After several camping trips drenched in sweat, I am sitting here this morning with a sweatshirt on and a blanket over my knees. I love it! Yesterday, we began the day with a hike around the lake. The breeze was wonderful and we especially enjoyed the wildflowers in bloom along the causeway (known as The Old Dam Trail in my youth). Much of the path was shady and the spillway was, as usual, spectacular.
After lunch, it was a trip to town for Marcia, Harlan, and me. This was a chance for them to see some sites they had never experienced before; particularly a grade school I went to, now the county sheriff's department and jail, and my high school, now a church. Perhaps there's a message there somewhere? We also explored some local shops and visited the Rustic Brew. Our big disappointment came when we looked for the ice cream stand that Carole and I had visited the day before only to find that it had disappeared! It was an actual cone, just big enough for one person to dispense yummy cones. It was also on wheels and now had moved on. So it was back to the Rustic Brew for ice cream sandwiches.
For supper, we dined on burgers, salmon, hash browns, and some delectable sweet corn Marcia had picked up in town. It was a beautiful evening to sit out and enjoy the sunset. I also used my new bee awning lights, which are very cute except for all of the poor bees being upside down.
A week at home gave me time to work on some repairs and upgrades to Agatha. It's the old story of one step forward and two back. Or maybe five back. I added a handle to the bathroom door to make it easier to open. The small recessed latch is not a very good pull. So far it hasn't fallen off and is doing the job. I reglued the rubber strip on one of the steps only to have it come loose again three days later. I glued it again and it is still holding. Then with the help of YouTube, I tackled lubricating the awning. It makes a harsh grinding noise when opening and closing. The job was messy and not at all successful. Back to the drawing board. Finally, I ordered seat covers for the captains chairs but they were too small.
So, small steps. Yesterday I made my longest drive yet to my old stomping grounds, Beed's Lake State Park near Hampton. I have a favorite site, a pull-through with shade near the lake. Unfortunately about twenty minutes after I arrived, a small motorhome pulling a storage trailer took the site between me and the lake and completely blocked my view. Of all the nerve. But they were evidently just passing through because they left at 6:30 this morning.
A classmate and friend, Carole, came out for a visit in the late afternoon and then I warmed up one of the leftover meals I had frozen and brought along. You can get lazy when you're alone. But I supplemented it with a slice of wonderful fresh bread that Carole's husband Marv had baked and a corn salad I had made from fresh sweet corn. As usual at Beed's, it was a lovely sunset and worth a walk to the dam.
Carole and I made plans for a downtown visit this afternoon so I can see what's happenin' in my old hometown. This should have been our 60th class reunion this summer, but like everything else, the corona virus quashed that.
Sometime this afternoon, my old co-worker and friend, Marcia, will arrive along with her husband. They will be spending a couple of nights on their way to northwest Iowa. I appreciate the slightly lower temperatures although it sounds like the humidity will hang around, but will definitely have to get in my traditional walk around the lake. Meanwhile, another cup of coffee with some veggie pancakes and cherry coffee cake will meet my immediate needs.
...Or trying to. After two days at Sugarbottom, I said goodbye to friends and headed by a circuitous route to Lake MacBride where about 20 or so of the Midwest Glampers are gathering for the weekend. My site was a challenge but Betty and Ann were already here and helped me get parked. Friend Ginge joined me and we had a good supper of grilled salmon, fresh sweet corn and broccoli slaw while others arrived. However I had to earn my supper. Ginge talked me into an afternoon walk. I should know better because she walks a lot and I swear this was 16 miles. (She says not.) SO after a little evening visiting, I was ready for bed.
Friday dawned warm already and my sore knee and legs excused me from most strenuous activity including a hike to the dam. We watched some of the Glampers work on macrame chairs and prepared ourselves mentally for supper--a seven-Dutch oven spread. The offerings included beef roast, roasted chicken, two potato dishes, mixed garden veggies and apple cake.
This morning, three of us who missed the hike to the dam yesterday decided to get it in early. The spillway that joins Lake MacBride to the reservoir was lovely at that hour. Back in time for a shower and more cast-iron cooking: two breakfast casseroles. We did a little food prep for the potluck this evening and a little reading and napping. The heat has been relentless and although the heavy woods provide quite a bit of shade, they also block what breeze there is. Last night we got back to my camper to find the AC off--along with the outlets and microwave. An inspection of my power post (not easy because it is down a slope surrounded by poison ivy) revealed that the the post switch had slipped down. I turned it off and back on, only to have it do the same thing about twenty minutes later. This time Ginge held the flashlight while I used duct tape to keep the switch on. So far it's working, which is a good thing, because although I reported it, no one has come to work on it.
The last couple of weeks have included some big events for me: four days at West Overlook on the Coralville Reservoir with friends, a visit from my daughter and her husband from West Virginia, a haircut (!), and decals for my new rig, Agatha. Now I am at Sugarbottom Campground, also at Coralville. Butch and I camped here several years ago and intended to return but never did. I am just here for two nights and my friends originally chose campsites close to the water.
However, two weeks ago we were notified that water was going to be too close, as heavy rains necessitated raising the level of the reservoir. So we abandoned the sites in the foreground of the above photo and opted for sites a little higher up. As it turned out, we could have kept the original sites, but where we are is fine. The shower houses are unusual here, made up of individual full bathrooms. The only drawback, in my eyes of course, is that there is only one hook.
Wednesday was a gray day with occasional sprinkles. We played a couple of games of Back Up 8 and then took a road trip to Lake MacBride State Park where I will journey today for a Glamper weekend. The campground is not far from here as the crow flies but due to the rambling shape of the reservoir is about a 25 minute drive. We checked out the site I reserved, and although it is described as "level" on line, it appeared that I would need some extra lift for the back of Agatha so when we returned the Ottaways loaned me some extra boards.
The evening was a strenuous one. After attempting to solve the political and medical situation in today's world around the campfire, we entertained ourselves watching two lighted buckets change color and trying to synchronize them. There also was the challenge of keeping the dog's leash untangled. The sunset wasn't very visible from our site but the reflection in the east was stunning. And so to bed.
Some random thoughts about writing, camping, and eating.