Friday, December 18, 2015

High Cliff State Park Halloween Camground Event Weekend, Sherwood, WI, October 23-25, 2015

Every year, the Friends of High Cliff State Park host a Halloween Campground Tour in which campers decorate, sometimes elaborately, their campsites with Halloween decorations and crowds come to trick-or-treat. We camped at the park last year, and it was a fun, unique way to end our camping season, so we again booked a site early this year for the Halloween festivities.

We got off to relatively slow and late start on this rainy Friday evening, and we were hoping the rain would end by the time we arrived. Unfortunately, we arrived to a dark, wet campsite with no sign of the rain ending until the next morning. The first thing we noticed was the giant jack-o-lantern her brother parked at our site. The pumpkin originally weighed about 1500 lbs and won some awards around the state. We quickly began setting up our tent and tarp, and just as we were finished with the shelters, Lorraine's brother and his 9 year-old son arrived. We were able to sit under the tarp and visit for awhile before getting to bed.

We decided to hike the Redbird Trail on Saturday, and fortunately the rain mostly held off for our 3.4 mile hike. I wasn't feeling very well, with a head cold and achy body, but it was nice to take in the fall colors in the woods. We returned to the campsite to have hotdogs and gumbo for lunch. Amber was extremely excited about her cousins coming to join her for trick-or-treating that she couldn't sit still. She packed goody bags and filled the candy bowl hoping for time to pass.

Our little ghoul guarding the giant pumpkin
Finally, as the hour approached, she donned her Emperor of Evil costume and watched for our visitors as the early trick-or-treaters passed by. Eventually, everyone arrived, and we got the full tour of the Halloween campgrounds, which seemed even more elaborate than last year. After a short time, the kids began getting tired, so we all trickled back to the site for pulled pork sandwiches with all the sides and fixings we could eat. There was a couple hours of chaos at our site full of kids playing with glow sticks and stuffing their faces with candy. After they all left, I enjoyed the fire awhile before dousing it and heading to the tent to listen to the remaining Halloween partiers hoot and holler until after midnight. 

Lake Winnebago
Sunday turned out to be a pretty nice day, so Lorraine tried to sneak away for a quiet hike, but Amber awoke insisted on joining her. I got to sleep another hour before dragging myself out of the tent and relaxing before they returned for another bacon and egg breakfast. As we broke camp, Lorraine's brother returned for his giant pumpkin, which turned out to be the talk of the campground. We must have fielded a hundred inquiries about the pumpkin, and it seemed everyone had to stop by and take their picture with it. 

The weekend wasn't exactly my style of camping, and it's funny that some of the non-campers were just so amazed that we could sleep in a tent in the rain and stay dry. This made the 30th night Lorraine and I slept in a tent this year, and it really doesn't seem like enough, but I don't know if we'll be able to get back out this year or not. Anyway, it was something different, and Amber had a great time with her cousins. We'll probably be back next year. 

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