Monday, July 9, 2018

Glendalough State Park Camping

It has been sooooo long since we've been camping. For those of you that don't know, Kyle and I used to be avid campers. Like real backpack hiking/camping. But then we had twins... and that put a little damper on that outdoorsy lifestyle. We made it our mission to go camping at least once this summer, now that we are out of the twin fog enough to manage, we were excited for the experience.

I had to go back through my blog to look at the actual last time we went camping. We did go hiking in the Fall of 2015, which I remember to be a disasters, haha. We even went hiking when the twins were only 2 months old! WoW we were ambitious!

So the last actual camping was August of 2013 before our life was changed forever :-P Isaac was 20 months old and so cute! Check out that blog post. Isaac also got to camp the year before twice: Flandrau in August of 2012 and also in August of that year we hit a State Forest on the North Shore.

Okay so to this past weekend. We FINALLY went camping again. We booked it a few months ago, wanted to do a cart in site because they are far enough away vs car camping, but not too far like backpacking. We landed on Glendalough which was about a 3 hour drive northwest from us.
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We were able to leave Friday shortly after lunch and arrived about 5pm. We got our cart and got it loaded up.
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Made it to camp and started to get tents set up and a fire made so we could get dinner started since everyone was hungry.
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Not sure who took this photo, but glad it was captured. Super mom setting up the tents while wearing a baby on her back :0) <3 p="">IMG_5110

Probably was Emma given this evidence, lol.
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Camp set up and fire going!
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We had some games in our old backpack. Isaac discovered pass the pigs, trying to teach Emma.
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Kids did NOT want to sleep, but after much arguing they finally slept and we finally slept.
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Saturday morning breakfast. Pancakes, blueberries, and bacon.
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Everyone was up at the crack of dawn. And being farther north the crack is like 5AM! SERIOUSLY! So once we got breakfast and coffee we went for a hike.
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We went fancy and got a camping coffee bean grinder :-)
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my photogenic child
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Not even 9 am and we are off for a hike. Hitting the hiking club trail to discover the password.
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Thomas was so tired because he did not get a good nights sleep with us. The older three were in their own tent while Kyle and I and Thomas were in a smaller tent. He wanted his own bed.
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Wasn't long before he was OUT.
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We discovered the password. Isaac was excited about the game of hiking club which totally motivates me.

He was wearing this rag (my spare cloth) because the bugs were so bad and they were really bothering him buzzing in his ear. It helped to cover his ear and hair and they weren't bothering him as bad. Hey whaever works right?
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Water break:
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The girls have one awesome daddy who will give them shoulder rides. It felt so amazing to just be out in nature, breathing fresh air with no time constraints or places to be.
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Beautiful girl! So happy up on dad's shoulders.
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We saw these interesting grass straws which we've seen before, they are hallow. So weird only in a short area of our hike.
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walking sticks:
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We made it back to camp after our 3.3 mile hike and it was nap time. Nap time for Kyle and Thomas at least. I played cards with the other kids.
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#normalizebreastfeeding
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baby Thomas... it was his FIRST BIRTHDAY!!! Such a sweet, sweet boy.
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After 'naps' we got in the van to head to the southern lake in the park to go to the fishing pier. The kids were out on the doc with dad fishing while Thomas, Harpo, and I stayed back in the shade and enjoyed the wind. It was SO windy it felt great though.
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Had to get some 1 year old pics :-)
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They all caught a few fish (catch and release) but they loved it.
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It was good for Thomas (and Harpo) to be able to roam in the grass.
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Isaac and Kyle (and Harpo) walked back to camp, I took Thomas and the girls in the van. We were in need of matches or a lighter or zippo fluid so I stopped by the park office to see what they had. They sent me to the rental office down the road and I was able to purchase a camper lighter.

We went back to camp and it was HOT! The kids played in the hammock, we had some food and decided we just needed to get that breeze back. It was really windy, but our campsite had NO wind. The trees above us were blowing around but we weren't feeling any of it. We decided to go over to a smaller lake to hike around.
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Turns out most of the path around the lake was in the sun so we just hung out and enjoyed the breeze.
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Thomas immediately fell asleep he was so tired!
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Back to camp to prepare for dinner. Not looking forward to making a fire but for dinner we needed to. Changed and fed Thomas and he was so happy. Happy Birthday baby boy!
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Containing lil man so he doesn't get into the fire.
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After dinner was S'Mores time!
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Everyone was exhausted so dinner was a little easier. Still being so far up north it was after ten before it finally got dark. And OH the bugs! The mosquitoes are so bad there!
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Sunday morning, the plan was breakfast and then pack up camp.
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We got everything packed up and wanted to take a little detour home through Brainerd to see a Paul Bunyan statue. The one we were thinking of is actually in Bemijii... but luckily brainerd had one too.

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We stopped for lunch then made it to the welcome center for the statue photo.

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Had Isaac attempt a photo but it was horrible (I posted in my IG stories)... Emma was the winner and capture a good one. She must be my photographer child.
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After much traffic on the way home. We finally arrived and decided to walk to Noodles for dinner.

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Didn't have enough of outside I guess. It was hot out but still felt good to move after sitting in a car for 3+ hours. We ate at noodles then stopped in at Ben and Jerry's to pick up Thomas an ice cream cake for his birthday!
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Things we learned:
1. We prefer camping when it's colder out so we should stick to beginning/end of summer. Sleeping in 80 degree weather did not suit anyone.
2. Bugs, so many bugs inland of upper Minnesota. I think one thing we love about the North Shore is the lack of bugs.
3. The drive stinks, so much traffic coming back to the city (and leaving) - this effects our desire to purchase some land so we're still on the hunt for that perfect location.

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