Monday, July 26, 2010

Hot Bottoms!


I hadn’t camped in (or even checked in on) the T@B in over 10 months, so as the summer rally approached, I looked forward to camping in the T@B again.  It happily awaited me at the storage yard and looked like it had made it through the winter just fine.  I hitched it up to the Subaru and brought it home to begin moving my favorite camping gear from the motorhome to the T@B.

The rally was being held at Sugar Bottom campground just north of Iowa City, IA.  I decided at the last minute to go out a few days early and work from there as camp sites were only $16/night, and Millie and I were eager to be at a lake for a week.


The campground was lovely.  Two of my other solo T@B friends, Kathy and Judi, decided to come out early as well, so we camped in a nice section overlooking the lake and had the area nearly completely to ourselves….well, except for a family of wild turkeys who would trot out of the woods every morning to go eat berries from the Mulberry tree.


Iowa had a ton of rain in June, so the Iowa river (that feeds the lake) was still at flood stage so the lake levels were raised up a few feet to take as much of the excess water as possible.  This, unfortunately meant that the sandy beaches and nice boat launches were completely under water, but no big loss as the heat and humidity was absolutely stifling all week with heat indexes well into the upper 90s with minimal winds.  So, no pleasant canoeing opportunities, but Millie found plenty of fine spots to swim and cool off. 

On Friday, Kathy, Judi, and I hitched up our T@Bs and rolled them up the hill to the group camp where we were met by 7 other T@Bs for the summer “Bottoms Up” Rally.  It was really fun seeing these cute little campers all parked in a circle, and many fellow campers came by to see the T@Bs up close and take pictures.

Friday night, Jim hooked up his large laptop to his clamshell T@B’s speaker system to play us a movie.  Clamshells have their kitchen in the back of the trailer outside—this came in quite handy when Jim made us all JiffyPop popcorn, and even put it in little sacks like you get at real movie theaters!  The evening’s movie, “She’s Out of Your League” was a goofy fun little flick that was enjoyed by all.

The rains held off until later that night, but when they arrived, they really arrived!  Thunder, lightening, winds, and torrential rain, but our sturdy and well-insulated little campers made it through just fine (Not so much the case back home in Chicago where the same storm dumped 7” of rain that night!)

Saturday was cloudy much of the day, so we mostly stayed around camp and visited with fellow campers. We held our pot luck dinner that evening, and decided to gather around my “Fire Dancer” LP campfire at the picnic shelter rather than try a real wood fire in the group campfire pit (to avoid the heat and bugs!).
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We had a spectacular sunset that night, so I grabbed a few fun “sunset T@B” shots:

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Sunday was glorious weather—cooler, less humid, clear skies, and nice breezes.  I found a nice “no-wake” section of Lake McBride a couple miles north of the campground that was perfect for canoeing, and there was also a nice boat ramp and dock there for Millie to swim from. 

We reluctantly left to pack the T@B up and head back home.  It was a great weekend of seeing dear old T@B friends and meeting new ones as well!

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