By Theresa “Resa” Leppert
Briggs Woods is a great park! What a GORGEOUS weekend – in so many ways – weather, activities, meeting new friends and connecting with old ones. I forgot to get a group pic, darn it! We had a bit bigger group this time – Barb F. and her pupper, Daisy from Ames area; three folks from Des Moines area – Georgie L., Linda P. and her pup Ivy, and Paula S. Karen K. (and her pupper trio, Jasmine, Anna, and Belle) is from MN. Mary K. and her pup Lucy are from MO.
The weather was amazing – perfect temps during the day and wonderful sleeping weather at night – though I was a bit cold on Thursday night. I learned my lesson – always put the heated throw in the rooftop tent (RTT) just in case. Cuz most of the time I’m not gonna get down that ladder in the night to go looking for it! (I don’t want to climb down that ladder in the dark unless absolutely necessary.)
The good and the bad of our campsites
I was in site #42, and our co-host, Barb was in site #43. Briggs Woods campground is laid out well. While I loved that those sites were at the end of the campground on the edge of a big open field and not far from the bathrooms, on the edge of the Boone river…… there were definitely a couple negatives. First, the dump station was about 50 yards away, and WOW you could really smell it now and then. I mean, it would punch you in the face out of the blue if the wind was blowing the wrong way.
The other negative was the highway bridge was right on the other side of the trees across the Boone River. The traffic blasting across that bridge was deafening at times. So while I do plan to come back to this campground – I will NOT camp in that area again.
The start of our weekend
Some of us arrived at Briggs Woods on Thursday evening, and the rest came in on Friday. Linda and Georgie were down by the river in their tents. That would have been such a nice campsite if it wasn’t for the darn road noise! Still, it had a good tree canopy and was nice and shady.
I made dinner Thursday night – turkey sloppy Joe sandwiches, sides, and cookies for dessert. We were all tired and headed to bed early. Towing and traveling can wear you out!
Woo hoo, got my bike back on the road!
I brought my 25-year old bike that I haven’t been on in two years (or more.) Barb and Karen helped me get the seat raised to an appropriate height. (See pic of my test ride around the parking lot – which is why I’m not wearing a helmet – it was just a quick circle to check the seat height.) Holy cow, it took the three of us to get that seat to budge! It was nice to go for a ride, even if I couldn’t go far that first time. Now I am completely stoked to get back to riding regularly again – thank you, ladies, for the encouragement! We ran into Mary and her pup Lucy on our way back from the short bike ride that day.
Always be aware of where you park your vehicle…..
I took a nap when we got back to our campsites on Friday – left the windows down on my Jeep, which was parked in my campsite driveway. I was parked under a tree. Unfortunately, there was apparently a bird’s nest in a hole in the branch over my car – and I woke up to bird poop EVERYWHERE. All over the Jeep, down the inside of the driver’s door, and on the driver’s seat. UGH, it stank to high heaven! Cleaned it up as best I could and ran to the car wash early Saturday morning. That mama birdie looks so innocent looking out at us from her warm nest.
Friday evening was pure contentment.
Potluck and fire Friday night was a delight! Good food, great conversations, funny stories….. We had an unexpected visitor at our campfire Friday night. An old friend, Susan B, stopped by to hang out for a while. She lives not too far away and couldn’t camp this weekend, but she thought she’d just stop on by for a bit!
Saturday morning fritters by our own Fritter Chef!
Saturday morning, what a TREAT! Co-hostess with the mostest – Barb F. made us homemade apple fritters! I took off on a sugar high that fueled me through til afternoon nap!
Saturday – group hike to the waterfalls!
Saturday we all went for a hike. While our original plan was to just hike the waterfall trail, it turned into hiking all the way back to our campsites. Unfortunately, the map didn’t give any distance markers – but we all put in a guess as to how far it would be to get back to Mary’s camper in the other loop. We were all WAY off, lol. The waterfalls were spectacular, completely unexpected.
Saw some pretty fauna and some curious wildlife. Little miss Ivy got to come along for the ride. What a sweetie!
Geocaching – I never knew it could be such fun.
Something really cool happened – Mary encouraged Barb and I to go with her check out a geocache up at the entrance of the campground. It was the most complicated one I’ve seen, though I don’t have much experience with geocaching. I’m not going to tell you the details because I don’t want there to be a geocache spoiler – but as we were checking it out – the geocache originator (and his daughter) was driving by and stopped to talk to us (and several young boys who were also checking out this cache.) What a neat experience. Now I want to get into geocaching too!
Saturday evening – last night around the fire.
We finished off Saturday evening with another potluck and campfire – and of course MORE STORIES. Sunday morning, it was time to pack up and head home, saying goodbye to our friends and to Briggs Woods. Thankfully, we all got home before the storms hit. Another successful GC IA-WI campout on the books! What a great time!
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Theresa “Resa” Leppert
Guide, Iowa & Wisconsin
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