May 4th, 2011

compass rose

On your mark, get set . . .

I filled out everything I knew about our backpacking tip to Isle Royale on the BSA's Tour Permit program. If I knew what cars we were driving, I'd be able to submit it, all in good time. Since it's a National Tour Permit (as opposed to a Local one), I think I'd better not piddle around with it. That means I need to resolve this very quickly.

Ten people could easily fit into two sedans, but not with all their packs. I can put all the tents and perishable food into my trunk, and we could load all the non-perishable food into the other, but then, where do we carry ten backpacks, sleeping bags, etc.? I have a clamshell that could go on top of my car, but I have my doubts as to how much I could cram into it.

Plus, ten people in two sedans for 1700 miles is not very comfy. Far better if we can nab a min-van to go with my Breeze (which is being serviced for the summer as I type this).

Gas is also a consideration. My original budget estimated $3.25 per gallon, I think. Being a trek budget done by yours truly (who almost always brings home budgeted but unspent group funds), I'm willing to see if we can make it without charging people more. The Crew could probably absorb a bit of an overage, too. But if we have to take three vehicles, all bets are off, and we'll have to confabulate about this.

Still, we're making progress.
camp cook

No room in the inn, er . . . park

I tried to get reservations at Ft. Wilkins Historic State Park in Copper Harbor today. Nobody was in at the park (the season hasn't started yet, and the Rangers were probably all out and about). I called the reservation number, and they told me that if they made my reservations, they'd have to charge me a separate campsite fee for each adult + 3 children, even for non-electric sites. That would be something like $100 a night. If I want to reserve the cheaper Group Camping sites, I have to call Ft. Wilkins directly. So, I'll pursue that tomorrow.

I then punched up Kohler-Andrae S.P. outside Sheboygan, Wisconsin, to make an internet reservation for our first night (a Saturday). The sites were reasonably priced, but I'd have to reserve two. They had two adjacent sites available. That's fine, but -- as with so many phone- and internet-reservation systems, I'd have to reserve two nights on a weekend. So I called Kamp Kegonsa, a private campground that bailed me out on our trip to Yellowstone in 2003. Yes, they can accommodate us, and since they like to give Scouts a break, they'll rent us two sites for the price of one -- a mere $21. (Advice: never throw away materials you get from previous campgrounds; you never know when you might want to go back!)

So, all I've got to do still is to get Ft. Wilkins campsites for June 12 and 17, and all reservations will be confirmed!