Monday, May 23, 2011


Last November we bought a camper. Nothing too grand, but it isn't a pop up, either. It is a travel trailer. November in Minnesota is not camping season. In fact, the camper was already winterized when we bought it. Our final camping trip of the year had been a couple of weeks before, in my dad's camper. So our new (used) camper was parked for the winter.

Industrial strength rain boots, ready for the mud. Wish I had some!

But just because it wasn't camping season, didn't mean that we couldn't plan! The earliest it seemed sensible to go camping in an unknown camper was May. Plans were made, supplies were purchased (we still have quite a few wants for the camper, but we were able to make it through a weekend), and off we went.

This is our campsite. We didn't even try to set chairs out. They would have sunk right in.

In the rain. Well, not in the rain. We got to the campsite and set up before it rained. The kids and I walked a bit around the campground, and then the first of the rain came. And stayed. It rained and rained and rained. We were snug and dry in the camper. The newness hadn't worn off, so the kids were content. We played games, colored, and learned to tie knots. It was great.

A common sight along the hiking trails

The weather didn't clear up until Saturday afternoon. It didn't stop us from going on a hike in the morning, in the rain. We dodged mud and puddles bigger than the path. We saw wildflowers and birds. We enjoyed the weather, well, we tolerated the weather. When it cleared up in the afternoon, we hiked some more! There had been so much rain that they closed one of the creek crossings. The creek was as high as I have ever seen it, and we have been going to this park for a while. It was so churned up and filled with so much run-off that it looked like chocolate milk.

No kidding!

I need to find the picture of this falls from 2007 when we camped here. It was literally a trickle that year!

It rained again on Saturday night. A lot. And thundered. A lot. It was not a terribly restful night. We got up on Sunday and the weather wasn't awful. We went for a little walk, but the paths were even worse than before, so we didn't walk far. A quick glance at the radar on the hubby's droid showed the rain coming. By the time we loaded up and got the camper back to my sister's where we store it, there was a severe weather warning. It went north of us, with tornadoes hitting the northern part of Minneapolis. We were just glad to get home before anything severe.

One of the more unusual looking flowers blooming at the park.

We had a great time, in spite of the weather. There were tons of birds to see, Baltimore Orioles in quantities I have never before encountered, Red-headed Woodpeckers, American Redstarts, Goldfinches, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Eastern Bluebirds, among others! And flowers, oh the FLOWERS! I have no idea what most of them are. We totally forgot to bring our field guides with us. We were able to borrow a bird book, but not a flower book. I took pictures, so hopefully we will be able to identify them from those! Kiddo and I learned to tie 10 different knots* using the game Knot So Fast (Have you heard of it? It is great!). We also just enjoyed each others company with few distractions. The only electronic toy we used? Daddy's droid, for checking the weather which was necessary several times.

We saw this when we arrived home. Rainbows always make me happy.

We can't wait until our next trip!

*Knots we learned to tie:
  • overhand knot
  • slip knot
  • figure eight knot
  • ring hitch
  • clove hitch
  • overhand loop
  • figure eight loop
  • double overhand knot
  • reef knot (I learned this one as square knot. Apparently there is another one named that, though)
  • stevedore knot

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