Silver Lake Jeep weekend

Back in December, a friend of mine hits me and another Jeep gal up and says his Jeep club is looking at going to Silver Lake Sand Dunes the first weekend of June for the Jeep Invasion.  I remember thinking, wow, we’re talking six months out…planning a Jeep/camping weekend that far out seems a bit excessive.  I didn’t realize that in the end there would be over 800 Jeeps at this invasion.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes is between Muskegon and Ludington, Michigan; about two and a half hours, maybe three, up the Lake Michigan coast line.

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Randomly over the next 6 months we would discuss a few things, who was bringing what for camping.  Splitting the cost of the campsite.  Who need Dunes flags and all the random things that go into planning any kind of small group trip.  I didn’t fully realize the extensive work that my buddy “D” or Dimitri was putting into bringing his club up.

A quick side note….. You can see more of D’s club here: Windy City Jeep Force Which, I’m gonna brag a hot minute on D’s crew.  I seriously could not have had a better time with this rag-tag band of awesome-saused group.  Everyone was very welcoming, and the longer Jackie and I were around them the better things got.  I highly recommend if you are in their area and get a chance to do meet n’ greet or hit a trail with ’em, DO IT.

The week arrived and text messages back and forth were regular as excitement built until Friday morning arrived and my boys were dropped off at the vet for boarding.  My friend Jacki and D were already on the road; Jackie solo because she was driving up from Detroit.  D was in a convoy of 50 some Jeeps coming out of the greater Chicago area, and their final pit stop before heading to camp in Mears, Michigan, was where Jackie and I were planning on jumping in.

Then it was off to set up our camp sites and head to registration, frankly that part could have been skipped.  We stood in a forever and a day line, to get a frisbee and a koozie.  Actually, it was to register your Jeep for voting, which if I would have known, I would of skipped.  There was some amazing rigs there, but Lady Jaye is no where near me dropping that much money into her.  Which I have mass respect for those that put that kind of work into their Jeeps.  It is truly an art form.

 

 

The next morning consist of a hangover, campfire coffee with bacon and eggs and some badass company.  Before dropping tire pressure and 50 Jeeps being organized to roll out to the Dunes.  Which ended up being in at least two different groups.  The first group wanted to do the parade through town, the group Jackie and I stayed with, skipped the parade and went straight for the Dunes.  In truth, this meant we got to attempt to sleep in a little longer -which, with as late as we were up enjoying adult beverages and fellow Jeepers company, the sleeping in was a bit more important.

 

 

Once out at the Dunes, the line up of Windy City Jeeps sat for maybe 5 minutes before the first Jeep attempted the “test hill.”  Watching the first Jeep just narrowly miss getting over the crest of the hill, I looked at the Jeep to my right, our neighbor at the campsite.  She chuckled, looked down at her FitBit watch and said, “I’m just sitting here looking at this hill and my heartbeat is at 120!” That pretty much summed up how everyone was feeling, excitement and mass amounts of adrenaline.

I was riding shotgun to Wampa, Jackie’s rig; we ended up moving down 3 hills before Jackie got a LOOK on her face and a gleem in here eye.  Yep, this means we’re taking it on! And Wampa did an awesome job gliding right up, both of us hooted and hollered in the rush of cresting the hill.  The second hill was very similar…however the third hill would put Jackie into Windy City lore…. I believe I can fly

 

Don’t worry, Wampa is fine.  She was checked over on site and continued on for an hour or two before hitting a few “puddles.”  Which anyone who has been on the Dunes knows those puddles can be deceiving and the general rule… don’t drive where you can’t see the bottom, or you haven’t seen another Jeep go.  Well, Wampa got a little deep and we had to pull drain plugs.  However, the running joke was renaming her sWampa.  “I’m watching Wampa get a little deep and then OH SHIT….brakes!! She rolls out and no joke, I’m just waiting for fish to come flopping out of all that water”

After getting Wampa safely back to camp, it was time for a late lunch; where Jackie and I learned D, who had never camped before, makes for one hell of a campfire cook.  Washed down with lazy hammocks in a perfect summer Saturday and lots of laughter.

 

 

Saturday late afternoon was set for a local trail ride… The pictures don’t even do it justice, largely because it was growing dark as we were finishing the trail.

 

Sunday morning was set for more Dunes and then the Jeep Blessing, which more than a few of us skipped.  Opting instead for a lazy campfire breakfast…which was quiet the feast thanks to D.  Slowly breaking down camp and packing up, before heading to air tires back up and take our time saying good bye and heading back to the real world…. Ya know what, more like heading back to the average normal adult world.  Because this is my real world, this is my real life.

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It was sad to see the weekend come to an end, but driving home a mud caked Lady Jaye had me in the best of spirits.  I even drove her to work, which we all know that first day back after a great weekend can be a little rough.  My Monday was no exception, hit with the reality of work and being an adult again, however when I walked outta work at 5pm and I hit the road in that glorious muddy girl…. Yea, being an adult isn’t always so bad.

 

a very muddy Christmas?

Sunday I ordered snowshoes from REI, Tuesday the weather began to warm up.
Go figure (laughing).
After two weeks of temps in the single digits and teens, plus a week and a half of snow showers; it is now supposed to be 50 this weekend with rain on Christmas day (Sunday).


You’re welcome Michigan….🙄

 

-Inked Amazon

muddy adventures begin

Last weekend’s camping trip….

“…my dreams are tangled in images of stars and clouds and firelight – we go camping at night – it’s my lucid dream of being with you…”
-John Geddes, A Familiar Rain

Earlier in the week showed chances of possible rain for Saturday and Sunday. Well. We decided screw it. We’ve been trying to plan this weekend all summer and with our busy lives, between work, competitions, friends weddings, family reunions, work trips…. It’s actually kind of amazing just how difficult it can be for 3 women to make a weekend work.

So what happens? Friday, one hour before I’m supposed to leave, the skies open up and rain down the beginning of doomsday and The country just south of me goes into a tornado warning.  After a short debate and several weather checks. Feeling frustrated and disappointed because my furbabies were already at the vet for the weekend. The gals and I decided we had what appeared to be a two hour break in the rain. Screw it. Heading out and let’s see what happens.
Of course Bee asks Brogan, “your tent has a rainfly, right?”
Me: 😳 fuck
Brogan, “I’m not sure. I haven’t put it up in a while.” In all fairness. It is her parents tent.
“I will buy a new fucking tent. Fuck it.”

So basically I bought a new tent and set it up for the first time on the site in between down pours and then attempted to get a fire going. This is not exactly a smart thing, but at that point I was willing to take my chances with a brand-new unknown tent, than a “I’m not sure…”

While we had been setting up our tent, one of the neighbors yells how we need to make sure the rainfly is good and tight because there is forecasted rain. However this came across garbled to my two friends. I’m not sure if it was my time in the south or what that I fully understood him.

Camping with redneck neighbors and this isn’t the good kind. This isn’t Darrel Dixon, who ya want in a zombie apocalypse. This is a handful of single wide trailers are empty, was that even English they’re mumbling and holy fuck… Yes he’s wearing jean shorts with white tube socks and drinking from a two leader of Mountain Dew.  Wait, is that a damn near life-sized pink My Little Pony in the front seat of that rusted out Jeep Liberty?  Why yes, yes it is…

Next up, Bee is one heck of a fire goddess but even this ended up involving a little intervention from our neighbors on the first night; and when I say a little help I’m talking a half bottle of lighter fluid.  The wood was damp, extremely damp to borderline soaked from the humidity in the air. Then again everything was soaked but no one really wanted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. So eventually the fire gets going and hot enough to cook. We sit around enjoying a childhood tradition of frank N’ beans (baked beans and hotdogs).

It’s still muggy as a mofo, just setting the tent up had is literally dripping in sweat. But we made it. We made it out and the tent was up, dinner made and the rain hadn’t started back up again, yet.

Around 1:30 to 2am I was woke up by the not so gentle sounds of an utter downpour on the tent. I felt around my sleeping bag, seemed good. Rolled over and tried to sleep more. Most of my night would go this way, in the morning I made a mental note to pack earplugs for future rainstorms. By 6am I’m done. I can’t sleep anymore the rain is coming down in driving sheets. I’ve checked the inside of the tent a couple of very small puddles but nothing to cause alarm. No body’s stuff got wet. Unlike we would later learn of our neighbors, who pretty much needed up with miniature lakes in each of their tents.

I listened to this until a little after 6am, I couldn’t sleep… I gave up the attempts and told my two camping partners that I was running into town (20 minutes away) to get charcoal and more lighter fluid, I also brought back a few munchies and some coffee to make due until we got a good fire going and breakfast.  Little did any of us realize that this would take close to three hours… To get a fire hot enough for coffee accompanied by bacon and eggs.

I couldn’t complain too much, considering this whole time it was off and on sprinkling and smouldering humidity.  When the clouds cleared as we started out on our hike, the humidity only got worse.  Which made for a very interesting and challenging almost 9 miles, but at least we were well fed!

dear god it is so freakin muggy out here, it’s like walking through a sauna

beautiful view of Lake Ovid while on our hike

Early evening with Brogan on deck for cooking dinner, kabobs and beer, made for a very awesome post hike dinner!  Even better with the rain completely gone from the forecast and a cooler night predicted.

The cooler temps, and when I say cooler, I’m talking about 65 degrees.  Not exactly ‘cooler’ by a lot of people’s standards, but when your average over night temps have been 75 with 80% humidity.  65 with about 50% humidity felt pretty good.
I even tried to sleep in by pulling the hoodie of my thin sweat shirt over my eyes.  It didn’t work (lol) and no I wasn’t sleeping in my sleeping bag, but rather on top of it with my (Army poncho liner) woobie.  If you’ve never experienced the amazing-ness of a woobie, you have no idea what you are missing out on.

Sunday morning was spent stoking up a final fire to enjoy some coffee with cooler August morning, already talking about how none of us want to leave and return to reality.  Making suggestions and tossing ideas for our next camping trip in October and just enjoying each others company.

All in all it was a much needed and far too short weekend spent with two amazing friends.  I left our campsite with a happy soul and a full heart.  I look forward to our next trip with as much, if not more enthusiasm as I had this trip.


-Inked Amazon 💋💀 Warrior