The Williamson Camping Journal

Starting June 2001


June - Jellystone Indian River, Michigan. (David)

This is written one year after the fact so events are a little fuzzy. This was Dean's first camping experience. To make it a little easier on ourselves, we decided to forgo the tent, and to rent a cabin. The cabin was small, but nice. It had a queen bed and a pair of bunk-beds. Joining us on the trip were Jordan, and our cousin Stephanie Standriff. Jim and Paula joined us soon after we got there for a couple of nights. They got a hotel in town. Cheryl, Kevin and Zach also joined us for a couple of days. Dad and Sylvia came up for a day and we all went to Mackinaw City. Roz, Skip and Joe came up for one night, then took Stephanie home with them. Some of the highlights of the trip was going to Mackinaw City, and to the island. While on the island we took a three hour horse drawn carriage ride, where Dean lost one if his first shoes. Dean also lost the key to the cabin, (which I gave him to play with) at Big Bucks in Gaylord. Another exciting event that happened was while we were at a Mexican restaurant in Gaylord, the waiter spilled a whole tray of drinks on Paula.

One last note, this is was the first and only trip for my red truck that was stolen a few weeks later. RIP, you are loved and not forgotten.


July 13 thru 20 - Jellystone Mantua, Ohio (David)

After many long years of pitching and unpitching the tent, we had finally done it, we bought a camper. Things were not going to go that well, and I should have known by some premonitions the week before. The week we were leaving I was working on a new bathroom floor, unfortunately I few things went wrong; I broke the old toilet, and broke the pipe off the wall, so $600 poorer, we were ready to start the trip.

Saturday: Mary's mom watched Dean for us so that we could pack. About noon, we started to depart, as I was turning out of the drive I head a crunch, I had turned the camper into Thunderbird. Luckily there was only some mine scrapes to the car, and a repairable whole in the camper. What is ironic is that my neighbor only parks in front of their house a few times a year, and this was one of them. The trip down was uneventful after that, we arrived at the park at around 5:30. I unpacked while Mary took Dean down for his first swim in a lake, he LOVED it. It was the coolest thing for him

Sunday: Dean gets up early so I took him for a walk around the campground. While we were out I found this little playset for toddlers that he got a kick out of. After playing around on that for awhile, he reached into his diaper and came out with a hand full of…. Well you can guess. So off I hurry back to the camper as he getting him and me a little messy, could have been worse. We decide to use the rest of the day to do some shopping, so off we went, but with a bit of a problem, my glasses were nowhere to be found. So after looking high and low they were gone. The rest of the day went off without a hitch, thank goodness.

Monday: On this day we decided to check out Six Flags. Dean had a ball there; there were lots of things for him to do. He had such a good time we decided to get a season pass so that we could go back several times.

Tuesday: On this day we took it a bit easy. We went to downtown Cleveland and visited the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. It was not to bit, but there were a lot of things to read and look at. Unfortunately there was not a lot for Dean to do there, as we excepted, so we could not stay as long as we wanted.

Wednesday: This stared what would be the theme for the rest of the week. We were going to got to Six Flags until Deans nap time, then come back to the camper. I did not sleep well, so after having breakfast at Cracker Barrel, we decided to go to Six Flags in the Evening, which worked out better.

Thursday: Did not do to much, just hung out at the campground, then went to Six Flags. I talked Mary into going on the Superman ride, which she enjoyed

Friday: Just about the same as Thursday, though I packed up a bit to get an earlier start on Saturday.

Saturday: The plans were to go to Six Flags in the morning then take off during naptime. Unfortunately Dean fell asleep on the way to the park, and then so we went straight home, with a detour to my Mom's house.

Aug. 16-18th White River Campground - Montague, Michigan

Friday: We left Friday at about 12:00, a couple hours behind schedule but no big deal. We met up with Michael, Bernie, and Michael the other side of Lansing, and then followed them to the campsite. We got a bit lost trying to follow Michael, he took off and out of my sight, but we still made it there before him. A fairly uneventful evening, we arrived about 5, setup, ate dinner, and then just hung out. Dean had a great time playing with all the kids, and some of the adults.

Saturday: Dean did not wake up until an amazing 10:00. In the afternoon we went to a real lame art fair in Montague, there were less then 10 booths set up. It may have been because it was very windy, but other then that it was a pleasant day. After the fair we went over to Lake Michigan. There was a small beach there that was just beautiful. Dean had a GREAT!!! Time there he just loved it. That evening Dean and Michael played really good together, they even got a bath in the camper shower at the same time. After Michael left he kept crying, "I want Dean…."

Sunday: Nothing eventful had a great time and put no holes in the camper!

Aug. 29th-Sept 2nd Groveland Park - Holly, Michigan

Thursday: This trip started off looking like the camping trip from hell. The plan was a good solid one, but wend down hill fast. Since it was a holiday weekend, the plan was for me to get a site at the campground on Thursday set up, have a nice relaxing evening by the campfire by myself, and then go to work the next day while Mary and Dean meet me out there. The first park we choose was filled already so I franticly called around until I found this park, which still had openings. I download the map from Yahoo and went on my way. I was going down the road looking at the addresses, which was published as 5800 on yahoo. So I'm looking….6500…6400…6100…5900….5500, wait, where'd it go, I must have missed it. Turn around, with the camper remember. 5000…5100…5300…5500…6100…. What the heck, I could not have missed it twice, time is running out!!!! Call information, there are two addresses for the park, no wait; it is both the same phone number…huh??? I get through, "No, were not there, don't know how that address got there" sigh. Ok, I find the park, which is really easy to do if you have the right address. I get to the park, and we're ok, still plenty of sites. Get out my card to pay, "Sorry sir, only cash or check", what, darn ok, nearest ATM is across the street no problem. Turn around again, with the camper remember go to the ATM, pull out my wallet, get out my card, get out my card, hey, where the %*$& is my card. Call Mary, "Where's my card", "Oh I have it!!!!". I have never been so mad in my life!! Luckily she found the pin number for the credit card. Get the park, OK, they still have sites, all set. Get setup up…darn, forgot my bedding. Go to K-Mart, buy some bedding, get ready for my nice relaxing night at the campground, darn it's 10 o'clock, time to goto bed so that I can make it to work by 7.

Friday: The Park ends up being really nice. It has it's own lake, and a little concession stand. Mary finds the park easily; if you know Mary you know what a accomplishment this is, and I meet her there after work.

Saturday: Though we said we would not, we ended up at Cheryl's, she was only 20 minutes from where we were staying. Went swimming a bit, and yadda, yadda, yadda.

Sunday: We decided to have Jordan stay with us so we picked her up at Cheryl's. We then went over to a craft show. After that we went to a Corn Maze. This was a big mistake. After about 20 minutes, Dean did not find it fun anymore, and I had to carry him, then my belt broke. So I was trying to carry a 36 lb toddler, and hold my pants up, this was not a good time.

Monday: Packed up, dropped off Jordan, and a BBQ and Jim and Paula's.

Oct 10th-13th Sno-Trac Village, Gaylord, Michigan

Guys weekend, what happens there, stays there.


June 19th-22nd Metamora-Hadley State Park - Metamora, Michigan

Thursday: There was no daycare this day, so I had the day off to pack. Mary got off early so that we could get a head start, problem was, Dean had a sinus infection and was super crabbie so we did not get out of the house till after three, to the park till 6, setup till 9. It also went down to the 40's that night, thank goodness we had a heater. The campground was nice, but the bathrooms were a mess.

Friday: I went to work for the day, Mary stayed with Dean. They hung out at the campground, then went to the beach for 8 hours. Beautiful weather, nothing else of note.

Saturday: Today was Grandma Kathy's 80th birthday suprise party, and she was suprised. Went back the the site after the party. Ricky Hemric, a friend from work, and Cheryl and Kevin came back to the site with us for a camp fire.

Sunday: Dean descided to get up at 6:30, after I stayed up late at the fire. We packed up after breakfast and left around 2.

July 11th-13th Pleasant Hill Lake State Park - Perrysville, Ohio