Camping at Ottawa Lake in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine State Forest

Inaugural Camper Trip, Part 2

Back in October, Jason and I took our new camper out for its maiden voyage. For two nights, we camped with the dogs at Ottawa Lake campground in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

We slept pretty well that first night. While we had previously determined that Naya would not sleep in our bed with us, this “rule” lasted all of 10 minutes. We managed to make it work, but we’ll have to enforce the “no dogs sleeping with us” rule on future trips…

Naya laying on the bed

We woke up that first morning to the sound of rain on the roof. Even though it was rainy and cold outside, we stayed cozy and warm inside.

Have I mentioned before that this camper is the best thing ever!

While Jason made breakfast, I made tea and turned on NPR. We never listen to NPR, but I found it incredibly relaxing that morning. Breakfast, tea, reading, journaling, NPR. This first morning reminded me of what I love about camping — it leaves me more relaxed than anything since my childhood.

A game of chess over lunch inside the camper

It rained until about noon. After lunch with a side of chess, we cleaned up and headed out for a walk.

Ottawa Lake Recreation Area is pretty small, but it does have two short, parallel trails — one for pets and one no pets. We walked the pets-allowed trail through an open prairie over to the pet swim area.

Dogs-No Dogs sign

Bailey on the dog trail

After scoping out the “beach,” we walked the trail back to the campground and then walked the campground loop. Whenever we visit a new campground, we like to scope out the “best” sites. I think we found a good one for our next trip to Ottawa Lake.

By the time we got back to the camper, the sun finally started breaking through the clouds. We got a fire started, set up our chairs and a blanket for the dogs, made some hot chocolate, and relaxed outside. It turned into a gorgeous evening!

Jason starts a campfire while the dogs look on

Because we’re in our 30s going on 70, we ate dinner around 4:30pm. We made these Three-Cheese Potatoes and beef tenderloin steaks over the fire. Seriously, it might have been the best camp dinner we’ve ever made.

Campfire steaks and Three-Cheese Potatoes

Dogs begging for a piece of potato

We followed dinner with s’mores of course! We mixed it up with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (awesome!) and Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme bars (sounds better than it was).

All in all, our first camper trip was a great success! We came home with a better list of things we need and ideas for future campsite set ups. We winterized the camper and she’s spending the snowy season in a friend’s outbuilding.

We can’t wait for a year full of trips in 2015!

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