When Julia and I decided to plan our first camping trip of the year for this weekend, the weather forecast was 60 – 70 degrees with a chance of rain. As the week went on, the weatherman kept lowering and lowering the projected high temperature. By the time Friday morning came around, we knew that our “Nice weather weekend” had turned into “Our first winter camping experience”. But we were not about to give up on our trip! Heck, it’s been almost 6 months since our last camping trip! So we loaded up the camper and headed out for some winter camping at Rock Cut State Park , in Loves Park, Il.
When we arrived, we had to enter the park, find a campsite, and fill out the self registration envelope. We then had to put the money ($20 per night) in the envelope, and insert it into the lock box. They only have one area open for winter camping at Rock Cut State Park, and the sites are all electric only (30 Amp).
We arrived on Friday, April 13th, around 3 p.m. It was around 40 degrees outside, but not raining. We got our camper leveled, unhooked, plugged in, and then made some burgers for dinner. The campsite we picked was site number 128. It is on the outer loop, all the way in the back corner, backing up to the woods. I did not realize it until we were already backed in, but the site is very un-level. And to make matters worse, I forgot to pack our Camco Leveling Blocks!
Luckily, we had brought a bin full of pallet wood to use as fire wood (with no nails of course). So I was able to use several of those boards to level our rig.
The first night I counted only 5 other RVs, and 2 very brave tent campers in the entire park! I told Julia this, and she laughed at me, as I was worried about being able to get a site before we left home. Looking back, I suppose that should not have been a concern of mine. (Check out this post for some tips on picking a site when you are booking ahead of time.)
The second day, we spent mostly inside. It was just above freezing, and raining on and off all day long. Being inside all day with a toddler, 2 large dogs, and a cat, is not the most fun thing to do! We were all a little restless. But, as always, Julia kept us all positive and happy! (Check out this post for some last minute indoor activities for your toddler) We did manage a short walk to the park, where Ellie loved going down the slide and using the swing.
Sunday morning we woke up to….SNOW! Which was a surprise to us, as we thought it rained all night. But we did not let that get us down! We made some breakfast, walked the dogs, packed up the camper, and headed for home.
Overall, we had a blast winter camping at Rock Cut State Park. Sure, we didn’t get a chance to hike as much as we wanted, or go on more than a few walks. However, we did get to spend an entire weekend together as a family, with no other commitments and nothing else to do. And in this day and age, couldn’t we all use some down time?