Cosplay, Candy, Campfires and a Cabin – Pandemic Halloween 2020 (Brighton Recreation Area, MI)

If there are two things my husband and I both love – it’s a good cabin trip – and Halloween. We met at a Halloween Party in 1992 when we were in college, so it’s always been a “special” day for us. This year, we decided to combine two of our biggest loves into one – and do a Halloween cabin trip! Neither of us had ever camped on Halloween before. What better way to get away from crowds and avoid the dreaded “what do we watch on TV tonight” conversation?

Those mattresses were quite…lumpy. We always tend to bring our own air-inflated camping mattresses with us on camping and cabin trips since not all mattresses are created equal!

Since the ongoing pandemic is kind of ruling out most social gatherings – especially Halloween parties in bars – taking our own little party for two into the woods seemed like a great idea! Add to that the first Halloween full moon since 1944 and favorable camp fire weather and well, what other convincing did we need?

When you have only a few minutes remaining of sun and only basic kitchen knives (not those fancy pumpkin carving knives you can get at Halloween stores), this is how your pumpkins get carved! We named them Tweedle Pump and Tweedle Kin. We used a battery operated color-changing strobe light and a battery operated flameless candle in each one.

We set out on a sunny but chilly Saturday afternoon with a packed to the gills Chevy Malibu. The plan was to unload our gear at the cabin, then do a run for firewood and ice. It’s a pretty standard car camping maneuver we’ve done for years. We wanted to avoid having to “go into” a store on Halloween, especially a busy Kroger grocery store, so our “hope” was we’d find some roadside stop to pick up a pumpkin or two. Score! We found a little self-service produce stand along M-36. We wanted small pumpkins, since space in our car was at a premium (I had a little space by my feet), so we bought two of them for $5. We had $11 cash, so we added a $6 jar of apple butter to complete our sale.

So all we needed to pick up was some firewood and ice for our drinks, which we picked up at a Kroger gas station that serves its customers outdoors (yay we didn’t need to go “in” to a store).

I set up the string lights on the inside rafters, set up the sleeping bags on our bunks while Mike got the campfire started outside. As much as I like to gripe sometimes about being tall, I really do have to admit that being tall IS kind of awesome when you’re doing things that require reach! I did need to step on a chair for some things.

I used rope, looped rope, bungees and packaging tape as my main “tools” for setting up the battery-powered lights. The bulb you see is battery operated, too (uses three AAA batteries). A simple tug of the rope operated the LED light (we had four of those bulbs). The lantern you see to the right is LED powered and can be charged beforehand by plugging into a standard outlet. The light output of that lantern is quite impressive (but only runs for a few hours if you keep it on high).

We also had a good “light show” going on outdoors on our picnic table – I had a bunch of tea lights, a scented candle, a LED light and the stars – Tweedle Pump and Tweedle Kin – our wily pumpkin duo.

Mike had to do a second firewood run – we wound up using eight bundles on Halloween!

We had a nice time sitting around the campfire – we listened to a special Halloween playlist on my portable Sandisk Mp3 player with battery powered portable speakers.

Here were the songs, which encompassed an eclectic mix spanning genres and decades:

  • Runnin’ With the Devil, Van Halen
  • The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead, XTC
  • Main Theme, Halloween (John Carpenter)
  • Main Theme and Rocky Mountain Theme, The Shining (Wendy Carlos)
  • Sympathy for the Devil, The Rolling Stones
  • Nightmare on My Street, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
  • Dragula and Living Dead Girl, Rob Zombie
  • Partyman, Prince (Batman soundtrack)
  • Treehouse of Horror theme music, “The Simpsons”
  • Season of the Witch, Donovan
  • The Ballad of Dwight Fry, Alice Cooper
  • Waltz to the Death and Descent into Mystery, Batman soundtrack
  • Dead Souls, nine inch nails
  • Stranger at the Window and Colquoun’s Story (Ravenous Motion Picture soundtrack)
  • Shelob’s Lair, Howard Shore (Return of the King soundtrack)
  • Night on Disco Mountain, Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (David Shire)
  • Lullaby, The Cure
  • Witchy Woman, The Eagles
  • Toccatta and Fugue, J.S. Bach
  • The City Sleeps, MC 900 Foot Jesus
  • Worlock, Skinny Puppy

For drinks, we kept it simple – just cans of hard seltzer (Aldi’s Vista Bay house brand). After enough of these, we decided that since we were in the middle of nowhere, why not howl at the moon? Yes, it was that kind of night!

My husband said there have only been a couple of times he’s been able to see full color under moonlight – and this was one of those times.

The day after Halloween, it became even more chilly…and windy. We knew a campfire would be out of the question, but we decided we’d enjoy some Halloween candy, play some board games (Zombies and Monsters Menace America) indoors – and goof off with some cosplay in the cabin:

My own take on mimicking the cover of Pulp Fiction…too bad you can’t even see my legs bent at the knee behind me (it was painful holding that pose, LOL)! I made the “prop” cigarette by cutting a ball point pen with a box cutter and stuffing in tissue paper at one end and coloring it (though you can’t see the fake ash in this photo).

Despite the windiness on All Saints Day, we did some hiking around the park. And some more cosplaying around!

What a great way to say goodbye to Fall!

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