Last weekend we went camping about an hour south of the cities at a state park called "Nerstrand Big Woods". We got there Friday evening and set up camp. We had a walk-in spot, so we weren't smack dab next to people and we weren't 2 miles away from ANYONE.
This was the walk from our site to the car:
The only problem was... the fact that we weren't two miles from everyone and when it was time for bed we could still hear the family next to us, with their two-three kids and two dogs, and the groups across the way that were up til 1am... making the first night a little hard to get some shut eye. Harpo (and us) are spoiled with silence the last few times we camped, so he was up "ruffing" most of the first night. And since we didn't spend the day hiking, we too weren't as tired to just zonk out when our heads hit the pillow. A little difficult to sleep on the hard ground when you're not really exhausted. But we made it through. And did our hiking the next day.
Saturday we woke up and began to get things ready to cook breakfast. We were glad to have a portable gas stove with us so we didn't have to make a fire in the morning... although mid-way through warming water for our coffee before we cooked our eggs, the little gas burner went out. Ooops, forgot to check that before we left. So we ended up having to make a fire anyway. We learn something EVERYTIME we go camping, it's great. I was telling Kyle, it happens this way so that when we have kids and a family we don't look like dummies to them because we have it all down to a T by that time, LOL.
We spent all day hiking the trails. And unlike our last experience, these trails were nice and wide:
We saw lots of fungi on our walk:
It was a very beautiful wooded area:
We hiked all morning then right before lunch we made it to a hidden waterfall. The bridge was fun to cross:
We sat near the waterfall for a while (waiting for the people to leave so I could get a good picture, hee hee):
We made our way back around, and stopped in at camp to have lunch. We rested our feet for a bit and tried to keep Harpo from resting - so he wouldn't keep us up all night again. Then we went and hiked the south side of the park. This park was more deserted. Well it all was (except for the falls area) it seems like no one really gets out and hikes all the trails like we do. The south area was also a lot muddier! Kyle had fun picking up acorns and separating the hats off and throwing them back into the woods.
We also came across our first obstacle!!! WATCH OUT!
LOL! Nothing like our last hiking extravaganza.
I had my new birthday present with me. Kyle got me a gorilla tri-pod so I was excited to use it while camping. I jimmied it up to the tree and set everything up to get a family photo....
Didn't make it in time.
I readjusted the setting so it'd give me more time to get in place. And as I stood next to Kyle waiting for the shutter to go off we both noticed the camera starting to tip down a little bit.. I said "is it moving?" Kyle says "yeah, I think so" LOL which gives us Take 2:
I laugh just thinking about this, priceless how we were able to bend down and still get parts of our faces in the camera, lol.
Alright, let's try this again! Take 3:
Good enough! lol
Since our feet were so muddy we decided to cut the south trail short and head back up across the road to where there was a boot cleaning off stand by the drive-in campground. On our way back to camp from there we saw more flowers and insects.
We got back to camp and started dinner... on the campfire - which was okay because that was our plan anyway. Amazingly enough, Kyle got it started from the coals from that morning. Good thing because the ignitor we brought seemed to be going low as well.
We cooked dinner, played some card games, read our books, and went to bed early. Luckily a day of walking was all Harpo needed because he was out like a light!
The next morning, since we ran out of gas for our burner, we just decided to pack up camp early and head into the nearby Nerstrand town to get breakfast.
Turned out Nerstrand (population 233) didn't have much of anything, so we drove on over to Northfield. Where we learned lots of new stuff about that little town. But that's for another blog entry later.