Friday, February 1, 2019

Tiny Trailer Camping Photos (Without the Camper!)

Indian Lake, Farmington, Iowa

Such a beautiful view of the lake . . . or the mountains . . . or the dry, pristine desert . . . or the ocean or lakeshore--and then there's the trailer, taking up a large percentage of the photo's space. I've done it--and don't tell me you haven't done it. We love our tiny trailers and our teardrops so much that we just can't help including them in the photograph.

And there's nothing wrong with that. We love our sweet babies. Sorting out my 2018 camping season photos, though, I have come to realize that one goal of the 2019 season is to have some balance, for pete's sake, and to frame some shots that don't include the Green Goddess. She's a big girl and will understand. I hope.

Therefore, what follows are some photographs from some of my expeditions that were not included in the original blog posts. I'll link them to the articles (the titles are links), and hopefully will provide a fuller, more substantive perspective of each adventure.

What's Glamping Without Cellphone Receptivity?

It's August, it's hot and humid, and I'm touring the campgrounds around my hometown, searching for good cellphone receptivity so my wife can camp with me during the week and still work. Five photographs--two of the car and trailer. Not too out of balance, Tom.

Oakland Mills Campground (actually several clustered at a bridge on the Skunk River) has some beautiful scenery, of which the photos in the article fairly represent. I left out some lookers, though, which I'm now glad to share. 

The old Oakland Mills bridge is now just a walkway, but it is beautiful.

A couple of the campgrounds edge the river, providing the placid beauty of calm waters.

Oakland Mills was once a thriving river town, with a weir to provide water power to drive the grain mill. The original blog article has a nice shot of the weir. Now it is a quiet fishing and recreation area, with a few houses and a tiny, colorful restaurant full of local color. And what about cellphone receptivity? You're gonna hafta read the article!

It's Not Just How Many Miles or Places

Lake Sugema Campground was one of the favorite places my wife and I camped last year. We had a wonderful view of the lake, featuring great sunrise panoramas. Looking over my photos, I really took some great shots of my vehicle and rig, turned golden by the rising sun! And I fared pretty well in the snapshot department--one out of four shots of the rig. Only thirty miles from home, Lake Sugema is a great place to camp . . . and has great cellphone receptivity!

Mid-week, this was a quiet, scenic spot, a great way for my wife to start her work day!

My wife and I camped at Sugema more than once, and the lake vista just kept getting more and more charming. The last time we camped was during a motorcycle rally--a much more lively yet still fun experience! This is a small county campground, and we found that mid-week it was almost like our private land. We're looking forward to next year.

After becoming familiar with the campground, I began to explore the walking path on the lake.

Mostly developed for fishing, Lake Sugema doesn't have all the amenities of the larger state parks. However, its more modest development of playgrounds or paved roads is more than made up for by its intimacy. This isn't an RV city; it's more a hamlet, which is appropriate for the Villages of Van Buren County. There's something about the water, though, something about the play of light on water that is so calming.

Fall Snow at Indian Lake

My first experience of camping in snow and my first experience of camping in prolonged temperatures below freezing, I really enjoyed four days at Indian Lake. I had camped there twice before when passing through while bicycle touring and also twice when tent camping with my wife. This time I walked four times around the lake, three in snow, which was a wonderful, silent experience.

I'm at about fifty percent for this blog post, about half the photos of the Green Goddess or of me. The other photos are good ones of the lake and snow. Enjoy! The original post also includes a fun video that I created while camping. 

A view of Indian Lake prior to the snowfall, a contrast to the photo included with the blog story,

The temperatures during my stay at Indian Lake were quite varied, from the 40's down to the teens. Sunshine, fog, rain, sleet, and snow--my four-day stay provided a great chance to test the trailer in a variety of conditions. She did well, although I still had some issue with leaking in the lower corners. Hopefully, that's been fixed with extra caulking. We'll see in the spring.

The trail around the lake includes these two ancient oaks, so strong and regal.

I've both walked and ridden my bike around the lake. If fact, during this particular trip, I biked the first day and walked the other days, after the snowfall. I have to say that I really enjoy walking the trail. Yes, it's slower, but it's easier to allow more attention to flow to the surroundings and not just to the quality of the terrain a few feet in front of the bike tire. Funnily enough, I also enjoyed bundling up and walking in the cold. When I started my walk, my boots were still freezing cold from their night's stay on the camper floor--frozen. By the time I finished my walk, though, the boots were warm and the walking easy.

Walking in a winter wonderland.

I'm glad I've added to my memories these photos of my camping trips--photos without a camper in sight. I just love my tiny camper and how it lessens the extremes of camping. I like having access to a space heater when it's cold and an air conditioner in the blazing heat of August. Just a bit here and there (or now and then?) does the trick of removing the worm from the apple. There's a reason I leave my home to camp, and these photos express that same reason, only why I leave my camper, not my home. We are just as much a part of the world, of nature, as the most shy and elusive woodland creature. The text that tells us that, though, doesn't come from a smartphone. It written much larger, infinitely large and silent.

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  1. I don't know if the Green Goddess understands not being featured in this article but some great photos anyways. Another interesting chapter of your ongoing camping experiences. Thank you.

  2. Her response, I assure you, is regal!

  3. Looks like you go to some very pretty places. Camping in the snow is not me cup of tea, That being said, it has certainly happened.

    1. I'm really lucky that there are many places to camp close by home. We don't get to travel like you because of my wife's work and because of family, so sometimes we just have to find a way to enjoy, no matter what the weather. Thank you for commenting.