07 August 2008

The Great Outdoors

We won't be around much next week.

My Bride and I are taking our child, vehicles, and a small mountain of our worldly possessions and striking out into the great unknown.

Except that we're only an hour away from home. We though it better that way, just in case the Mini-Wingnut doesn't like sleeping in a tent.

And it won't be the great unknown, technically speaking. There are showers and toilets. And a camp store with ice cream and sports equipment rental. And I grew up camping at this campground.

We will be tenting it at the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds, on Lake Michigan, just south of Grand Haven. We will be up at the top of the dune, because that's the last place on the grounds that almost resembles the camp ground that I remember. When I used to camp there, it was all sand. There were maybe four cement pads, for those whose trailers or RVs were so ponderously massive that they needed cement to not get stuck in the sand. The pavement extended from the entrance to the store, and that was it. The rest was gravel. The actual camp sites were misshapen due to the massive oak and maple trees that shaded the entire camp ground, and the playground in the center was huge, and filled with all the "perhaps" safe tetanus-inducing equipment so common twenty years ago.

I remember that the kids that were camping there learned real quick that they had to pour sand down the twisty slide before going down themselves. There were two reasons for this: One, the slide was about 5 MPH faster with a slight coating of dust on it, and two, the metal got so hot that kids would get burned on the way down if any bare skin touched the metal. Good times.

Now, the playground is larger, and more safe and modern. There is a laundromat right across the road from the camp store. Everything is pavement, and most of the old oaks and maples that I remember were cut down to make more room for more cement pads and more campsites. It looks almost like a subdivision now. The campsites have sod, for crying out loud! Not ours at the top of the dune, though. That section was always a bit more rustic than the rest of the campground, and I like that it's stayed that way. So that's where we'll be, probably the only tent in the entire campground.

But, we will be camping there, eating ice cream, cooking over a fire, roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, fishing, reading, swimming in the lake and pool, and generally just enjoying the lake shore. We'll probably head into Grand Haven to walk the pier and boardwalk, and if we do that we'll have to get some chicken nachos at Snug Harbor. We'll bring our bikes and a trailer for Mini-Wingnut, and see where we end up going. I may take my bike on a solo trip, to see if I can either break my bike beyond repair, or embed large amounts of gravel into various appendages. Not that I want to smash my bike into a million pieces, I really don't. But I tend to find the more difficult trails, and have been known to get in a bit over my head from time to time.

We might even have a fish fry, if I can convince any perch or bluegill or bass to eat my lures-and if I can coax my Bride to try some fresh seafood.

It should be a good time. The camping, not the coaxing. Call us if you want to come hang out for a night!


1 comment:

-Tim said...

Sounds like a good time. We'll be doing the same thing, sans progeny, this thursday when we leave for the island in the north to celebrate our anniversary. Too bad I work nights, it would be way fun to come hang out and visit one of these nights.

Glad to hear EJ is feeling better and hope you guys have a great time!