Monday, September 2, 2013

Camp Chicken Labor Day Weekend 2013

We had planned on spending the weekend at Camp Chicken but the weather report for the weekend was for hot weather Saturday, rain and thunderstorms on Sunday, and cold and rainy for Monday.  So we didn't plan on going to camp.  We were going to try and squeeze in a round of golf and that was it.

Saturday morning the weather didn't look too bad so we thought we would go to camp and take photos of all of the changes that have taken place since we had a logging company come in and cut the dying spruce trees and remove the poplar and dying maple and birch.  People have been asking how it looks now.

Camp looks very, very different now.  There are no spruce or balsam trees left around the camp circle.  It is extremely open and you can see such a long way into the woods.  This was how Camp Chicken looked when I was in my teens.  It was very open then and ringed with giant elm trees.  The elms all got Dutch Elm disease and slowly died off in the late 70's.  That opened up the sun and the spruce trees took advantage of that to take over the camp area.  They all came from the big "Mother" Spruce trees that were there.  There were three of them and they were probably 100 feet tall.  The spruce seedlings came from them.  They are sadly all gone now, victims of Spruce Bud Worm.

So anyway, we decided to get some chips, pop and adult beverages and take a ride to camp.  Chris, Judy, Ross and Cindy went with us.  It was warm at camp but not terribly bad.  We sat around and visited and had snacks.  It was so relaxing. 

About 6:00 pm we decided to go to the Sundown for wing night.  They have the best wings around and it is all you can eat with fries and cole slaw.  After stuffing ourselves we left the restaurant and we were going to head home when my nephew Ross, said "I thought we were going to stay at camp this weekend?"  I explained that because of the uncertain weather that was forecasted, we had decided not to go.  He looked so disappointed, that I just couldn't say no. 

So we made plans on the fly.  Mary Sue, Arlene and I would go to the Soo, and pack clothes, get groceries and get Tiny Bubbles and meet Chris, Judy, Ross and Cindy up at camp.  Since the new pop-up camper was still at Chris's house, he was going to tow it to camp so they would have a place to sleep.

We got to camp about 9:30 PM and tried to set up things in the pitch dark.  Chris and I tried to run power to the pop-up so that Arlene and Mary could see what they were doing and suddenly water started shooting out of the sink.  There shouldn't have been any water in it.  So they had to clean that up before they could finish setting up the camper.

It was an adventure but we got everything done and a fire started.  It was so nice but really damp.  If you got out of your chair for a minute it was wet.  The fire was nice after we finally got it going.  We sat around visiting and finally went to bed. 

Everyone was up fairly early and we got the generator going and started making coffee for everyone.  About 11:00 AM we headed to town to have breakfast.  Main Street CafĂ© was closed and Big "D"'s was so crowded there were no tables so we went to the Sundown.  They have a nice brunch menu so we stuffed ourselves.  We went back to camp and we were going to cut the grass and set up the croquet set but it started to rain and rained most of the day.

So we sat in the "Clubhouse" and played cards.  The rain did quit long enough for us to start leveling the area where we want to put the pop-up.  Mary Sue started it.  She went a grabbed a shovel and started leveling a spot.  My sister-in-law Judy says Mary is from the "Badger Clan", she isn't happy unless she is digging in the dirt.  We laughed so hard at that one. 

We decided to cook dinner while we had sunshine.  Arlene made red potatoes and onions cooked in tin foil on the grill and we grilled hot dogs.  Judy had brought garden cucumbers and tomatoes too.  Supper was really good.  During dinner it started to rain again and while Arlene was doing dishes it started to thunder and lightening really bad.  So some of us took shelter in the trailer and some of us went to the clubhouse.  The worst of it missed us but it really rained hard.

Janet had come up for a visit so after dinner we went to the "Clubhouse" and finished our Phase 10 game from the afternoon and then we all played Attack Uno.  It was a lot of fun.  Chris, Judy and Ross were pretty tired so they decided to go sleep at home in their own beds.  We hit the hay as we were all pretty tired.

We were up at 8:00 AM and made coffee.  Breakfast was cheese and crackers and bananas but it sure tasted good.  It was still raining so we opted for Phase 10 to see if it would quit but no luck.

Chris, Judy and Ross came back up to help us close up camp and put things away so that was a big help.  We'll be back up Tuesday or Wednesday to get the pop-up and bring it in to wash it.

Oh and we have a new addition to Camp Chicken!  Chris, Judy and Ross got us a rooster to stand guard over camp when we aren't there.  We haven't named him yet but I'm sure we can come up with something appropriate.

There are more photos on my Facebook if anyone is interested.