Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Original Blog Post: June 29, 2009- Spontaneous Camping

Needing a break and some space away, Adam and I decided at one o'clock yesterday afternoon to take off for a one night camping trip with our boys and the dog.  Two hours later we had the car packed, both boys loaded, the dog in the back, and a state park chosen at random. 
 100_2650  'Just before the duck'
Five minutes down the road our adventure was auspiciously christened by the maiming of a duck on our windshield, cracking it almost completely in half.  A few minutes later, Adam realized he had forgotten the maps he had printed to show us how to get to the park but, loathe to retrace the eight minutes we had already spent in the car, insisted he would be able to find his way there.  Two gas station stops for directions and twice the amount of time listed on Googlemaps for how long the trip should take, we pulled up to the ranger station five minutes before they closed.  We breathed a sigh of relief because we do not believe in camping without a fire and all trucked in firewood is banned because of the ash borer scare.  We would have had to turn around and come home.
100_2662 'Firewood is also important when you forgot chairs'
It was a beautiful park, right on the bluffs above the Mississippi River.  Our campsite was just a few feet through the forest away from a trail that hugged the edge of the bluffs and had amazing views of the river and the bluffs on the other side.
We got as much sleep as you can imagine parents of an enthusiastic three year old and his seven month old brother, both of whom get incredibly excited when sleeping in the same space together, and owners of a dog who gets very animated at the sound of raccoons in the vicinity would get.  But it was so nice to wear the incredible perfume of smoke, bug spray and tent, eat delicious meals that would have tasted mediocre at home but were the best thing ever tasted at a campsite, make s'mores at dusk, actually see the stars, have just enough wind to deter even the hardiest Minnesota mosquito and hear the leaves dancing all night.
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This morning, while Caedmon took a nap and Adam started packing up, Damek and I took off to explore the trail.  We found a crazy steep switchback that led down to the waters edge after about 1/2 mile of hiking.  My crosstraining workout was to carry Damek back up the trail, piggyback style, with him giggling the whole way and telling me to watch out for various things on the trail.  It was harder then a four mile run, I can tell you!
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