The Chuck Wagon’s Maiden Voyage

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Camping. It’s not for the faint of heart. You get dirty, you get cold, you get hot, things don’t always go the way you planned. And that is exactly why we called our first pop-up camper trip a “test run”. As eager as we are to take the Chuck Wagon all over the place, we need to have some trial and error close to home first.

Going from camping in tents to camping in a pop-up camper (+ add in a 10 month old) is a bit of an adjustment. We booked our first stay at the Hancock Campground, which is roughly a 2 minute drive from our house. The long 4th of July weekend gave us the perfect extended stay that we wanted.

We booked our stay from Thursday the 4th – Sunday the 7th. On Wednesday I took the littles to the grocery store and we picked up all that we would need to get us through the weekend. Extra excited for what the weekend would bring, we went to sleep pretty early.

Thursday was the 4th of July and we weren’t able to check in until 2:00 so I took the kids to the 4th of July parade with my parents while John stayed back and prepped the food and got some camping things ready. Once we got back, with way too much candy, Luci went down for a nap and John and I packed everything away in the camper.

unnamed (7)Β As usual, we packed way too much stuff but better safe than sorry, right? 2:00 rolled around after Luci woke up from her nap and we took the 2 minute drive to the campground. Of course it was the hottest day of the summer so far so everyone was sweating while we pulled into our spot and unloaded. In all reality, it’s actually pretty “easy” to get the camper popped up, it’s just time consuming to unpack everything else.

Our friend Marie came up from Wisconsin to visit for the weekend and stopped by our campsite as we were done getting everything settled. My parents also came down to see how things were shaking out. Lincoln was hot and wanted to go to the beach (there is a nice trail that takes you to the beach right at the campground here). My parents took Lincoln to the beach but we saw some pretty dark clouds rolling in so we checked the weather and sure enough a storm was supposed to hit.

John and I tucked some things away so the rain wouldn’t get anything too bad and Marie went to meet up with some other friends. We then took Luci down to the beach as well but my parents already started heading back because of the weather. Once we got back to the site the rain had started but it was pretty light. Our camper came with a nice outdoor stove so we started up some hot dogs.

The rain came down a bit more so we all headed into the camper to eat inside. Although it was cramped with 7 people in a tiny pop-up, we made due and it was pretty fun to have dinner inside. Afterwards Lincoln wanted to play frisbee outside and John and Luci stayed in the camper. Shortly after, John said from the window, “hey, what’s up with this bed? Why is it so low over here?” I couldn’t really tell from just looking at it so I peaked under the bed and sure enough the bracket that holds one of the supports had just completely fallen onto the ground, screws and all.

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Since it was getting late and raining, everyone was getting a little anxious from being confined in the camper for quite some time. We decided it was probably for the best to just close things up, head home, and fix the bed in the morning. A bit of a bummer, but I’m not gonna lie, after sweating all day it was kind of nice to go home and sleep in my own bed in my own room.

The next morning, Marie and I went down to Marquette for the day and John hung out with the kiddos. Once we got back into town, we headed down to the campsite for the remainder of the evening. John was fixing the support for the bed and making sure that the others were secure as well. My parents came down to the campground again and we made burgers on the grill and played some games and hung out around the fire.

We tried to figure out the right sleeping situation for everyone but it was a bit tricky. Luci didn’t exactly want to go in her pack and play so we let her lay in bed with us (which she literally has never done) so instead of it being bed time, she wanted it to be party time and stayed up until midnight. For a baby who sleeps through the night, she was up quite a bit in the camper. This will definitely be an adjustment for the summer.

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On Saturday morning we slept in until as late as Luci let us (Lincoln crashed the whole night and was sound asleep even through the wake-ups. Alexander opted to stay at home since he worked until late the night before). John had to work Saturday morning so Marie (who slept in our tent) and I made some coffee. Luci was pretty antsy of being stuck in a high chair or being held so after we guzzled some coffee we headed back home so she could get some real rest in her crib and we could take some showers.


After Luci’s long nap, the littles, Marie, and I ventured out to Hungarian falls for a short hike. It’s a bit of an adventure when you have a friend who had ACL surgery three months ago, me with a 10 month old on my back, and a 4 year old who wants to climb down every hill. But nonetheless we still had fun and it was a perfect day to be out in the woods.

After hiking, Marie went to lunch with some friends and the kids and I headed back to the campsite to eat. After lunch we went over to the beach for a bit. It was cloudy but decently warm so Lincoln hopped right in the water and played for a while while Luci and I watched from the beach. It was getting late in the afternoon and I figured I would try to give it a go and see if Luci would actually take a nap in the camper so we headed back to the campsite.

When we were walking back to the beach we saw my parents rolling into the campground to visit. I told them what we were up to and they asked if Lincoln wanted to hang out with them for a bit while I put Luci down to sleep. I successfully got Luci to fall asleep in her pack and play and hung out outside for a bit. Marie stopped over again and John got back from work.

Marie was going out to sushi with some friends that evening and even though we had packed a bunch of camping food, who can turn down sushi? We gave her a rather large order and she picked up some dinner for us afterwards.

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My parents came back with Lincoln and ate sushi with us. We were all pretty tired from the past couple nights so we walked around the campground for a bit before we all called it a night. It was another long night with Luci as she is not used to sleeping so close to us. Every time she woke up during the night she wanted to party.

The morning came and it was a bit chilly. I made some coffee again and we started to pack things up. When it was time for Luci’s first nap, John took the kids back home and they stayed with Alexander while Luci slept and John and I got the camper back down.

Although we didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked actually “camping” or at the campground, I think it gave us a pretty good idea of the things we really needed and the things we probably could have left at home.

All in all, there were some ups and there were some downs (mainly just lack of sleep LOL). I’m so glad my parents were nearby to help out with the kids while we got our first trip under our belts. Now it’s time to plan for the next adventure!

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