In the last 26 days, I’ve experienced weather extremes that may be the “new normal.” Camp-hosting at Frontenac was a way to catch up, to make up for all the trips I’ve planned, paid for, and then had to cancel last year after Alan was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocitic Leukemia (APL), that was May 19, and things changed drastically. Five weeks of hospitalization, followed by 8 months of daily treatment, which is OVER and some time for his immune system to recover, and here we are.

Moving in, there were fresh burns so little growth, and leaves were not out yet, and what a difference 26 days makes:

Camp-hosting has its moments. Some folks need help getting registered; another directions to the metro for family gathering; one woman wanted to complain in technicolor about the mosquitos that she’d never experienced here in 20 years of coming to the park; wonderful food smells; odd things found in fire pits; and neighbor barfing up a distillery (eeeeeuw, good grief, how junior high!); and lots of great dogs to meet, most every campsite has a dog.

Two days into May, the huge storm pictured above came in, and the screen tent, which as guyed down well, went flying into the car when the poles broke and it took off sailing, and of course at 3 a.m. taking it all apart in the fierce wind and getting everything that had been stored inside gathered and covered up. What fun… ahem…

After that, put up a tarp over the picnic table and got the storage “sherpa” with shower curtain raincoat. Whatever works.

The Wawona 6 tent was fine, though the vestibule flooded because there is no floor. OK, fine, dug ditches.

The next rain, the ditches overflowed, wet again, so dug the ditches deeper and longer with little ponds but that wasn’t enough for the next rain, 4″ or so, EXTREME wind and a tornado warning in Red Wing. The tarp, which was seriously anchored, went down… sigh… but neatly, so it could sit like that for a while.

It’s been almost impossible to get any work done. For the first two weeks, the hotspot just wasn’t doing it, access was rare and oh-so-slow, which is really unusual. Forget webex and zoom, it was agonizing. But suddenly it’s working consistently.

Meanwhile, when all this is happening, poor Sadie is freaking — drooling, shaking, so she’s been on a diet of gummies to calm her down, at times, going back to Red Wing with Alan who’s working there.

Yesterday was beautiful, and a couple days without rain everything dried out. And today, only a sprinkle of rain so far, and the wind disappeared! The tarp is back up and I can cook again! That’s the big part of camping for me — thankfully there’s a great breakfast place in Lake City, Heidi’s Huggamug (yeah, that’s the name), and closer is the “Gristle Stop” in Frontenac. But I want to cook!!

Camp-hosting is something we’ve done before, in September, 2019 at Myre-Big Island State Park, and that was in the hybrid.

One horrible storm there, 60+mph winds and we almost lost the awning (weren’t paying attention, and didn’t get it rolled up) and the screen tent went flying then, but was intact. But bottom line, it really makes a difference having hard walls out of the elements if the elements suck, and being able to office at a real table, inside, room for files and to spread out, and enough space inside for dog assistant.

After these 26 days of weather, camp-hosting? YES! Just do it! But… I really can’t recommend camp-hosting in a tent. Packing for a month in a tent is weird, and life in a tent for a month is weirder! The camp-host tasks are no big deal, but with the storms and the changes and workarounds due to weather and too frequent loss of sleep, AAACK, life is a lot more difficult than in a hard-side trailer or even a pop-up.

So on that happy note, there are bathrooms needing attention…

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