Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the category “Campsites”

Lake Voss Walkabout

Minnesota has no shortage of pleasant scenery.

Since I’m here in Butterfield, Minnesota for awhile more to wait out the heat wave, I thought I’d show you a little of what’s here. Athough the village of Butterfield is a one-horse town with businesses you can count on one hand, the houses are substantial, their yards treed and well-kept, and the people are friendly and welcoming. Biking around town is a pleasant silence, with nary a barking dog to be seen or heard. That’s unusual, in my experience.

This pier and boat launch is on the park-side of the lake. a sand “beach” has been added, with a tiny swimming area being roped off.

The campground is vast, and before long is expected to be packed to the gunnels with participants and attendees of the upcoming threshing bee. The park grounds have quite a number of large buildings made by local hobby clubs, as well as many old, semi-historic buildings that have been relocated here and re-purposed. Judging from the other campers here, Voss Park is used as a Read more…

Voss Park Campground

Not much info is available online for Voss Park Campground, and what’s there is out of date, including the park’s own website. Best to go check it out personally, when possible, before financially committing!

Intense research last night and this morning as to my camping options to avoid the brunt of the current heat wave produced the affordable option of Voss Park, a large city park in the tiny town of Butterfield, Minnesota.

An aside: The town of Butterfield exists today only because of a poultry processing plant in town, Butterfield Foods. It suffered controversy earlier this year after Read more…

Rock Cut State Park

Picturesque.

Due to the 14-day limit at Chain o’ Lakes State Park, Rock Cut, out near Rockford Illinois, is the only viable alternative for a short stay. But with all the necessary activities and need to get out and about most days, I haven’t seen much of either of these parks, actually. Between that, the heat, and the frequent fronts of rain moving in, taking care of business is usually the order of the day. “Business” that has included seeing good friends, my beloved chilluns and grandchilluns, annual medical checks, and registering a home address change with the entities that I do actual business with.

The drivers license change will have to wait until next year, since they want me to produce mail with the new address on it, which is not easy when you just moved and you’ve selected “paperless” as your preferred receiving mode. I’ll have to remember to turn on the “paper spigots” next February or April at the latest, in order to accumulate mailings from the “proper” kinds of outfits in time for my next arrival. Pity my poor son, who will have to use a laundry basket to store my mail instead of a handy little envelope-sized bin.

Of necessity, life here more resembles a continuation of the Read more…

Cranes, and Stuff

Awww, look at that little guy!

Yesterday began nicely, even though it once again was destined to become hot and humid. I had spotted the crane family you see above days before as they wandered around both the campsites and the shallower water areas. This shot as taken just as I was leaving for an appointment in a nearby town. As photos go, it’s a miserable one to be sure, but who knows when I’d get another chance?

There are snapping turtles in the area too – one lady recently found one that had been run over by a car, put it in her trunk, and hauled it back up to the entrance shack, where she was encouraged to take it to the Read more…

That is Illogical, Captain

In northern Illinois, this is the opportunity to get away from it all.

Now and then, I’m at a loss to explain what might be behind what I observe, when it comes down to the human element. It’s not just the verbal and nonverbal messages during conversations that are considered to clarify the message, the ones that are almost certainly there but are imperceptible in my realm. You know, things you’re supposed to be able to pick up on, read into, decipher, and signal back, in so many words and gestures. The lack of ability to sense and deal with them can be intensely awkward at times. When a conversation stops making sense or begins to become peppered with contradictions, that’s when I have the feeling that there’s something hidden going on that’s not showing up on my radar.

One might reasonably think that continued experience in dealing with such things would be the cure. You know, learning and adapting! That’s simple enough, right? Trouble is, the internal wiring Read more…

Chain o’ Lakes State Park

“Ahhhh, west and wewaxation at wast!” ~Elmer Fudd

Made it! After a time-consuming tour of the campgrounds to find the right combo of traits and availability for two weeks, I opted for a site with electrical power and cool shade. There was exactly one site without that hookup (at a cheaper rate), but it looked to me as if I’d be battling very limited daily spans of solar if I took it, particularly in light of the Chicago area’s predilection for “Chicago sunny weather” (grey overcast). True, the cost is a choker ($145/week at the discounted Senior Rate), but oh well…   That cool shade ought to come in handy less than a week from now, as the daily temperatures climb from the current low 70s up over 90 degrees. Chain o’ Lakes is in Spring Grove, Illinois. Given the boggy terrain, the major crop production here in the growing season is mosquitoes.

I actually stayed two nights at the Petro Truck Stop in Rochelle, wallowing in Read more…

Meade City Park

Go back to a time when rustic cabins were proofs of talent… A raised concrete “patio” is within the low walls, and is still in remarkably good condition.

Meade City Park dates from 1920, when one Earnest Fletcher goaded the Meade Commercial Club into purchasing four acres of farmland from J.J. Stalder, christening it the Artesian Valley Camp Ground. The Club was well aware of the potential revenue generated by automobile tourism in those days, and became determined to build an “auto camping ground” to bring people in. Once the area was fenced in, they badgered residents to donate 30 ash trees to supplement the shorter-lived cottonwood trees already in place. If you volunteered a tree here, you were also expected to help plant it and take care of it.

By 1921, the city’s small bandstand was hauled over from the other side of town by two Fordson tractors. Three artesian wells were drilled in preparation for a swimming pool, which was to become The Big Deal of the park’s existence. The planned 50’x100′ pool was estimated to need Read more…

One Confused Camper

The new campsite in the daytime. The “trail” is actually a camping loop.

I resupplied in Flagstaff yesterday, and on the return decided to check out the “dispersed camping corridors” in the Cononino National Forest, using the MVUM (Motor Vehicle Use Map). According to the map’s instructions and those on the Internet for that forest:

“When dispersed camping (or “car camping”) on the National Forest, refer to the designated camping corridors shown on the Motor Vehicle Use Map. In these designated corridors, visitors may drive their vehicles up to 300 feet from the road to car camp. Also, visitors may park alongside any designated road’s edge and walk to their campsite anywhere on National Forest System lands, except where specifically prohibited as indicated in closure orders. When parking along a designated road, drivers must pull off the travelled portion of the roadway to permit the safe passage of traffic. These rules only affect motor vehicle use. Forest visitors can always hike to campsites at farther distances from the roads.”

Officially, these “corridors” seem to be the only permitted locations to camp, and doing otherwise Read more…

North of Flagstaff

Ahhh, trees, sky, and mountains.

Since I was too busy to post during the Overland Expo West (including nice naps to recover from all the walking around), I’ve been looking through the scores of photos I’ve taken in order to build a post. I’m writing this from a fine campsite about 15 miles north of Flagstaff, a Coconino Forest road called Schultz Pass Road (NF 545), on the opposite side of the highway from the entrance to Sunset Crater National Monument. Getting a cellular data signal in this area can be problematic, but after my cellular data modem came up completely blank, my iPhone was surprisingly happy to provide a working hotspot. Usually, the iPhone is the gimper while the modem is the producer. Go figure.

This is a true forest area, with the campsite itself at 7,490′ elevation. The “heat wave” is apparently over, the daytime temps for the rest of this week expected to be Read more…

Backtrack!

A forecast heatwave moving into Cottonwood, Arizona made me chicken out and climb back to the cooler air of Mingus Mountain yesterday, something like 6.5 miles away, but 16 on the road.  Cooler, but probably not cool. Mingus is more problematic to get accurate temperature forecasts about, so you get what you get. This time, the trip was all climb, so the Mighty Furd burbled its way up the serpentine that is 89A. I’m not the only one who deserted Cottonwood’s 3,500′ elevation, which is expected to hit 90 degrees today and head for the mid-90s until Sunday. My location at 7,300′ should knock that down by perhaps 10 degrees. Of necessity, I’m not conforming to my pre-planned travel itinerary, but the time prior to the Overland Expo consists mainly of mucking about at various unfamiliar sites onroute, their elevations being unknown but certainly not as high as Mingus, so forget it.

This pastoral scene is at the campsite just south of Cottonwood. Moo.

The talk among vanners and RVers is that Cottonwood has some great campsites, but with my interests, I’m just not seeing it at this time of year. The town itself is a great place to Read more…

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