A Wood Chuck Doesn't Chuck Wood

Groundhog Daze was held on February 5, 2011 in Peterson Shelter at Wyalusing State Park in Bagley, Wi.

Bruce Klang, president of The Friends of Wyalusing State Park gave two presentations: Groundhog Day History and A Year in the Life of the Groundhog. During the second presentation, Klang offered additional verses for the riddle: How Much Wood would a wood chuck chuck...? Klang's addition is below.

How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

A wood chuck wouldn't chuck wood, even if a wood chuck could chuck wood. Chucking wood would do it no good and a good wood chuck does what a wood chuck should.

But how much ground could a groundhog grind if a groundhog could grind ground?

A groundhog could grind ground, a groundhog would grind ground, Pound for pound one of the best diggers around. It digs deep down into the ground so not to be found, by fox or by hound.

Winter Camping at Wyalusing State Park

The prior week brought over 12 inches of blowing snow. Three to five foot drifts blew over Wyalusing State Park roads.  The skeleton park crew had been plowing snow, pushing snow, lifting snow, and getting stuck in the snow for the next two days. The weekend was somewhat sunny with little wind. A light snow was forecast for one of the weekend days. The forecast called for daytime temperatures in the upper 20s and low 30s.

So, why not go camping?

Let’s be honest, winter camping isn’t for everyone. But for about a dozen  hardy souls who enjoy getting away from the maddening crowds of the big city south of Wisconsin's border, the weekend was just right. "This weekend was much better than the one we spent at Governor Dodge State Campground last year. The temperatures were in the low teens....below zero. The wind chill was even colder. We had to keep the beverages in the cooler to keep from freezing! Now, that was cold!" one of the camper's said, smiling. The others, sitting around the campfire, nodded in agreement.

Every year the group of campers get together for winter camping. This year they chose Wyalusing State Park. Most Wisconsin state parks keep a portion of their sites open for winter campers – some even have electrical hookups.

The park staff had plowed out three campsites along Wisconsin Ridge for the campers. The mummy style sleeping bags were lieing on top of a waterproof tarp. "These bags will keep us warm down to 40 degrees degrees Fahrenheit below zero,”  said one of the campers. "The snow provides an insulating layer as well. Over the years we have been doing this, we found that a tent would gather moisture on the inside. When morning arrived, we would accidentally shake the tent and get a cold shower. That really woke us up!"

When it comes to staying warm, winter campers need to consume a lot of food while outdoors in winter.

A lot of calories are burned working or playing in the cold. More fuel is needed to  run your body. The group brought  grills and a camp stove as well as coolers of food. In the winter the animals that usually raid the coolers are in hibernation.

Finally,  winter campers should drink plenty of water to stay adequately hydrated, but warns against eating snow because it will cool you down and could bring on hypothermia. Suffice it to say that the group of campers had plenty of beverages.

The main thing about winter camping is it’s lots of fun to be outside in the winter, away from pretty much everyone else. The key, of course, is  to be prepared and camp safely and comfortably.

Interested in winter camping in Wisconsin State Parks? Here is a chart of available campsites. (Link).
Additional winter camping and scenes from Wyalusing Sate Park viewed here....