Saturday, July 30, 2016

Campground Review: Pioneer Park Ogema, WI

Leaving Michigan and heading west across northern Wisconsin I came to Pioneer Park in the little town of Ogema and spent a rainy overnight there.  The town allows camping for up to seven days free at the park which abuts the 16 acre Mill Pond.  The pond itself was pretty algae clogged but locals say you can still catch bass and panfish there..

Walking distance to downtown Ogema.

It appeared there were six grass covered campsites with fire rings and there were "signs" on the ground that it is also an equestrian campground.  Although the park is open year round I'd have to guess that practical camping usage is May to October as the sites would be inaccessible in snow and the water in the restrooms is turned off at the end of September.

"Responsible" consumption of alcohol permitted!
Here's the Pioneer Park data sheet:

Hookups:                                             None                                                                          
Fire ring:                                              Yes                                                                             
Water Access:                                     Yes                                                                 
Fresh Water:                                        Yes                                                                 
Trash Service:                                      Yes                                                                 
Toilets:                                                Yes                                                     
Showers:                                             No                                                                  
Dump station:                                      No                                                      
WiFi:                                                   No                                                      
Level sites:                                          Yes                                                     
Laundry:                                              No                                                                  
Store:                                                  No                                                                              
Pool:                                                   No                              
Shade:                                                Yes                                                     
Verizon reception:                                4G, 2 bars                                           
Internet reception:                                3 bars              
Cost:                                                  Free up to 7 nights     

Geese playing outfield in the park's ball diamond.
 The park has a ball diamond and the restrooms by the diamond are left open for campers to use.  There is one electrical outlet in the bathroom that would be usable for an emergency phone charge if needed but there are no other power outlets in the park.  Adjacent to the nice children's playground was something you almost never see at a playground anymore:

A tether ball!  Hours of fun!
This little gazebo just kind of sat off by itself.
The park is at the end of the town's main street and a couple block walk takes you to the town's diner and two taverns (Ogema is really small).

The park has a nice play area, bathrooms in the background.
As I mentioned I only stayed on night at Pioneer Park but I enjoyed the experience and the Tank was the only RV there.  The park is far enough away from the highway that it stays really quiet.  I'd come back if I'm passing through this part of Wisconsin again.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Put It Out Out

As I headed west across Michigan's Upper Peninsula I resolved to camp a few days at the great boondocking spot in the Ottawa National Forest that is the Paint River Forks Campground.

This one is becoming a regular stop, for good reason!
I reviewed the campground previously here:  Paint River Forks Review .  When I pulled into the normally empty campground (at least whenever I'd been there) the two choice campsites that backed up to the Paint River were occupied so I took the third most desirable of the four present.  It was a Saturday and I figured one of the sites would open up when the campers went home on Sunday and I could then claim it, sure enough, the best site was emptied as the campers went home and I quickly moved into it.  Readers of the blog know I'm generally not a big campfire guy.  Usually when boondocking alone it just seems kind of wasteful to start a campfire to me so I forego them.  After I set up the site I noticed a thin stream of smoke coming from a log the previous campers left in the site's fire ring that looked completely dead.

Looks out doesn't it?
I decided to conduct an experiment and piled some thin sticks on the end of the log where the timy whiff of smoke was coming from.  I didn't use any lighter fluid or a lighter or flame of any sort.  Then I waited.

Hey it was supposed to be out!

Now I know the log was within the fire ring so the chance of a unattended rekindled fire causing a forest fire is pretty low but these logs ARE pine and anyone who has burned pine logs knows that they often pop and shoot out embers from the fire.

The previous group DID leave a nice pile of pine logs which I left too.

The rangers that occasionally stop by convey a simple rule regarding campfires:  "If it's too hot to touch it's too hot to leave."  The log that was smoldering in the fire ring was obviously too hot to touch, so it shouldn't have been left.  Walk down to the river, fill a bucket and douse the logs, I'll get off my soapbox now.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Catch Up Part 2

Let's see, where was I?  Oh yeah, I left Midland and stayed a night at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant.

They got rid of my favorite blackjack machines so I didn't stay.
From Mt. Pleasant I continued west until I got back to one of my favorite boondocking locations in Michigan, the Manistee National Forest in the Lake Michigan Recreation Area which I reviewed here:  Manistee National Forest Review .

Nordhouse Dunes is a camping area within the Manistee NF

Grill's eye view from my Manistee NF campsite.

I had such a perfect campsite I stayed for eight days and only left because I ate all my food.  From the National forest I stayed a night at a campground in Lake City before heading up to Charlevoix where some of my college buddies were renting condos.

The lake that gives Lake City it's name.
The first night with them I stayed at a condo at the Charlevoix Country Club.

I didn't get to golf it but the course looked like green carpet.
From the country club we moved a few miles closer to Charlevoix.  The weather was just perfect.

My friend Scott's Lab Nya, waiting for someone to toss her ball in the lake.
And I guess that gets things to about the middle of July so you're pretty much current with my activities and travels (almost).

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Catch Up

Sorry for the time between posts this month.  It seems whenever I come back to Michigan family and friend stuff adsorbs a lot of my time and makes it difficult to update the blog.  Anyway.....let me do a whirlwind catch up of where the blog left off in Kansas.

I traveled into Iowa to a Corps of Engineers campground on the Mississippi but the bugs were really bad so I only stayed one night.

Bugs on the Tank's screen door.  You almost inhaled them when going outside.
Then I drove into Wisconsin and casino camped at a few Indian casinos, all the while heading north and east.

This casino offers free 20 amp hookups.  Winner!
Then I entered the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and stayed a couple days at the Kewadin Casino in Christmas, MI (where it's always Christmas!)  I somewhat reviewed it here in 2013: Kewadin Casino Christmas, MI .

Free 30 amp hookups.  Double winner!
I finally made it down to Midland where I driveway camped at my brother Jim's.

Uncharacteristically the weather was just gorgeous!
I played my first round of golf (albeit only a Par 3) in over a year, and I got to use my own clubs because I loaded them from my storage locker in Houston into the Tank.

I'm sure I made this one. :D
My reason for getting to Midland was to give my soon to be 89 year old Dad his Father's Day gift.  We got him an Amazon Echo (Alexa) and he absolutely loves it.

My Dad's new "Alexa".  His new girlfriend.
From know what this post is getting pretty long.  I'll do a "Catch Up Part 2" for my next post and then I'll have you all caught up.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 240th, America!

God bless our vets and active duty service men and women!

I feel so blessed to be an American.

Have a great 4th of July!


Thanks for reading!