Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fawn Creek Winery ~ Perfect Getaway

This past summer one of the ladies where Holly works recommend that she stop at the Fawn Creek Winery during her visit to Wisconsin Dells.  Excellent suggestion!  We are hooked!  Fawn Creek is a quaint winery located north of Wisconsin Dells.  They make some tasty wine.

Since we signed up as Case Members our 1st visit we now belong to their  Fawn Creek Winery Case Club.   The Saturday after
Thanksgiving Holly and I decided to check out the Fall Case Club event and spend a weekend enjoying ourselves at one of our favorite hangouts in Wisconsin Dells ~ Rivers Edge Resort.

We had a BLAST at the Club Party.  The hospitality of the Fawn Creek Winery staff was amazing.  Live music - food - $10 bottles of wine and best of all $100 cases of wine! We meet the nicest couple from Waupun, WI.  Hopefully we will see them again at the spring event! There had to be at least 200 guest at the event!  A great happy crowd of wine lovers.

If you are a wine lover and are ever in the Wisconsin Dells region - take the time to stop by Fawn Creek Winery just north of Wisconsin Dells. You will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Kayaking My New Passion

This past August a good friend and I decided to give Kayaking a go.  OMG I have fallen in love with kayaking. Kayaking is my new passion. I am super lucky because it is also Holly's! Holly is my camping partner. She also turned her SUV into a sleeping camper.

We rented kayaks from Rivers Edge Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Rivers Edge is our favorite place to stay in the Dells!  Rooms clean - food tasty and 5 Star Customer Service! The resort is on the Wisconsin River. 

Our first kayaking trip was about 2.5 miles down the Wisconsin River. I don't think I have laughed that hard in years. My favorite statement was "I'm not trying to go this way!"   We had a fantastic time! By the end of the trip I was able to paddle in the correct directions!  A very successful first trip.

Since we had such a good time on our first trip we decided to tackle a 8 mile trip the next day ~ continuing our venture down the Wisconsin River.  The 8 mile trip was a handful! The wind was blowing in our face - hard enough to make white caps on the Wisconsin River.  We were able to get a few breaks from paddling - a few of the bends in the river got us out of the wind and we were able to let the current take us down the river. We had an amazing time. It was hard but worth every paddle. We were hooked! Kayaking was in our blood!!! 

This Black Friday I got a great deal on a Explorer 10.4 Kayak  at Dunham's. I bought myself a Blue Kayak.   I also bought myself a paddle. 

We plan to make kayak accessory shopping our February activity. Living in Wisconsin with our long cold winters...looking for kayak accessories in February will hopefully break the ho-hum of a long winter.

We will be purchasing life vest, dry bags, light, kayak cover and who knows what else. I am very interested in some wet/dry clothing for chiller weather. Wisconsin Spring weather can be very confusing - starts out 85 then within 3 hours it is 65. I will be writing post about the adventure of buying the kayak and the equipment. Make sure to check back.

I am also going to buy Diesel a life jacket - I want to get him used to kayaking. He can be our partner in crime while we kayak and camp. Training him to be in a kayak is going to be a WILD RIDE - he is crazy!!

  2017 is going to be an amazing 
Kayaking Adventure Year!





Friday, December 2, 2016

Cuisinart Gas Grill ~ Perfect Camping Grill


I love to cook on a camp fire - but I also like having a backup for meals  I purchased a small grill perfect for my kind of camping.

The Cusinart makes traveling with a grill easy.  I really like the fact that the legs fold under the grill and the top locks. I place the grill on the front passenger floor when heading to my camping adventure.  

I also like the fact that small propane bottles fuel this grill. Easy to buy at local shops and very easy to travel with.



Yes...another Amazon buy!

Cuisinart CGG-180TB Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill, Black


Portable gas grill with 145-square-inch grilling area and foldaway legs

Cooks 8 burgers; 8 steaks; 6 to 10 chicken breasts; or 4 pounds of fish at once

Powerful 5;500 BTU stainless-steel burner and even-heating porcelain-enameled grate

Aluminum legs and stabilizing feet set up in seconds; integrated lid lock keeps lid secure

Pronounced briefcase-style carrying handle; weighs 13 pounds

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How to Make Fire Starters

To get ready for Camping in 2017 I plan to take advantage of the winter months to get my Fire Starters made. 

I make my own Fire Starters using:

  • Paper Egg Cartons
  • Empty Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Dryer Lint 
  • Scrape Yarn
  • Used Scented Wax from my Electric Burners
I keep a plastic bag on my laundry shelf - I place all of my dryer lint in the baggie.  I save all used toilet paper rolls and paper egg cartons.  

I have two wax scent burners in my home. Once a week I place in new wax.  I use the old wax for my fire starters.

Easy to Make Egg Carton Fire Starters
  • Take a egg carton 
  • Place dryer lint in each egg slot 
  • Drizzle warm melted wax over the lint in the egg carton ~ then flip over toilet paper roll and pour more wax into the other end.  I pour wax from a burner into each side of the roll. 
Continue this process until the egg sections are full of lint and wax. It usually takes three times to fill my cartons to the top.  
When the egg carton sections are full - cut the sections apart. You will have one dozen fire starters from one egg carton.

Easy Toilet Paper Roll Fire Starters
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Lint from dryer
  • Wax from wax scent burner
  • Place toilet paper roll on it's end in lid of egg carton 
  • Fill with lint
  • Pour in one burner of wax
  • Flip roll over and pour in another burner wax
I then place the Fire Starters in a large sealed plastic bag.  They work perfect for starting fires.

Place a few of the Fire Starters in the fire pit - add your wood in a tepee design - with the Fire Starters in the middle of the tepee. As the fire grows - I add a few more starters to ensure the fire is set and ready to go. 

Fire Starters work great - the lint burns fast setting the carton and paper roll on fire..the wax keeps everything burning longer. 


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Trace Mississippi State Park

If you are in the Tupelo, Mississippi area - there is a fantastic State Park.   Trace State Park is a excellent place to relax and enjoy.  We stayed there for 3 nights in April. The weather was beautiful. The park is perfect for water sports - I wish I would of taken a kayak. The lake is perfect for kayaking. 


The sites are very large - as you can see from the pic the Jeep and my brothers camper fit perfect with lots of room on both sides.

The washrooms and showers are very nice and clean. In fact they are the nicest I have
found so far. 

Hard to beat the price for camping ~ $20 a night full hookup!

CLICK HERE for PARK INFO

CAMPGROUND INFO CLICK HERE

CAMPING FEES CLICK HERE

The campgrounds are good size & well maintained ~ total of 106 sites ~ 9 cabins ~ 17 Primitive Group ~ 24 Premium Campsites ~ 10 Primitive and 46 Standard Campsites.


Park Description


Trace State Park offers a quiet, natural retreat located just minutes from the excitement of Tupelo, one of Mississippi's fastest growing cities. Trace State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities ranging from fishing and water sports to exploring miles of secluded nature trails. A special arrangement with the Pontotoc Country Club allows Trace State Park guests to enjoy the club's 18-hole golf course without paying green fees.

Park Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • All Terrain Veh Riding
  • Barbeque, Briquette
  • Bath House
  • Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat Launch Ramp
  • Cabins
  • Church Service
  • Comfort Station
  • Disk Golf
  • Dump Station
  • Fire Rings
  • Firewood Sales
  • First Aid Station
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Lake
  • Gift/Souvenir Shop
  • Handicap Access
  • Hiking
  • Hiking Difficult


  • Hiking Moderate
  • Ice Sales
  • Information Center 
  • Jet Skiing
  • Lake
  • Laundry
  • Pavilion
  • Photography
  • Picnic Tables
  • Pier Fishing
  • Playground
  • Powerboating
  • Ranger Station
  • Satellite TV
  • Trails, Horse
  • Trails, Mountain Bike
  • Walking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Camping Coffee Made Easy

I need coffee first thing every morning!  
Camping is no exception!!!


I found a perfect way to solve my coffee addiction issue!  I have a Keurig just for camping! I call him FRED!  
He sits perfectly in the front passenger floor of my Jeep.

The grab bar on the Jeep makes a great coffee kcup holder.

I pick up coffee cups at our local Dollar Tree.  I get a pack of 6 with lids for one buck. We reuse our cup - no need for a new cup every day.

I plug Fred into the surge outlet I use for my electric blanket. 

Perfect Coffee!!

Who said camping has to be difficult!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In Nipped in the Bud, Not in the Butt: How to Use Mediation to Resolve Conflicts over Animals by Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton


Conflicts over animals are among the toughest to resolve. People form deep emotional bonds with their pets—after all, they're members of the family—so when a dispute involves animals, people get just as angry as if the clash were over their human children. When they've finally had enough, they head to court where the law treats the pet as property—as just a thing.

But there's a better way: mediation. Whether your conflict is over who gets the cat in a divorce, how to deal with a barking dog, or any other issue, a neutral mediator can bring you and the other person together so you can hear each other out, acknowledge each other's feelings, and resolve your dispute. Not only can mediation settle the conflict in less time and with less expense than litigation, but it can save and even strengthen relationships.

In Nipped in the Bud, Not in the Butt: How to Use Mediation to Resolve Conflicts over Animals, litigator-turned-mediator Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton introduces her proven techniques for addressing your conflict, working out a mutually satisfactory solution, and ensuring the well-being of the most important party—the beloved pet or animal in need.
Available to buy from....

Friday, November 11, 2016

You ask WHAT ARE SKEETER BEATERS?

Skeeter Beaters are a fantastic way to turn your vehicle into a sleeping camper.  As you can see my Jeep Liberty is my sleeping camper.  Easy to use Skeeter Beaters make that possible. 

So easy to order and use  
#1 ~ Go to their site http://theskeeterbeater.com/
#2 - Click on FIND YOUR VEHICLE SKEETER BEATER SIZE
#3 -  Follow directions on their page

Skeeter Beaters are:
  • Made in the USA
  • Sewn and Shipped by a Sheltered Workshop
  • Our mesh is Rated as True NO SEE UM Screen
  • No dyes Will Come Off Onto Your vehicle
  • Won't "Ride Up" on Your Window

Very easy to order  - I ordered one set for the front windows. My set for my front windows for my Jeep also will fit my back windows.  My camping buddy also ordered hers and she too bought one set. She places them on front and back windows. They work EXCELLENT!!

I have used them camping in Mississippi - Louisiana - Kentucky - Tennessee - Wisconsin.  

Skeeter Beaters makes sleeping in my Jeep easy. I know I can make my own screens - but by the time I purchase materials and time to make the screens - the price I paid is well worth every penny.

I give Skeeter Beaters a 5 STAR Review!  
They are the BEST!!!! 




Monday, November 7, 2016

Mammont Cave National Park

If you are traveling down I-65 in Kentucky I found a great National Park worth the stop.  Mammoth Cave National Park.

Mammoth Cave National Park has more than 400 miles of explored caves. It is the world's longest known cave system. Definitely worth the stop!  






CAVE TOURS 

Frozen Niagara Tour
Domes & Dripstones Tour
Great Onyx Lantern Tour
Mammoth Cave Accessibility Tour
Grand Avenue
Cleaveland Tour
Wild Cave Tour

SURFACE WALLS & PROGRAMS
Heritage Walk
Porch Talks
Green River Bluffs Hike
Let's Go Birding
Nature Hike
Evening Program

Cave Tours & Programs change during the season - make sure to check HERE   When you click on the link you can also find a detailed explanation about each tour ~ Duration, Distance, Total Stairs, Difficulty, Tour Capacity, Price and Tour Times.


Camping ~ Click HERE for all Camping Info
CampgroundMammoth CaveHouchin FerryMaple Springs
Sites105 sites
4 group sites
12 sites4 Equestrian sites
3 group sites
ReservationsYNY
RV SitesYNN
RV HookupsNNY
Dump StationYNN
Grill & TablesYYY
Camp StoreYNN
Toilets: FlushYNN
Toilets: ChemicalNYY
ShowersYNN
Coin LaundryYNN
WaterYYY
Large GroupsYNY

We took the Frozen Niagara Falls Tour. They bus you to the cave site. Our Ranger was very knowledgeable about the cave system.  You will be impressed how the park system is handling a diesease that bats are getting! I don't want to tell you the details - I think learning the info at the end of the tour is part of the fun.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 7 
Mammoth CaveKY 42259-0007

Phone:

(270) 758-2180 
General information line for Mammoth Cave National Park

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Raccoons and Camping

Every since our Raccoon visit in October I have been reading everything I can find about Raccoons and Camping. After hours of reading articles from experts to novice - I have determined the only way to secure your food from Raccoons is to keep your food locked in your vehicle.  


So far - there have been no sightings of Raccoons breaking into cars and stealing food. 

Locked in your car is the safest place. It is even suggested that you put your cooler in your car if you plan to be away from your campsite for any length of time during the day.

This is how we found the cooler in the AM
It is also recommended that you never leave your keys outside - sneaky raccoons have been known to sneak in and snatch up keys - jewelry - anything shinny.

When the raccoons raided our site - the only noise I heard was the noise of something falling on the ground. It was our two wine bottles falling off the cooler. Not sure how many raccoons there were at our site - but they came in ~  knocked off the wine bottles ~ opened the cooler ~ then feasted on cheese - sausage - eggs  - they even dug into the ice.










WARNING ........ I read a article that stated be very careful after dark. Many raccoons in camping parks are fed by campers ~ they feel very comfortable around humans. BE AWARE of your surroundings. You never know who or what is watching you. 

Mirror Lake Wisconsin State Park ~ October 2016 ~ Location of Food Heist


Friday, October 28, 2016

Camping at State Parks ~ Mirror Lake State Park ~ Wisconsin

Have you checked out State Parks for Camping? 

If not ~ you should give it a try. I have found that State Parks  not only have excellent camp sites but that the facilities are VERY clean.  I like to hike and they usually have great hiking trails in the park.

Location


Mirror State Park located just south of Wisconsin Dells is a great park for many activities.
There is a good selection of rustic sites - electric sites and even pull through for the Big Boys.   With my Jeep I like to stay in the electric site section close to the facilities.

The bathrooms are very clean - showers are a nice size and clean. The entire park is well kept - the park rangers do a great job keeping the park looking the best. 


Mirror Lake has a Camp Host for each campground in the park.  We purchased our wood from the Camp Host. The wood was dry and was easy to burn.


Photo: MIRROR LAKE STATE PARKHiking Trails - they were all groomed and made the hike a fun adventure.

The park concession stand near the boat launch sells ice and firewood and also rents boats, bicycles, canoes and kayaks in season - contact the park office for pricing. Great kayaking and boating.  


There are many waterways that make for a very pleasant boating trip. During Winter months there are Cross Country Ski Trails.


CLICK HERE for Park Map


CLICK HERE for Campgrounds Map

MIRROR LAKE STATE PARK CAMPING TIPS:


#1 - Make sure you keep your cooler with food inside your vehicle. We did not the 1st night! A very smart Raccoon ate everything in out cooler! Cooler in the vehicles from now on.


#2 - Some sites can not be reserved - they are  first come/first get basis.  Make sure to check out your site with the ranger. We called before our visit.

#3 - The sites with electricity are HUGE!!! The picnic table is not even in the pic - it is on the far left top corner in a separate area just for the table.


#4 - Wood cost $5.00 a bundle 


#5 - Walmart about 4 miles away ~ perfect for the odds and ends which can be forgotten when packing


#6 - October Camping can be chilly! October 12th & 13th - temps got down to 29 degrees at night - a bit chilly!


#7 - Each site has a very nice fire pit with a nice grid cooking surface.



Mailing Address:

MIRROR LAKE STATE PARK
E10320 FERN DELL RD.
BARABOO  WI  53913



Phone Number:

Information:  (608)254-2333

Excellent State Park ~ We will be visiting Mirror Lake again

Thursday, October 27, 2016

How to Turn Your SUV into a Sleeping Camper

Okay here goes …… How to Turn Your SUV into a Sleeping Camper!


It is easier than you think. I love to camp – but I hate pulling a camper plus not enough $$$ to buy myself a RV on wheels and my days of sleeping in a tent are over!

Loving to camp and kayak ~ I had to find a comfortable way to go camping. My 2008 Jeep Liberty was the answer.

By buying a few items I have been able to enjoy camping in a warm rain proof comfy bed.

You will need:
·         SUV Air Mattress – I ordered mine from Amazon
·         Mattress pump - car adapter useful
·         Mattress Pad - (helps keep moisture off of you while sleeping)
·         Sheets & Pillows - Flannel sheets are great for all temps of camping
·         Blanket - large enough to cover entire bed 
·         Electric blanket - a electric throw will work - In cold weather I bring 2 electric blankets - one for on top of the mattress and then one for on top of my blankets. - I have been able to keep warm to 29 degrees using two blankets. (also when the temps are cold - I warm up the Jeep right before I get into bed)
·         50’ Outside Extension Cord
·         Surge Plug - ordered Amazon 
·         Small Fan - ordered Amazon 
·         Zip Ties
·         Rain Guards on vehicle windows - ordered Amazon
·         Skeeter Beaters for Windows - easy to order online 
·         Windshield Cover - ordered a collapsible cover from Amazon
Yes, Amazon is my friend!  Why not let my fingers do the shopping instead of my Jeep and my legs!

After years of tent camping I learned that the secret to being comfortable is to keep the dew off of me.  By using a electric blanket on top of my blanket and sheets – I am able to stay comfy and dew free.  Keeping a window cracked no matter of the outside temperature is also very important. A open window keeps moisture down inside the vehicle.  Zip tie a small fan to the upper hand grip – I like to keep the fan on low – that way air is always moving – preventing moisture. (During cold weather 29 degress - I keep my window closed and the fan off) 
I use a electric surge plug to plug in the fan – electric blanket – and my cell phone.  I use the front seat for odds and ends.  I use the back passenger door as my entrance into my bed. This way I keep my shoes on the floor by the door and also my jackets in the area.

Check out the pics – my good friend also loves to camp – she too turned her SUV into a sleeping camper.
We both love Kayaking and Hiking. This way we are able to enjoy nature – enjoy a warn comfy bed with no worries of getting wet. 
If it is raining when I wake – I reached for my raincoat – sit by the passenger back door – put on my shoes and head outside.  

Mirror Lake Wiscosnin State Park - October 2016

Here we are enjoying Fall Camping and Hiking at Mirror Lake State Park near Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.  Being able to stay warm and comfy with 29 degree night temps makes for a Happy Camper.
KOA Wisconsin Dells May 2016
I will be posting many helpful camping tips & great parks - check back for 
more Camping Tips!