Nothing completes a summer quite like camping. This past weekend my college friends (Jill, Sonya and Monica) and I went up to Warren Dunes State Park to enjoy a weekend of simplicity. Preparation for this event started in March with campsite research. A little early? Maybe, but not if you want a quality campground and spot.
We narrowed our sites along the southwestern edge of Michigan, along Lake Michigan. It was the perfect mid-point all of us, two of whom were coming from Illinois, one from Michigan and the other from Indiana. Jill settled on Warren Dunes mostly because of its availability and we were able to secure a good campsite.
A few weeks before our weekend of camping festivities I sent out an email consisting of the “food and beverage” list, as well as “random supply” list. Emails flew back and forth about who was bringing what…and yet somehow someone did not trust a few other members in the group so we might have ended up with a few doubles and triples of items (like silverware and cups).
Friday night Jill got into camp early and was able to not only get the tent up but also start a fire. Which was perfect timing for Sonya and I to help with dinner as soon as we arrived. We enjoyed some slightly charred campfire packets but made up for the charred dinner by eating lots of s’mores and talking late into the night.
Saturday morning I made pancakes for breakfast while Jill and Sonya packed PB&J sandwiches for our beach lunch. After breakfast we headed out to enjoy the surprise sunshine on Lake Michigan. The half mileish hike to the lake was a bit of an adventure, but for the record, Jill did get us there safely.
When we arrived on the beach, there was a slight warning out for rip tides, but that just made for excellent waves. We had a blast swimming and working on our tans. We headed back to camp in the late afternoon just as the sky started to turn gray.
We made it back to the campsite with about an hour to spare before the storm rolled in. Not willing to cook in the rain, we found a local pub that found our clothing acceptable. After dinner, we played Uno, Dutch Blitz and Disney’s Trivial Pursuit to pass the time. Finally the rain let up and we were able to have one more campfire, thanks to some lighter fluid borrowed from our neighbors.
Sunday morning we packed up and took one more walk on the beach before heading home. All in all, it was a quality weekend even with the inconvenience of rain on Saturday. But let’s be honest, anytime one gets a s’more it usually turns out to be a superior time.