Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Frontenac State Park Camping

We are back in the camping game. Last year we started going again and went twice. Once in extreme heat, and once in extreme cold. HAHA not really extreme but they were pretty opposite of each other. We decided to go earlier than beginning of July this year in hopes to beat the bad heat. It was hot when we arrived Saturday but the weekend turned out gorgeous and perfect camping weekend.

We left after Isaac's Friday afterschool chess. The girls had swimming camp all week so they were tired, couldn't keep them awake on the way down. Thomas sure was chatty and had fun playing with Isaac.

It was only about an hour and a half drive. Traffic in the cities caused it to go a little slow but overall wasn't bad. We arrived and got directions to our site. We did a cart-in site and had to hike about a half mile to our campsite.

Made it to our amazing, secluded site and got camp set up. Kyle did a total of three trips to get our stuff there.

We got a new tent this year. Last year we used two tents and had the three big kids in one and Kyle, Thomas, and I slept in the other. This tent is larger and fits us all comfortably. However Thomas did NOT want to go to sleep the first night and just screamed and screamed. The kids wished they had their own ten.

We got the fire going for s'mores.

It was pretty warm so were were debating about the rain fly. I had Kyle put it on anyway because we needed it dark in there to try and get Thomas to sleep. Doesn't really get dark until 10:00pm being in the month of June. We are so glad he did because it rained and thunder stormed overnight. The thunder and lightenign woke me up a few times and I laid there praying for no rain. Heard the first drop then it poured. We lucked out though because it was only a couple hours of rain and it had stopped by breakfast and wake up time. We were able to get up (at 5:30am not by choice but life with little kids in a tent) and have breakfast in dry skies. But everything else was wet. The wood was wet so we used our little burner to get hot water for oatmeal and hot chocolate. 

Since it was well 7:30am and all was awake we decided to start our hiking. 

We set off on the hiking club trail which was the one right by our campsite. We get the hiking club password at all the state parks we go to, so that was priority on our list. We'd looked at the weather and they were calling for rain around 10am again. So we weren't sure how the day was going to go. 

We made it to the password and overlook, Thomas is a little upset we were stopped and not letting him out.

There was an interpretive nature hike happening at 10am at the amphitheater over in the drive in campsite. We decided to head that way since it was on the other side of our camp area. We hiked by our site, which is there to the right on this photo below. As you can see the fire we attempted to get going is still smoking, our wet wood... we didn't actually get a fire going but it sure did smoke for a long time. 

Mary was having a rough go but was doing better after a 8:30am snack.

We made it to the amphitheater but it was only 9:00 so we decided to take more of a hike over to a point of interest.

The point of interest was In-Yan Teopa Rock. On our way Mary had found a rock and said "here it is I think this is it" lol it was funny.

 The rock was at another nice overlook of Lake Pepin (Mississippi River).

This was the rock.

Harpo is such a good boy, keeping up with us along the way.

We made it to the interpretive nature hike and listened to the info prior to the hike. We previously decided we'd done enough of our own hiking and we'd go back to camp once they started the actual hike but it was fun listening to the guide. He gave us the history of Frontenac and we also learned it's the third best state park as far as mosquitoes go, which was great because Isaac hates mosquitoes. Number one was White Water or something like that and he couldn't remember number two.

We headed back to our site for an early lunch.

We had lunch... granted it was only about 10:30 am.

Shot of our tent, with five sleeping bags. Kyle and I have a double sleeping bag. Thomas was in the small pink one that used to be Mary's.

Harpo was worn out from the walk, lol. Laying in the weeds on his belly.

 Kyle, Emma, and Isaac went for a little walk. I went over to get a photo of our campsite and you can see Mary there in the hammock to the right. There were two little valley's surrounding our site.

Had some down time and was trying to figure out how to get Thomas to nap. He was SOOOO tired from a poor night of rest. We decided to go for a drive to the nearby town of Lake City. We loaded everyone up, took our trash and our water to refill and went to the van. We drove for a little ways and Thomas was instantly out. Eventually the girls conked out too. We weren't gone long and came back cuz I was exhausted too. We parked and I got a little shut eye for maybe 10 minutes then Isaac and I came back to camp while Kyle stayed with the sleepers in the van. Played a little game with Isaac while were had some 1:1 time.

It wasn't long before everyone was back and we just hung around the site before making dinner.

We were so lucky that the rain did not return and it warmed up nicely so everything dried out. We had dry wood again and got dinner going.

Kids being silly, playing limbo.

Saturday night went much better, Thomas wasn't easy to get down but better than the previous night and he slept all night. You can see the back of his little head in the sleeping bag. He had woke/stirred a couple times and I tried to comfort him but he did NOT want me taking him out of his sleeping bag. I think it was about 7:45am in this photo so we were lucky to get more sleep Sunday morning.

We made a fire to warm up the water and make coffee. So glad everything was dried out for packing up.

Harpo relaxing in the sun, I think he'll sleep all week!

We had to get up and around because Isaac had flag football at noon. Kyle is a coach so we decided not to skip it. Espeically since they didn't have it the week before due to Memorial day and the week before that it was cancelled due to rain. 

We dropped them off then went home to drop Harpo off. I did a little unpacking then went back to football. Thomas and the girls played at the playground, I got to see two seconds of the game and didn't really get to see Isaac play at all. 

Overall a great weekend. Not sure we'll camp again this year, it was so hard getting Thomas to sleep. Next year he'll be better for the whole tent sleeping situation... but we'll see. We have a packed summer of vacation, camps, activities, and events. Kyle is doing a half marathon and I'm doing a triathlon --- I'll post about that next :-) 

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