Monday, July 20, 2009

What have we been up to?

This and that and CAMPING!!!

After last year's camping adventure (see here) we weren't sure camping was in our future. But then we found a deal, on a 2000 Coleman Santa Fe popup camper.

So, this past weekend we took it down to Pine Grove Furnace state park in PA.

So it's July in PA, and the weather was nice. But it got cold at night. I'll give you the highlights, and the funny bits.

I got out of work early Friday. The PUP (PopUP) had been loaded earlier in the week, but we had to load the food, clothes, and doggie into the SUV and hitch up.

The DW (Dear Wife) had gotten most of the gear out on the back porch, out of the rain, but real easy to load into the TV. Took a little longer, I think I was slow cause of the rain, but we got it all loaded. Then I put the bike rack on the back, and loaded the bikes. Nothing left to do but hitch up the PUP.

(Funny bit) I usually store the ball hitch and pin in the storage under the trunk of the SUV. Guess where it was at this point?!?! Yup, safe and sound, under all our gear.

I quickly pulled off the bikes (leaving the rack), and pulled out just enough gear so I could lift the floor of the trunk and get the hitch. (I keep it in a bag with the pin so it doesn't grease up anything.) Less than 10 minutes to fix, thankfully, and we were ready to hitch.

I found out the DW is very good at getting me lined up to hitch up.

So, it's wet, I'm soaked, but we're loaded and ready to go. A quick change out of my soaking jeans, and we're on the road.

The rain was lightening up, but I'd never towed this trailer while loaded with all the gear before. I was pretty nervous at every bump, and any time we kicked up a rock I was sure the PUP was falling off the hitch, but everything was fine. (Triple checking is so important.)

By the time we pull into the CG, the clouds are parting, and we've got a bit of sun. We pull around the loop, and my wife says, 'Is that the Parker's camper?' Sure enough, right behind our site, was the camper of some friends of ours. They had heard where we were camping, and decided to check it out too.

I was very careful backing into the site, and with DW's help (she's good at this part too) I got lined up nice and straight on the first try.

(Funny bit) So, it's July, and we're in shorts. We set up in about an hour, and go to chat w/ the friends. We turn in early, since it's getting a bit chilly. And proceed to wake up about every hour as the temp drops about 5 degrees an hour. (I'm guessing. I have to put a thermometer on our gear list.) Musta been in the 50s!!! We had one blanket on the bed, and no sweat shirts packed!!!

We managed to make due, we dug out some throw blankets, and the DW bundled in her jacket and 2 sets of socks the next night. (It was cold then too.)

Our packing up routine needs a little work, but I didn't worry a bit about the PUP on the way home, it handle's great. We even saw another Hyundai Santa Fe pulling a Coleman like ours with bikes in our CG, so I knew our rig would be fine too.

I realized too, that this was my first time ever camping in a trailer!!! And only our fourth camping trip in our 7 years of marriage. But we're planning on more trips.

(We'll definitely stock a space heater and blanketS before any October trip!!!)

You can see pics here!