If there are two constant forms of life challenges that have beset me, they are a) squirrels and b) the north-west wind. Squirrels were eating my house and the north-west wind chilled me to the bone during every New Jersey winter. Solution: sell the house and get as far away from Canada as possible. Camp in Florida! Well, not so fast. Pull into the campsite: here's this little pest watching the food supply, waiting for his chance. Check the forecast: record cold front moving in from the north-west. I was able to check the pest and if he got one crumb, he was lucky. My practiced anti-squirrel vigilance and the illegality of feeding the wildlife in Florida parks saw to that. Besides, this was bear country and if you start with the small ones, who knows what will follow. More about the cold front later.
We set up camp and got ready for some relaxifying. We stayed at this campground for five nights. The first two days were a little colder than we would have preferred with daytime highs in the 60s (F) and overnight lows in the 40s (F). One night it got cold enough that I fired up the furnace in the Eurovan. It worked like a charm and the interior was toasty warm. The last three days were a bit milder with daytime highs in the 70s (F) and overnight lows in the 50s (F). The last day was when the cold front was coming in with daytime highs in the 50s (F) and a freeze warning for the overnight. Not that we could not have survived but we decided to check out early and head south, check into a motel for a few days, get cleaned up and get some WIFI access so we could make blog posts.
Nice to have a kitchen to cook in. Here I'm chopping some onions for the chile con carne we made the first night in camp. I'm sitting in the driver's seat, which rotates around to face the portable table. There's also a screen curtain that covers the side windows and windshield and attaches to the headliner with Velcro. The area behind the driver and passenger seats (when they are rotated) also makes for some convenient storage space (which we need since we have a lot of stuff.) A good part of the effort in camping is moving stuff around. Ha!
Home sweet home.
Relaxing around the campfire.
Here's the chili con carne we made for our first
camp dinner. We toasted with some sparkling cider
(alcohol-free of course!)
That's one happy camper!
When we packed everything in at night, Otis got a
prime spot on the kitchen table. We couldn't leave anything
outside because of the bears, so the Eurovan was pretty packed
at night. We got it down to a science and were able to make coffee
(stat!) as soon as we got up in the morning (after giving Otis his
traditional blueberries for breakfast). It wouldn't be much fun
camping with a cranky rabbit.
With the poptop up, there's shelf space for our
Here's Wendy eating again. The cool weather seems
to have stimulated her appetite considerably.
Our campsite was partially shaded. Frankly, I would
have preferred more sunlight.
Not to emphasize the eating, this shot shows
the poptop screen windows open. Yes, there
is the eating but, in this shot, it is merely incidental.
Camping fashion: Hello Kitty pajama bottoms,
argyle socks, Ed Hardy sneakers. Makes a
great bear repellent.
Night two we made chicken and rice. Here's a rare
shot of me eating.
This is our super cozy sleeping quarters. We used an
open sleeping bag on the bottom, two sheets, an open
sleeping bag on the top and covered it all with a wool blanket.
Otis took to camping. We'll post more of him campside soon.
Here's the Eurovan all opened up.
During the day when we could move stuff out
to the picnic table, the Eurovan was pretty roomy.
We cooked on both the propane range in the Eurovan
and on the campfire. Here's some Kielbasa with apples
and sauerkraut simmering on the campfire grill.
The morning we broke camp, it was 36(F).
-The usual suspects.