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Old 05-15-2014, 12:40 PM   #1
sherryberry
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Default Quick Fort trip report



When: April 30 - May 6

Who: Kenneth, Sherry, Buzz, and Dakota

Where: Fort Wilderness and Best Friends

You might remember a little trip report I did last year, that detailed our first trip to Fort Wilderness. In case you missed it, here it is: Pitchin' A Tent. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot about tent-camping. We really wanted to try this again, but in the winter months (it was too hot to camp in June). We had a really hard time booking a campsite for a whole week in January (with or without the use of DVC points), so we ended up just booking Saratoga for that trip. We were still itching to camp, so we booked a campsite for the first week of May (the prices dropped, starting April 27). We're still using our tent but added a few things to our supplies, in the past year. Our original plan was to load everything in our truck, but the check engine light came on right before our trip. It looked like we needed a new thermostat and just didn't have time to get that taken care of. Change of plans - load the Durango, instead. That meant no bikes and a near-panic-attack on my part (we barely got everything to fit in the Durango). We finally were able to get everything we had to have, loaded into the Durango. We ended up getting about three hours of sleep, before getting on our way at 3:00 am, that Wednesday morning.

We made one stop, at the Florida Welcome Center, before pulling up to Fort Wilderness at around noon (after getting the pups settled at Best Friends). We had sent a fax, five days before check-in day, requesting to be at site 1729-this is the site we had last year and it worked out so well for the layout of our tent. We were assigned 1725, and after walking it off, Kenneth thought it would actually be a better fit for our tent. We proceeded to start setting up the tent and gazebo. We knew there was some rain on the way, so we wanted to get those up first. We got the tent and rainfly up and the gazebo up, with a tarp over the gazebo (it was cheap and not waterproof, so we wanted the tarp to protect it from the rain). After getting our shelter assembled, we had to stop and take a little break. Remember, we only got three hours of sleep. We ate a little snack and then got settled into chairs, under the gazebo, for a little nap. Here's how the campsite looked after just getting the basics set up.



I set the alarm on my phone so we could take a thirty minute nap. Our plan was to nap and then get up and finish setting up our campsite. We were about ten minutes into our nap, when a storm rolled in and we started to get wet under the gazebo. The front part of our rainfly wasn't completely attached, so I ran out in the rain to fix that. We had our tent staked down but hadn't attached any guy lines yet. The wind was blowing so hard, that the side of our tent was being pushed in. It's a tough tent, though, so it was okay. Things actually got so bad that we had to get in the car for a while. Once the storm passed, we got out and staked out some lines from the side of the tent. We loaded up and headed to Wal-Mart to grab some groceries and a few supplies. On the way back from Wal-Mart, I got really sick to my stomach and Kenneth stopped to get a ginger ale out of the cooler for me. As soon as we got back to the tent, I went in and just totally crashed. I think between getting soaked, not getting any sleep, and stressing about packing and then dealing with the storm, my body was just ready to shut down for a while. After getting a good night's sleep, we woke up early the next day (4:00 am) and hit the showers and started planning our day. I felt much better after getting some rest for my body and my mind.

We learned some things from our last camping trip. The first thing we learned, is that it would be great to have a toilet at our tent (for the middle of the night, or when it's pouring down rain). That was one of the first things we added to our list of supplies.



The next thing we learned is that we need a comfortable place to rest, outside of our tent. It's WAY too hot during the day, to hang out inside the tent. We added an outdoor rug to our gazebo setup and put a dog-fence around that area, for when the dogs come to visit. We also brought one of their dog beds so that they had a comfortable place to rest. We bought some new camping chairs at Costco, that recline back, for us to take naps. We added some lights to the gazebo, but learned that we attracted way too many bugs at night. I think our next step is to get a screen house, if we want to bring the lights next time.







At this point, this trip report will be mostly pictures.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:45 PM   #2
Fmer55
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very cool set up., looking forward to more
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
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Pictures from the Fort.


















Last edited by sherryberry; 05-15-2014 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:05 PM   #5
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very cool set up., looking forward to more
Thanks! More pictures to come!
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:25 PM   #7
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Food.

Broccoli peppercorn salad - Columbia Harbor House



Pork buns appetizer - Kona Café



Steak with teriyaki and pineapple salsa - Kona Café



Chocolate banana crème brulee - Kona Café



Kilauea torte - Kona Café



Lemon tart - French bakery in Epcot



Macaron - French bakery in Epcot



All American sundae - ice cream shop on Main Street, Magic Kingdom


Last edited by sherryberry; 11-08-2014 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:37 PM   #8
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Chicken bacon avocado wrap and pasta salad - Earl of Sandwich



Violet lemonade - Pineapple Promenade, Epcot



Spring pancake with chicken - China, Epcot



Veggie spring rolls - China, Epcot



Candied strawberries - China, Epcot



Chicken hand roll - Japan, Epcot



We went out for breakfast a couple of mornings on this trip - the rest of the time we ate in the tent. We tried the Trail's End breakfast buffet for the first time. We also ate at the Wave for their breakfast buffet. The Wave continues to be our favorite breakfast on property. They have some unique items on their buffet that keep us coming back (the most amazing cheese grits, sweet potato pancakes).

Our next planned trip is end of September / beginning of October. Kenneth and I are thinking about a trip in July, also.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:58 PM   #9
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Enjoying your pictures and your report. I have never been to Fort Wilderness. It looks like fun
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:14 PM   #10
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Enjoying your pictures and your report. I have never been to Fort Wilderness. It looks like fun
It's a really great resort! There's so much to do, but we never really get around to doing any of those things! One day, we'll camp here when we don't have any park tickets - then we can explore more of the grounds and maybe do stuff like the campfire and movie.
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