By the next trip, you are better prepared and now everything will be perfect. It rains all weekend. Your water pump starts making a horrendous noise and you calculate replacement costs. You don't even think to check to see if you've run out of water.
The weather gods are determined to convince silly humans that climate change is real and the next trip is postponed because of storms and flooded campgrounds. Finally you get one in, but it too is a disappointment.
The Fourth of July is coming and it's getting late. Your usual camping crew have made other plans. Is it worth it trying to find a spot and get a reservation? Well, there's a lesser-known park near one of your kids. If the camping doesn't meet expectations, you know the antics of your grandchildren will.
The park is Johnson Sauk Recreation Area in Illinois. Your campsite is in an area planted years ago with pines, now towering over the funny little boxes with wheels. You arrive on Wednesday and the evening is low 70s, dry, and star-studded--literally. Thursday is the Fourth, low 80s, and a sky so blue, it hurts your eyes. The park has trails, paddle boats for rent, and other children who like water balloon fights as well as your grandchildren do. The steaks turn out great. There is a good fireworks display in nearby Kewanee. Friday is another one for the records; not a drop of rain in sight. The inflatable canoe works; other campers are friendly and interesting; you get a little nap in. Saturday rolls by, a beauty. So far you haven't even considered stowing the awning because of possible storm mishaps. After an excellent breakfast at a lovely little restaurant above the boat rental at the park, you go to a local production of The Sound of Music because your son's ex-neighbor is the Mother Superior. Her performance is stunning. "Climb Every Mountain" soars in your head the rest of the day. Yummy barbecued chicken is devoured, marshmallows are roasted, the coals die, day is done, and bed beckons.
It is Sunday morning. It may rain this afternoon but we should be home by then. Meanwhile, the sun through these pines is just breathtaking. Time to plan the next trip. If this one fly would just leave me alone...