Friday, September 10, 2010

Camping/Hiking: Father Hennepin State Park {day 2}

We woke up and fixed breakfast. We had survived the cold night. It really wasn't too bad, cold, but we were prepared so that helped. Harpo spent the morning chasing chipmunks and making a mess of himself:
messy harpo


But that wasn't all the excitement he was getting himself into. On our walk back to the jeep (again he was running up ahead of us like he loves when we're in secluded areas, he'll run ahead and then stop and wait for us, run ahead stop and wait), well I looked up to see him and saw this dark blob running along side him. At first I thought someone else was on our trail with a dog... but then I realized that is NOT a dog... Harpo made some kind of wild friend!! We holler for Harpo to come back and watch as this creature waddles away. It was a little taller than harpo, well it's hair stood taller than Harpo and his body was longer than Harpo's... we weren't sure what it was and it ran off so I couldn't get a picture of it. We thought it was a porcupine because we had read there are a lot of them in these woods. We made it back to the jeep and walked over to the park office where Kyle talked to the ranger to find out what is was. They believe it was a fisher! They used to see a lot but hadn't had many reports of them this year. Turns out they EAT small creatures like squirrels, porcupines, cats, and um dogs! Maybe he wasn't Harpo's new friend after all. Here's a picture I found on the web:
That's about how we saw it... but if you search the web you will see images not quite as friendly like this one. (click the link)

After that excitment drove over to another area of the park where they had an interpretive trail. Basically it's just a trail with numbered signs and a pamphlet telling about the surroundings. Kyle was our narrator, Harpo was happy to be back on his leash:
not the leash

I had fun capturing lots of shots of spider webs
spider web

We learned about the TALL trees
trees tops

The interpretive trail went through a few different types of wooded areas. One being a boggy area with a board walk

bog boardwalk

And a pine wood forest area

After the interpretive trail, we hopped back in the jeep (I'm telling you this park was huge) and drove over to another trail by the horse campsite. This trail went up by an observatory tower. We climbed it.

Actually the story goes a little differently. We started to climb it, the stairs were very thin so I picked Harpo up because he was pulling on me... I made it about half way up when the tower started shaking (at first we thought it was wind but soon found out it was some old jackass at the top being stupid) I got kinda pissed, scooped up Harpo and headed back down. Once Kyle went up and back down I gave Harpo to him to watch and I went back up to get some pictures. You could see the other side of the lake.
mille lacs from tower

mille lacs from tower2

After coming down from the tower we drove the 12 or so miles over to the other state park: Father Hennepin. Before going into the park we had lunch in the small town of Isle, it wasn't too exciting - hence no pictures, nothing really worth taking a picture of. Then we went to the park and walked the Hiking club trail there as well and got another password!!
FH trail

This park was closer to the water and had trails that went right along the lake shore
FH mille lacs sailboat

FH lake shore

We also learned about the big pile of rocks we saw in the middle of the lake. Turns out it is a big pile of rocks
rock pile

After we explored Father Hennepin State Park, we decided to drive around the lake, it was only about a 45 minute drive. We found some big fish
big fish

We made it back to the campsite and was tired from our busy day, although it was only 4 or so. We played some cards and then started on dinner.
sitting by the fire

After dinner we drank some hot chocolate by the fire
enjoying hot chocolate

As you can tell I had fun with my tripod and self-timer :-)

The next morning, we got up, fixed breakfast, and packed up camp.
kyle backpack daisy backpack

We had heard it was suppose to rain on Monday and we wanted to get out of dodge before it came. Luckily we did miss the rain and it didn't come until we made it back into the cities.

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