Archive for September, 2007

The Nine Best Things About Camping At Wisconsin’s Kohler Andrae State Park

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Kohler Andrae State Park is located on the shores of Lake Michigan about 1 hour north of Milwaukee. It’s a very popular camping destination as well as day use state park. I love going there and here’s my favorite things about camping there:

1) Lake Michigan
– The park is located on the west shoreline of Lake Michigan and has a long sand beach perfect for walking on hand in hand with your special someone; for building a sandcastle; for writing your name in the sand with a stick; for relaxing on the beach; and for swimming. Plus, with nearly 2 miles of sand beach in the park, the beach is never crowded.

2) The Sound Of The Waves Lulling You To Sleep At Night – Although the campsites in the campground aren’t right on the shore but are several hundred feet from the lake, they are close enough that a person can hear the waves crashing against the shore on all but the most calm nights. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as listening to the sound of the waves as you drift off to sleep.

3) Being Able to Take Leisurely Bicycle Rides
– I enjoy riding my bike and really like riding on paved surfaces that are flat or nearly flat. At Kohler Andrae there’s a road over a mile long between the park office at the entrance to the park and the campground area. It’s really enjoyable to ride down the road and back to the campground, stopping along the way to check out the nature center or the North Beach area. The round trip, including a ride through the campground is about 4 miles with only a few very small hills to ride up. If you prefer a longer bike ride, there are a couple of barely traveled flat country roads near the park that are also enjoyable to ride.

4) The Sand – The sand on the beach areas at Kohler Andrae is very fine. It has an almost silky feel on your feet although I don’t recommend walking on the beach barefoot in the middle of the summer because the sand gets so hot from the sun that it’s impossible to walk on it barefoot unless the soles of your feet are made of heat resistant rubber.

5) The Campsites – Most of the campsites in the campground are nice sized and fairly private. Plus they’re far enough apart that you don’t feel like you are packed into the park like a sardine. There’s a few sites that don’t have trees on them; but most have a lot of trees. The campground is in wooded and grassy areas. There’s even a teepee site to rent if you’re feeling extra adventurous.

6) It’s Peaceful and Quiet – First of all, the campground has quiet hours from 11 pm to 6 am every day that are strictly enforced. But even during the other hours of the day, loud obnoxious music and other disturbances are prohibited. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and that you have to keep your kids from running around and making noise. That’s not the case at all. Having a good time is encouraged. But playing music really loud and being obnoxious aren’t. As I’m writing this article, I’m sitting in my camper in the campground. I can hear the waves crashing on shore and the birds chirping in the trees. I can also just barely hear the group camping in the site next to ours. The reason it’s hard to hear them is because there’s a decent amount of distance between the sites plus there’s trees and shrubbery to soften the noise.

7) The Trails – There are two nature trails and three hiking trails in the park. Although none of them are extremely long, the longest is 2.5, they are varied in the scenery you see while walking on them. My favorite is the wooden cordwalk trail called “Dunes Cordwalk” that has a view of the lake and winds along the shore, through the sand dunes, and along a wetland area. My favorite place to walk is still along the beach though.

8.) Kohler Company’s Showroom – Kohler Company (renowned the world over for their high quality bathroom fixtures plus their stylish faucets and showerheads), is headquartered in Kohler, which is only a few miles from the campground. The company has a showroom in Kohler that shows their products in room-like settings. It’s a great activity on an inclement weather day. I especially enjoy looking at the bathtubs with waterfall faucets and the shower they have on display that has over a dozen different shower heads in it.

9) City Bakery in Sheboygan
– They make the best hearth baked hard rolls. If you don’t know what a hard roll is (and I think it’s a “Wisconsin” thing), they’re a crusty on the outside yeast sandwich roll that are great for hamburgers and also for bratwurst, another Wisconsin staple. The bakery makes them fresh every day and they are wonderful! Plus they’re a bargain. At the time I’m writing this article, a half dozen cost $1.40. The bakery is only about 15 minutes from the campground and is worth the drive (while you’re in town stop at the Piggly Wiggly, which you’ll drive right by on the way to and from the bakery, and pick up some brats and hamburgers to have with the hard rolls). I’m not sure what the hours of the bakery are – they weren’t posted on the door and I forgot to ask but their phone number is 920.457.4493. To get there from the campground, take V out of the campground up to Hwy 43. Take Hwy 43 north to Hwy 23. Take Hwy 23 east to 11th Street. Go left (north) on 11th to Michigan. City Bakery is on the Northwest corner of 11th and Michigan.

55th Annual California RV Show October 12 through 21

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

From October 12 to October 21, 2007 check out new RV’s, attend free seminars, and enjoy free entertainment at the 55th Annual California RV Show at the Los Angeles County Fair and Exposition “Fairplex” in Pomona, California.

The show features the largest selection of toy haulers in California.

Show hours are 10 am to 6 pm daily.

Ticket prices are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free for children under 18 accompanied by an adult. To receive a discount of $2 off a ticket on Monday through Thursday or $1 off a ticket on Friday through Sunday, click on the “discount coupon” link in the orange menu box on the left hand side of the show’s website.

For every ticket purchased, a free return guest pass will be issued that can be used on a future date of the ticket holder’s choice (good until October 21, 2007).

There are 2 campgrounds near the show grounds:
KOA Fairplex RV Park (phone: 909.593.8915)
East Shore RV Park (phone: 800.809.3778)

If you attend the show, be sure to sign up for a chance to win prizes that include: a Weekend Warrier Super-Lite Trailer, 3-day Catalina Mini Vacation, $200 Shell gas card, Honda Metropolitan Scooter, 3 day Laughlin Nevada Mini Vacation, and Travel Guides by Jim Hargan.

Have Hot Showers With A Zodi Shower

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I love camping but I also want some of the comforts of home when I’m out enjoying nature. Hot showers are one of those comforts.

Zodi Outback Gear has portable on-demand hot showers powered with batteries and propane.

They have two sizes:

The Hot Tap Single Burner Portable Shower for seasonal use that includes:
– 4 gallon case that holds enough hot water for a 10 minute shower
– adjustable water temperature of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit
– 6 volt water pump
– flexible 8 foot shower hose with water saving showerhead
zodi hot water

The Hot Tap Double Burner Portable Shower for 4 season use that includes all the features listed above but has a double burner for higher output.

Optional items include a privacy shelter (which I think should be standard since you’re not going to stand out in the open and shower are you?), shower pole, transport/storage bag, a bulk propane kit so you can hook it up to a 5 gallon propane tank instead of the smaller cylinders if you prefer, and a garden hose adapter.

For more information go to Zodi’s website.