Camping Daze: the Maiden Voyage

I forgot (meaning never put on a list) a few things like snapping the PITA towing mirrors in place on the truck. That should take a minute or so but never does. I may have to redesign them.

We left on our first trip to a bona fide campground on Thursday.

Packing up and hooking up was actually easier than loading the truck for earlier road trips. We pulled out of North Puffin right around 10, pretty much as planned, and headed on down the road.

We’re missing only a couple of things like a dish towel and hand towels which I thought I had put in the camper.

Anne noticed that something in the camper smells. Turns out that the wool blanket I used as an underpad for the mattress came out of the cedar chest and that slightly sweet smell gave her a headache.

Tale of Two Campgrounds
I reserved a site at Button Bay State Park on Lake Champlain. The Bay’s name comes from the clay concretions found on its shores which looked either like actual clay buttons or the molds used in button making. It’s been a state park since 1964. Sadly, there are no buttons to be found because they keep getting pried out of the ground and taken as souvenirs. I found some divots.

Everyone and everything there was very nice except for the hanging potted plant at the ranger station that clocked me twice when I walked right into the darned thing.

The huge, beautifully kept sites, and the friendly, knowledgeable staff at Button Bay makes it one of the nicest of the Vermont State Park campgrounds.

The ranger said check in was 2 p.m. but we could go right in because the sites were already clean and ready. Cool.

We have a nice, easy in-and-out space not too too far from the bathrooms and with a good view of the lake. The neighbors are longtime campers with grandchildren and a bubble machine but grandpa was glad to look over the rig and approve the way I set it up. We met another woman and her hubby who was in a wheelchair. They wondered if the trailer was accessible so I gave them a tour. The toy hauler ramp was easy for the chair.

No WiFi anywhere and almost no cell signal.

Our campfire was very very fresh cut pine. Hard to burn.

Relaxing by the Fire at Button Bay

The genset performed perfectly.

A (gas-powered) bus rumbled in at 10:30 p.m., backed and filled twice in the road, pulled into a site and shut down. He was set up and camping in five minutes. Hmmm.

The paternal grandparents of the bride turned out to be camped practically next door to us in a bus. Not the one that rumbled in.

The Wedding Park
The “official” purpose of the trip was to attend the wedding of a young lady we have known since she was in the womb. SWMBO officiated so you know that puts an extra whammy on the vows!

They rented Kingsland State Park, about six miles north of where we camped. Kingsland has no camping.

Lila took us to the YMCA camp, not Kingsland, but we still arrived early enough to meet the staff.

Kingsland charged the Check Writer (the bride’s father) $2,500 to rent the lawn, a 1790 building, and a T-shaped, reception and dance hall building. They then charged all the bridal party $4 each to get in on Thursday for the rehearsal and charged the bridal party $4 each to get in Friday to set up the chairs and the arbor and the DJ and so on. The gate guard, from Stalag 13 on weed, was disagreeable about even telling us where the party was meeting.

“Nobody told me anything about it,” she told me.

And she didn’t quite get that our camping pass was a day-use entry to all state parks.

Then, when the party trooped into the dance hall shaped, T-shaped building to check out and plan how to use it, another officious official threw everybody out because she had “just cleaned the building and didn’t want us tracking grass in.”


The Weddings

Bridal Attendants

They were lovely. The bride and groom had an arbor plus seven attendants each who lined up overlooking the lake. They had written their own vows and incorporated them into SWMBO’s. It was a long ceremony but perfectly framed with lake and laughter. After dinner, they completed the day with an Indian ceremony

Ashlee Fish called them “the best wedding vows I’ve ever heard. Congratulations!!!!!!!”

And in the other good news, Kingsland State Park was beautiful, perfectly groomed, and all the staff couldn’t have been nicer on Wedding Day.

The CW Delivers the Bride

The Return
It was a remarkably easy day but with a couple of little glitches.We were up before 8 so I could run the generator to charge up and to run the coffee pot. Because I prefer to use my own smart charger rather than the converter to charge the batteries, the routine is to start one generator and get it running the camper, then hit the battery disconnect switch. With the batteries free, I can then start the smart charger on AC and hit them for a couple of hours. Did that Friday morning and Saturday morning with no problem. Sunday morning, something else kicked in just as the coffee pot cycled and we went black. The generator overload had kicked us to the curb.

It seems (I’ll have to RTM) that simply removing the load doesn’t reset the genset. I had to disconnect, stop, and restart it to bring it back on line. It restarts hot with no problem.

Finished the morning charge on the converter.

The monitor panel apparently works. The battery lights seem pretty accurate. The black tank registered one light. The gray tank registered two lights.

And I spilled only a little getting the slinky hooked up.

Our next door neighbors had given us their firewood when they pulled out. I gave what we had left to the people with a very friendly standard poodle.

We got packed up, hooked up, dumped, and out in about half an hour. Easy drive back and it was dry enough that I was able to back right up the driveway with no drama.

In the end, everything worked except the TV. It was a superb maiden voyage for us and for the bride and groom.


One thought on “Camping Daze: the Maiden Voyage

  1. Love reading your RV adventures!
    Boy Dave & I should have had an Blog for our stories we could have had a tv show. Our first set up was s Comedy act. Met so many nice people from all over and believe it or not I do miss the weekend trips.. Lol
    Keeping blogging….

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