After an almost month and a half (involuntary) break from camping, we returned to the Indian Trails Campground in Pardeeville, Wisc. this past weekend with Jim and Cheryl and their daughter, Abby. Didn’t realize how much I had missed camping until I was sitting around the campfire the first night enjoying the big, open sky as we admired the stars.
The forecast hadn’t looked very promising the days leading up to this trip. There was a 40% chance of rain for pretty much the entire day Saturday. But, taking my usual approach of ignoring it, hoping it would change, I hadn’t really prepared for rain. Thinking back to the Steely Dan concert, I’m recognizing a trend that isn’t really working for me 🙂
So, when it started raining Saturday morning we were forced to think about the possibility of being stuck inside, or at least under the awning, for the entire day. We talked about finding a store where we could go buy some board games. But before we went out on this quest we decided we should look at the forecast again just to see if we would also have to bag the campfire that night, too. Surprise! The forecast now showed the rain stopping at noon, and just a few non-rain clouds for the rest of the day.
We finished eating our breakfast under the canopy and sipped our coffee as we watched the rain come down. It would stop for a few minutes, then start pouring down again. But by about 11 am, we saw something resembling sunshine. By noon it was completely clear without a cloud in the sky.
It was one of those days the weather is just so perfect it makes you smile. It was warm, but not scorching hot. There was a nice, soft breeze, and the sun was plentiful. We all agreed that the few hours of rain was totally worth it to get a day like that.
Despite all of the outdoor activities to do at Indian Trails, I was perfectly content to sit and do absolutely nothing but muddle limes and mint for mojitos 🙂 By mid-afternoon, Cheryl and I started prep work for that evening’s dinner, which was a first attempt for both of us at making beans from scratch. With the exception of a little blandness, solved with a dash of salt on each serving, it was a success. Good thing, since I bought a 5-pound bag of pinto beans and used maybe a quarter of them!
Despite what we thought was a solid plan to have dinner early enough to have room for roasting hotdogs over the grill, alas, it was another late dinner that was also heavy, so the hotdogs never left their package. There was plenty of room for s’mores, however 😉
As we prepared dinner some staff members from the campground came around selling 50/50 raffle tickets benefiting a charity for the kids of members of the armed forces. They were selling an arms-length for $10 so each couple bought an arms-length-worth and decided to split the winnings if we won – a 50/50/50/50, if you will.
Sunday morning I took the dogs on a hike around the lake and through a portion of the Waterfowl Production Area surrounding the campground. Indian Trails recently adopted the WPA to develop hiking trails. Cheryl and I tried hiking a portion of it when we were there in June, but areas were too muddy to pass. Since then, they have mowed back the tall grass and made wooden pathways over the muddy, marshy areas and it was an easy hike, even for the dogs.
On my way to the hiking trails, I passed by the general store at the entryway of the campground and I quickly remembered that Sunday morning is the day they sell fresh, homemade donuts. You could smell the sweet, fried goodness from several hundred feet away.
It was my turn to make breakfast Sunday morning and I had made a casserole that needed to bake for about an hour and half. With lots of time to wait for breakfast, we decided we needed an appetizer. I mentioned how great the donuts smelled. So, Cheryl, Abby and I walked up to the store, deciding we needed to see if they tasted as good as they smelled. The store hadn’t yet opened when we got there and the line was already forming. The donuts must be pretty good, we thought. And we were correct!
But…the most amazing part of that trip to the store was when I took out the long string of raffle tickets we bought the night before. The winning ticket was displayed on the bulletin board and when I compared it to the first ticket in the string I had in my hand, I discovered it was one, ONE(!!!) number away!! The thing is, I didn’t know if the rest of the tickets went in ascending or descending order from that number. So I flipped the next ticket over, and … wait for it …. it was the winning ticket!! I had to read back the number three times to make sure, but it really was the winning ticket!
After considering for a split second not telling the guys we won and taking our winnings to Charming Charlie for a shopping spree, we decided we had to think of a cute way to tell the guys. Cheryl came up with the idea of telling them, with disappointed looks on our faces, that we were one number away. Then flashing the money and yelling “THE RIGHT WAY!!!” It worked just as we planned. We had a good laugh and figured out that even with our splitting the pot between us, it covered the total expense of the weekend, and then some! It was the perfect ending to a great weekend.
As Brian said, ala Charlie Sheen, we had a “winning” weekend. No tiger blood needed.