If you ask us (and we’ve Googled this, so we know), the first rule of tent camping is this: Find Pete Abraham.
We didn’t know this as we set out for Door County and the first outdoor camping trip of our entire lives.
Rain pelted our windshield at the very moment we realized we’d forgotten our pillows and water bottles.
“What were we thinking?” I texted my sister Jenny.
“You weren’t,” she replied. “I’m just going to say it again. Kostelniks don’t camp. Camping is for tiny fairy-sized people who can roll their bodies up as tight as a sleeping bag.”
“We’re screwed,” I told my husband Vince. “We’re too tall.”
I had been looking forward to this adventure. I even read Wild to prepare for it, and I felt just like Cheryl Strayed as I packed my duffle bag (except without the recreational drug use, isolation and power begets power attitude).
As we neared Peninsula State Park, I felt my resolve crumble. I looked longingly at the lovely resorts we passed along the way.
Then, we pulled into our campsite and Found Pete Abraham.
He’d rigged a wind block, lit an inviting camp fire and set up cooking and dining areas. Thankfully, he and his wife Mary had chosen a site very close to a lovely indoor bathroom.
He commandeered a giant tent, with a queen sized air mattress for us, and helped Vince set it up.
Then, he and his merry band of campy campers treated us to the most amazing weekend.
There was grilled Caesar Salad, and kettle baked cherry pie; camp fire stories and a starry, starry sky; a three-sunrise morning and a hike full of stunning vistas.
Best of all, there were friends — old ones about whom we’ve written before, and fresh-to-America new ones.
The temperature dropped to 41 degrees the night we slept in tent for the very first time and we felt toasty warm.