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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Perfect timing, we left as everyone and their Grandmother's dog was rolling in. We got our second fav campsite the weather was beautiful, rained buckets the second night but not until we were tucked in the E.

Somehow we were so busy not many pics were taken, but i did get the obligatory car shot and one with the debadged behind. I want to replace the Basketcase with a Load Warrior both for capacity but but also because I think it needs a bigger rack for proportion. Took the shiny H off the front cause it wasn't working with the whole Tonka Tank concept.

You can see Baxter sitting in the driver seat. No matter how many times I tell him he can't drive, hope springs eternal.

We went to the Tap Room twice. It was VERRRRY laid back and I liked it a lot but I will never pay $3 for a root beer again. We had nachos and pizza on HC recommendation. ASked about Lodge rooms, $25 pet fee, not bad, not great. Maybe next year. It would be nice to have a secure place to just chill with the dogs.

Gabriel took deer pics. We went to hike in the meadow and there was a couple with horses. He asked them if they wanted an apple for the horses and they not only cut it and let him feed but the gentleman sat him on the horse.

It was a very kind gesture. I often think that people underestimate the magnitude of something so simple and generous. Gabriel will probably remember that for a very long time. I found it very touching. it was a HUGE deal for the boy and the closest he's ever been to a horse.

The dogs were outstanding, as usual. I will say that camping without them, or with one would be more relaxing. Being the dogs they are, they need constant supervision when around strangers. Not because they are mean, but they are very on the job. So I have to be the first to meet and greet anyone. Then they are lovely smush buckets.

Having to be the Big Boss the entire time gets a little tiring. But they have SUCH a good time, you know?

We saw a gentleman with a black dog in his sidecar. Ended up behind him on 66 for a ways and was so nervous about the dog half in and out. I mean, it's a Mom thing.

Sad to leave, honestly. Two night is too short, but even if I didn't have the teacher conference thing it would have been crazy crowded. Decided we really need two Coleman SUV air mattresses. For some reason I can't get the one to fully inflate, no leak, just, hmmm. But with two I think it would be better.

I put more tent picks on the fav things thread, it really is a swell tent.
 

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Gidget recognizes that deer. :)

If I hadn't caught the flu, we'd have run into you.

That's so great about Gabriel's experience with the horse. And the dogs are having a priceless good time up there. I swear with Gidget something wild in her DNA clicks on and in her mind she is The White Wolf.

If you can forego the shower sometime, Mathew's Arm is a beautiful campground, too, but with fewer amenitities.

Big Meadows is easy to get hooked on. The rangers are terrific and the locale is hard to beat in the mid-Atlantic.

Looks like you were camped on the outer edge?

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh, we've forgone showers so far,lol. We were in our second fav spot A69. Gabriel likes to be able to see civilization from wherever we are. I'm hoping that as he gets older he'll be more comfortable going out further.

I think being able to see buildings helps put things in context, just seeing forest is another sort of sensory overload for him as he doesn't have a point of context to anchor with.

I will check out the other place, I mean, it's not like it's out of the way,lol.

I wondered why you weren't headed out that way, sorry you feel crappy.

I really want to get one more trip, or two out there before it shuts down. Do the weekends stay packed pretty much throughout?
 

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Oh, we've forgone showers so far,lol. We were in our second fav spot A69. Gabriel likes to be able to see civilization from wherever we are. I'm hoping that as he gets older he'll be more comfortable going out further.

I think being able to see buildings helps put things in context, just seeing forest is another sort of sensory overload for him as he doesn't have a point of context to anchor with.

I will check out the other place, I mean, it's not like it's out of the way,lol.

I wondered why you weren't headed out that way, sorry you feel crappy.

I really want to get one more trip, or two out there before it shuts down. Do the weekends stay packed pretty much throughout?
The increasingly cold nights will weed out the wussiest.

So I'd bet there are slots available on weekends now.

How were the leaves? Near-peak?




 

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Discussion Starter #5
It was pretty amazing, they were all kinda green and then the next day big changes. About mid way I'd say. It's funny Gabriel knows all the rules, he was really up in arms because some yahoo was running a generator in Loop B (the same guy who parked his truck in one of the walk in spaces and unloaded his camper in the paid spot) and I didn't even know that was the rule until the Ranger came by.

He's also gotten more independent and *gasps* wants to WALK places.

We also went to the visitor center, camp store, the usual places he likes to go.
I'm thinking, hopefully soon it will be too cold for gnats and we can really just use the E, less setup.

I'm thinking to head up there first week of November and hit Prince Williams a couple weekends out. Lovely place and never crowded. Plus it close although the drive sucks.
 

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I'm over those generators. Left a comment card last time that at the very least they need to trim back the generator hours. They currently allow 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. Outrageous considering a tiny minority use them and they impinge on the rest of us.

I'm gong to continue harping on the generators.

Now that I think of it, they should have one row for generators and ban them everywhere else.

That's my next comment card!

Have you seen any skunks?

Skunkapalooza up there this year.






 

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Discussion Starter #7
One skunk last time, one skunk passing through site this time. This time two ticks. One on my jeans (thanks dog) one on the curtain inside the E. Repulsive things...

I've reserved for Nov. 1 through 3, hope it's not super cold. Tuesday is a Teacher Work Day, why not have it be that Monday? No friggin' idea. But he's ditching one more day of school.

I have a tent heater if it's too cold we'll hang in the tent and sleep in the E as usual. Snagged one of those canopies you recommended after getting soaked getting in the E. Hopefully they ship fast.

I WISH they damn rear hatch opened from the inside. How that aspect got overlooked I'll never know.

Hey, have you tired those little Starbucks Crack Packets of Via Instant Coffee? It's super fine powder, even mixes on cold water. About $1 each but the guy at my Safeway Starbucks always throws in a few plus a coupon.

Worked fab for camping and one less thing to clean.

What makes me nuttier than generator pollution is the yahoo who thinks I want to listen to his music. next time,I swear, I'm countering with Sisters of Mercy or maybe some Bauhaus or Metallica.

I'll take yappy dogs over that any day although they often seem to go hand in hand.

This is why I couldn't make it through the weekend, my aggravation would just make me miserable while everyone who was aggravating me had a swell time,lol.

Three hours? What are they powering, fcol?

I still end up with left over wood. We'll be tired and I'll be all 'I paid for that wood! It's going to burn!"
 

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Search the "Favorite [camping] things" thread for Reflectix insulation and you'll see how you can make your E substantially warmer and ensure privacy. Quite simply, with a pair of scissors you cut pieces that fit in your windows, and skylight if you have one. I do the back window, rear side windows and the rearseat door windows. Roll the pieces up together and you've got some insurance against a cold night. You can get a roll of Reflectix at Home Depot. You don't need much. This roll below would do a couple E's.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&productId=100020855&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=100020855&cm_mmc=shopping-_-googlebase-_-D22X-_-100020855


Earplugs. Don't leave home without them and keep some in your Element. I keep several pair in my roller suitcase because hotels are even worse than campgrounds. I also have them in my E and teardrop.

Cafe Vienna. For regular coffee I use a French Press and JetBoil. Super easy. Even easier is General Foods International's Cafe Vienna. Couple heaping tablespoons and I'm good to go. Great evening drink. Also their Mayan Chocolate.

Two bundles of wood gets me through the evening. Three bundles is a bonfire. Their wood is outrageously expensive now. Was $2.80 in 2005. $5 now that outside wood is banned. I've had only one fire this year, am boycotting.

And would just as soon curl up with a good book in my sleeping bag.

:)

 

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Discussion Starter #9
With the refletix (sp), how does that deal with condensation? You can imagine with the boy and two dogs the windows are dripping by morning. I'm also thinking about laying some foam over the air mattress because I hate ice cube butt.

You know where there is always one spot on your butt that feels like you are laying on an ice cube?

No skylight, but I'd love to have one put in. That's the only thing I really miss on this E.
 
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