April 23 – 24, 2022
Well, we did it! After thinking and researching for a couple of years we finally purchased an RV! It is a small rig that is just large enough for Mike and I and the dog. We have been empty nesters since the fall 2020 (last son started college), but with the Covid craziness we have been navigating our way through what this new time means for us. We love to hike and this will give us the freedom to go to cool places and stay a bit in a cheaper fashion than hotels. Plus we can bring our puppy (11-year-old Henry). We purchased her from Mark Wahlberg RV in Lorain. Yes, that Mark Wahlberg. It is a Rog brand. Here she is in all her glory!
We decided to take her out for a one night trip as a dry run. We landed on a weekend with fantastic weather! It was in the high 70’s and low 80’s all weekend – very unusual for April in NE Ohio. Our aim is to visit many of the Ohio State Parks so we started with one close to home – Punderson State Park – about 30 minutes away. We have been to Punderson before to kayak and I have been to the manor house for a retreat with students, but we had never been there to hike. We didn’t have the most picturesque site, but live and learn. Also, this trip was really just about trying out the rig, making sure everything works and making notes about what we need to change or bring next time. We did make note that better camp sites would be site 155 or others in the 190’s such as 198 – with lake views.
It was pretty easy to get set up! It only took about 30 minutes. The canopy came out pretty easy and provided just enough shade for us. Henry made himself at home on his travel bed. He was a very good boy all weekend.
Mike already has plans on how to customize the kitchen to make better use of our space. He plans to make inserts for the lower cabinet that pull out to store dishes. We will also organize the back storage in a better way to make better use of the space. I have lots of notes on what to bring or add next time including: extra poop bags in trailer, hand sanitizer (what pandemic?), doggie collapsible bowl for hiking, key hooks for kitchen, picnic blanket with plastic backing for puppy, crocs for around the campsite, paper towel holder, collapsible prep table, keep coffee in trailer (more about that later), Clorox wipes for kitchen, rugs by each side door, container for utensils, tongs for fire.
After we got set up we went for a short hike (2 miles) around the park. Most of the natural trails were still quite wet so we took the boardwalk trail along the water. Henry was a trooper. He has a bit of a limp on one leg so he is sometimes limited on how far he can go at this point. He is 11 after all (he wanted me to add that).
Okay, I’m not sure if it is being in the fresh air, but when I am eating outdoors I feel like I’m starving and everything tastes so much better! We made our foil packs of chicken and veggies/potatoes and it was awesome. We forgot tongs (again), but don’t you worry, Mike used a couple of pieces of wood – worked just fine.
After dinner we got settled into the trailer to watch a movie on Netflix. It was a bit buggy by that time. By the way, we don’t recommend this movie – it was pretty dumb, but entertaining none-the-less and I actually stayed awake for the whole thing. About half way through the movie we pulled out the bed and watched the rest. We decided that it makes sense to have the mattress pad and sheets on the mattress as a couch and then just put the blanket on when we are ready to sleep. It was pretty easy. The mattress was actually pretty comfy. It took a little getting used to as this is a queen and we have a king at home, but it just takes time to adjust with the dog, etc.
Funny story. We woke up about 6am and got ready to make coffee. We discovered quickly that we actually forgot to pack the coffee itself. So, we were off to Walmart about 15 minutes away. No worries because we also picked up the sausage we forgot to pack for breakfast. It was worth the wait, however. I remembered to snap a pic of my breakfast after inhaling half of it! And, can we talk about percolator coffee?! Where has this been all my life? It takes a long time to prepare, but super cool and super fresh and yummy. I told Mike that I sorta want to get one for at home, but on second thought it is probably better to keep it for camping – more special that way!
Overall we had a great experience for our first time out. Easy peasy set-up and lots of notes on what to change for next time. Now we need to book our next weekend! Any suggestions?