Many of our camping trips take us pretty far afield and we've certainly enjoyed those opportunities. But some times it's nice to stay close and enjoy the camping life while still meeting other commitments. One of our favorite nearby campgrounds is Saulsbury Bridge Recreation Area, a county park about fifteen miles from our door. Most of the sites are spacious, shaded, and level with firepits. They have a pricing bonus that makes it even more attractive. Every Wednesday during the camping season is free and two weekends a month, Saturday night is free if you stay Friday. This means you can camp Wednesday to Sunday for the price of two nights.
It's also prone to flooding, and after persistent rain last weekend, we drove down on Tuesday to make sure it was open and somewhat dry. It was, so we took the camper down Wednesday morning and got it set up. Since four of our camping group were going, we chose spots in the center of the loop where one of the firepits was conveniently located for the whole group. By evening, most of the campground was full.
As I said, our proximity to home made it possible to keep other commitments and it almost required a spreadsheet to track everyone. During the five days, members of the group disappeared for choir practice, birthday parties, barbecue judging, model train shows, and on Saturday, I drove to Rock Island to participate in a book fair. It was a first time event and attendance was low, but I reconnected with some authors and made the acquaintance of new ones--particularly my table mate, Jasmine Bozeman. Meanwhile, back at the campground, we did get in a couple of hikes, bike riding, mushroom hunting, and several incredible meals. The weather was fantastic and it was a fine kickoff to the season!
Some random thoughts about writing, camping, and eating.