Yes, it's 2004! But don't worry, you haven't missed anything. This is just the first vacation we've had in a couple of years. Time flies when you're having fun. Doug, Cindy, Tom and I spent all last week refinishing mom and dad's Boston Whaler...as an early anniversary gift to them - so this week is very needed. We left this morning and headed east for a change. Money is tight this year, so we're staying in state. Ledges State Park was our destination. It's not really a 'destination' kind of park - but nice none the less. As we drove into the park, we noticed all the standing flood water in the lower sections of the park...this could be bad. (side note) We both agree that whoever thought out the placement of sites in this campground was actually thinking things out pretty well.
BUGS!!!! Mosquitoes!!! Everywhere!!!!! They are officially the welcoming committee here. Ugh! Mental note - camping in a park that floods regularly, and currently has standing water...probably not the brightest idea. Just don't do it!!!! After getting camp set up, relatively bug bite free....we hid in the camper reading and playing cards all night. Just a good, relaxing evening all in all.
Rain, rain, go away!!!! It started last night and besides a few breaks, really hasn't stopped. Tom thinks I'm crazy, but I swear the thunder sounds different here. We're not that far from home...so it must be our surroundings that make it sound so much different. Everything outside was soaked. Even if it was covered, or under the camper awning, it's completely wet!! The rain really came down pretty hard and splashed off the ground. Oh well - who needs dry charcoal anyway? :-) Oh, I forgot to tell everyone about our visitor last night. We could hear something crashing around outside in our campsite. Big 'ole momma raccoon. She had a little turf war with a fellow coon. On her last trip into the camp, she was going for the coolers. The wet bag of charcoal on top of the cooler must have really p*ssed her off....well, that and the fact that rain came in again.
We decided to try some hiking today. MUDDY!!!! We both fell going down the first hill. Fall sounds so much more coordinated than what we actually did though. :-) I would have landed harder, had the mosquitoes not broken my fall. We came back up that hill and hit the showers. That hike last all of 30 minutes, and 25 of it was trying to get back up the hill to home base. Maybe we'll go ride bikes? Or maybe not, all 4 bike tires are flat. OK - I give up!!! Let's make some food and stay lazy....maybe that's what we're supposed to do this week?? Maybe we'll do something more active tomorrow....maybe! :-)
Oh, - I forgot to tell you of our breakfast experience today...how could I forget. OK, with the rain, and the wet campsite...we decided to drive into town (Boone, IA) and find breakfast food. We stopped at the local fire department to ask for a good diner. Fireman eat, they should know the good places - or at least, that's what Tom thought. They said, "Go to the Oops." Down the street was a bar, called the Oops bar. Boy, was the name fitting. We were there an hour and never got food. Tom ordered a #3 omelet (menu says it has green onion, and some other stuff...it was very specific)...waitress asks us what he wants in this omelet. OK - maybe she's new? I ordered biscuits and gravy. After our waitress walked by three times with a plate of biscuits and gravy, we thought maybe she was looking for us. She walked into the kitchen, and Tom followed her. She was throwing it away just as he entered. Argh! So he tells her that it was probably ours and we need a new one. She comes back to the table 10 minutes later - "we're out of biscuits and gravy".....well hello! If you throw it away, you'll probably run short!!! We finally just left some money on the table for our two glasses of milk and left. As they say 'every cloud has a silver lining'....after leaving the Oops, we found exactly what we were looking for. The Whistlestop Cafe. This place was great. Good food, good prices, good people...the local wind tunnel.
Well, it was the Cafe again this morning...mosquitoes are my enemy!!!! Perfect sleeping weather last night though, 49 degrees, clear skies!!! Windows open, wool blanket....bliss!!!!
06/23/04 - end of the week
OK, again, I didn't keep up with the journal for this trip. We left Ledges on 06/22/04 and tried to find another park. Ended up at Brushy Creek State Park. Great park...and really big. It's a horse friendly park...so each site is huge...with it's own hitching rail and everything. We had perfect trees to tie the hammock to.....plenty of room...no one around. We spent the rest of the week at the site....reading, reading, and reading. The park had a shooting range, so we did take the .17HMR out for some target practice...but mostly, reading and napping. Very relaxing, but very boring to read and write about. :-)