled around Westport, in the rain. Spoke with a couple of chater boat places that I've used before to see how fishing had been. Slow but steady, worst weather they have seen in some time they both said. They were impressed that my girls were having a great time camping in the rain. Might have been a different story in tents, but the tent trailer really took great care of us. (Yes, the heater worked well and even allowed some of our wet stuff to dry overnight). We got one sunbreak that coincided with the raising of the flag for the Memorial Day Celebration in Westoport. The local Fire Ladder hoisted Old Glory High at the circle near the high observation tower at the end of the main drag. There was a brief ceremony that allowed us time to tell the girls about the reason we celebrate Memorial Day. Sunday night it rained like crazy from about 5pm until the morning.

    I got to cook our last breakfast at camp, in the rain. The ladies prepped the inside of the trailer and I got the outside stuff packed up. Then when the time was right, all ladies into the rig, dad buttoned up the tent trailer, in the rain. The misses came out to help with the final touches and latches and to make sure that we were not leaving anything behind. Off to Westport for the day. The rain tapered off to a light mist off and on and just dreary grey between mistings. We walked almost every foot of elevated boardwalk and dock. There were so many things to see and do despite the gloomy weather. After we walked off breakfast and built up a lunchtime hunger we hit the One Eyed Crab for some great lunch. Stuffed we headed for home.

    I just finished scrubbing the exterior of the tent trailer for all the scum and road spray, then popped it back open so that the misses can work some laundry and inside cleanup magic tomorrow. We have to get it ready for the next outing.

    I hope you all had as great a weekend as we did.
     
  2. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Sounds like fun Ed! Glad everyone had a good time, despite the R word!
     
  3. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    Good to hear you all had a good time despite the weather.
     
  4. orangeradish

    orangeradish 1/2 an Ira

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    Glad you and the girls had a good time.
     
  5. tediousthumper

    tediousthumper Hello My name is Thad and Im addicted to flyfishin

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  6. wannafish

    wannafish In search of Blinky...

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    Nice post! You are true Pacific Northwesterners!
     
  7. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    Boy! You are hardcore Ed. And you weren't even catching fish!
     
  8. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm a transplant, not sure about hardcore, but I was demonstrating to the girlies that it is just weather and you can still have fun.
     
  9. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Ha! Sounds like you need to hide another key somewhere, but I'm sure your wife mentioned that once or twice. :)
     
  10. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    There are now no less than six keys stragically placed in various places that I already can't remember. She made jokes the night we arrived, but after an evening of lifting everyone over the side, installing and removing the door for each trip out and such she figured I learned my lesson. No way to know for sure until the next trip though. I forget something every trip. Sometimes what I forget is more significant than others...spare reels perhaps? I wonder if anyone has ever done that?
     
  11. Bob Jones

    Bob Jones Still truckless now farther away

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    Glad you had a good time I really like your family and your caring. My boys and I went to Tillamook Bay to camp by the north jetty and surf fish and fish off the jetty. We got camp set up an dug out the fishing gear, while watching a guy pull in a bunch of surf perch. Oh boy this going to be fun. Now! were are the reels? I had put them all in a box and that box is still at home. We had a good tme but it would have been much better if we had been fishing. We almost always have rain while we're at the Deschutes and since we don't have a camper we put up tarps, we usually put up everything right a way but not always. Yes, those are the times that we get soaked. It wouldn't be so bad but we get pretty elaborate with our camp and meals, so cooking in the rain can be done but it's not ideal. We call our camp tarp town and our friends know that's us. It pays to get set up right away, then it may not rain after all.
     
  12. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Bob, more tarps means more space to socialize out of direct sun or rain, always a good option.
    I was joking about the reels because a new friend and I fished once and when it was time for him to re-rig a rod he was unfortunately without his spare reels. He looked in his storage box, then the other, then his gear bag. I handed him a spare and was one up on him for a moment. That guy is super fishy and you can't keep him down for long though. Great times!
     
  13. themaninthemoon

    themaninthemoon Just waiting on warmer weather, .......

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    I was happy to see that your indomitable Hoosier spirit was in great form throughout the Memorial Day weekend. And even if you were here in Indianaland, you would have had to endure that disappointing four-lettered, "RAIN" word. Fabulous article that covered not only your mistakes, but one which also entailed the wholesomeness of great family togetherness. Seems that sometimes, even when the odds are completely against you, the success of an event is/can be measured by the outcome of the results.
    Everybody that I know of, or have spoken with (at least here in NWI), is really getting tired of the gloomy forecasts that we've been getting, (rain, rain, & more wet, soggy weather), we all need some sunshine to "wash" off the clouds of dark weather.
    I "camped out" at my youngest daughter's house, in Shelby, In. over the holiday weekend, babysitting their dogs while they were camping at Turkey Run State Park, with the son-in-laws family. I had a fairly good time working on the pontoon, getting it assembled, adding my own special touch to the `toon, in between my traveling to Crown Point, In. to apply three separate coats of paint to my niece's olive drab/sage colored kitchen. It is now a very pleasing buttercream color that falls into the off-white category of Pittsburgh/Lucite's colorchart @ Menard's self improvement home store. This house they bought has homemade wood cabinets, with plywood doors, giving the kitchen a homey atmosphere that one usually finds in the log-cabin styles of decor. One problem that I encountered was that the craftsman that built these fantastic cabinetry, is that there is little/no clearance between the soffit overhang, & the cabinet doors. Once they were rehung, only one door rubs against the bottom of the soffit. The wet paint was just thick enough that it would adhere (to the doors), with the doors in place. My niece's husband cooked out in between the raindrops on one day, & the next day the wife & I also went by her folks where my brother-in-law cooked ribs, burgers, polish, brats, pork chops & chicken, on the grill, including the foil wrapped potatoes, onions, green peppers, & mushrooms, soaked in lots of butter, they are really tasty fresh off of the grill. Then there were the usual accompaniments, corn on the cob, baked beans, and two or three different types of salad.
    My daughter & her family came home early on Monday, & we cooked out there too. All in all, the weekend was a surefire success for everyone. Now, if we could get just a little co-operation from ol' Mother Nature, ......

    Oh! P.S.
    I will have pics forthcoming & a report on the status of the `toon in another week or so.
     
  14. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    I look forward to seeing those toon photos. Sounds like you've had fun despite the rain and still have been getting things done!