Our last trip of the summer season! (cue the tears!)
This trip was a bit different in that we ventured across the border to Wisconsin not staying in a State Park and instead stayed at a private campground. We planned this all around ONE thing---PICKLES! Ha!
We sought out some suggestions early in the spring for cool festivals around this time of year to check out and the one that sounded the most fun to us was the Pickle Fest in Boyceville, WI. So planning around that, we found Clear Lake Campground online only being about a half hour away so we booked it.
New campgrounds are always a bit tricky because you never know what you're going to get even with pictures and reviews online. So I'm always a bit cautiously optimistic.
The property seemed to be split into three sections: about 5 tent/pop up camping sites, about 12 RV/Camper sites and branching off from the actual campground was a public park with a beach and playground! It was nice and small, but also had a lot to offer. It was well kept up and the beach and playground were a hit with the kiddos! We would have LOVED more trees and space between each site (Introvert must) and less light pollution (we love to see the stars!), but besides that it was a pretty good find. We thought it would be an ideal site for if you had a family reunion or just wanted to camp with a bunch of friends for a weekend. It's no Banning or Savanna State Park, but it did the trick!
When we arrived we set up and then shortly went off to find food. We were super lax this trip and decided that because it was such an open site, we'd get some "alone" time eating out more than being at the campground. Plus we just love to find new and unique places to visit in the towns we stay in!
We Googled (what would we do without Google?!) places to eat nearby and one popped up that peaked our interest enough to check out. We are so glad we did! Amery Ale Works in Amery, Wisconsin is a hidden gem! I want it to be closer so we can go more often and I'm STILL dreaming about the food we ate there--it was that good! It was on a beautiful piece of land with refurbished barn properties tucked away from the road hidden in tall pines. It was such a pleasant surprise! It had great music, patio seating, acres and acres of room for the kids to run and play and the beer was the cherry on top. What a cool place! It is a MUST if you are in the area.
We spent the rest of the night hanging out by the campfire and doing what campers do.
The next day we woke up early to do some swimming at the beach and then planned to head to the Pickle Fest for the day. However, after swimming we had heard that the public park--the one connected to the property--was having a kids fishing contest complete with lunch and door prizes put on by the local Police Station. We had wanted to fish this trip, so we thought we'd check it out and head to the festival later and we are SO glad we did!
The kids got signed up and spent the later morning fishing. They got free bait too so we didn't even need to head to the store. After they each caught couple fish (borderline small enough to be bait), we got our free grilled out lunch! To end the morning they drew for door prizes and not only did each kiddo get a free shirt and coupon for free pizza, Everett and Grey each won NEW fishing poles and hats! What in the what? How did we get so lucky to happen upon such amazing surprises?! It's like the camping gods knew we were dreading the end of summer, so they sweetened this trip up for us to make up for it!
Now it was time for the Pickle Festival! We MAY have built it up in our heads a bit by this point. We're imaging pickled everything! I mean, with a name like Pickle Fest! Once we parked and got on to the main drag where the festival was at it was like the sound effect they use when a record screeches. HA! Ok, it wasn't that bad, but we were surprised at the lack of "pickleness" there was. We managed to find one booth that sold actual pickles and got our fried pickles. I supposed that's all I needed. You could have colored me happy after that. We left not too long after we arrived, but not before playing some carnival games and watching a vintage car show squeal by.
The rest of our time was spent fishing, swimming, biking, campfire-ing and enjoying these last moments we can squeeze out of yet another summer gone too fast.
It's sad to think this is our last trip with the Nomad for a month or so and that next time we take it out we'll be back to our regularly scheduled program of work and school, but we have had such a fun summer building memories, finding new favorite spots and sharing our adventures with anyone that wants to listen!
Of course this is not the end---not even close--we've got some fun things in store for this fall and winter and lots of exploring ahead with and without the Nomad---just wait!
Here's a recap of our time this weekend!
What fun things do you have in store for the end of summer?
Don't forget to check out our new little online store with some outdoor inspired apparel! You can go to etsy.com/shop/nomadinthenorth or shop our store from the "shop" tab above! Pass it along to any outdoors/MN lovers you know! :)
Laura and Curtis.