Sunday, May 10, 2009

Myre Big Island State Park Camping

We did sleep in the tent all night! Emma Blue was a little turd several times. She slept part of the night on my feet, which was not comfortable! I don't know if she's cold, scared, or just being a turd! lol But it was all good. We got up around 8:30am and took down camp right away. Then drove over to the shower building... first time it's been open for us this year! We went in as grimey campers and came out ready to go to church and see my parents for Mother's Day! Amazing! Though it did take a little longer to get the site taken down so I didn't get to wash my hair. First thing my mom said was that it smelled like a campfire! lol Ah well! Church and then out to lunch with my parents. Chinese Buffet... mmm. heheh Not really. But they did have crab legs, which I like very much! Spent the afternoon with them and then headed home to unpack. It was strange to start unpacking camping gear in our church clothes! lol

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Myre Big Island State Park

Another camping excursion! We had planned to leave Friday right after work but the weather did not look like it was going to cooperate. So we stay warm and dry in our house and decided to take off on Saturday morning. This morning came and it wasn't clear whether the weather was going to cooperate at all. So Lorrie decided to clean the carpets before we left! That way they would have time to dry while we were gone. Smart woman! While she did that, I got everything ready to go. Good timing and we were out the door by about 1:00pm. A little later than intended but the weather was finally getting sunny if slightly cool.

I have a co-worker who is leaving next week and I needed to pick up a perennial for our gift. So we stopped and did that on our way out of Northfield. Which meant we needed to go back home and drop it off. So a little starting and stopping happening. But again, on the road! I have to say, the dogs, who do have human responses, were quite confused when we pulled up at the house with our car never having been unpacked! lol

We chose Myre Big Island State Park, which used to be Helmer Myre State Park when I lived down that way, because it is close to Albert Lea and we could see my mother on Mother's Day. We got there and drove around to the two different campgrounds. Big Island seemed very crowded, especially compared to the past month when we've basically been the only tents around. There were a lot of RVs in the first part and tents in the back area. But too crowded. So we went back toward the entrance to White Fox Campground to check that out. It was much less crowded and there were only RVs on one side where the electric sites are. No other tents. We drove slowly and chose Site 89 for it's Aspen wind breaks, the sun, and the nice grassy place for the tent. Back to the office we went to check in. I got a little anxious that someone else would come along and take that spot, which is funny knowing how empty it was! But we had that happen at Interstate State Park and it wasn't fun!

That done, we picked up a State Park sticker for the bullet, a couple Snickers bars, and some wood. Then off to set up camp. Which took no time. It was windy but sunny so the temperature was great! We took off for a hike to see the Remote Sites that you can't drive too. They were beautiful! Right on the lake with spots to pull up in your canoe if you don't want to hike. Nice! R4 was the best... but it's unreservable. So we'd have to race for it! The hike was about 1 1/2 hours long and gorgeous. Emma Blue had a blast sniffing everything and running around. Her only unhappiness was that she couldn't jump into the water.

Back at camp I built a great, if I do say so myself, fire while Lorrie rested. Somehow our roles while camping totally switch. It's interesting. After the fire, I started on dinner. I bought some *stuff* to "make meat." lol It's really just a bunch of beans that you add boiling water to and then form into burgers. Well, it ended up being lentil soup. Maybe that's why Lorrie does the cooking at home! lol Though it was *good* lentil soup! I also made mac&cheese, which seems to have become a camping staple for us lately. It ended up being a tasty and filling, easy to make, dinner. We also tried out Lorrie's coffee press, which is actually a tea press. That worked very well! So that was a good purchase!

Got the dogs fed... though they have become picky eaters when we're camping. Isn't it usually the opposite? So we added some cheese to their food and that seemed to work pretty well. With the cold nights, I worry when they don't eat enough. But I think they stay warm enough with their fur, blankets, our clothes, and Emma's own sleeping bag! lol

So we settled in for some relaxing, reading, fire poking, and full moon watching. The moon was incredible tonight! The sky was so bright that we didn't really need flashlights outside. So amazing and beautiful! The temperature was also great. It was probably in the 50s most of the night and we could tell when it started to dip... when we'd get cold away from the campfire. We stayed out later than we usually would because of the weather and the moon but we ran out of fire wood so it's time to get into the tent and get the girls comfortable.

Hopefully we'll sleep in the tent tonight and not the car!! heheh Click here for that reference! lol

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Rice Lake State Park

We decided that we needed to get outside some more today. Lorrie was still obsessing about the Pileated woodpecker so we decided to return to Rice Lake State Park. We drove around to all the possible camping areas just to see what was there. Really, the only thing we hadn't seen yet were the "Cart in" sites. We didn't want into them, just went to the parking lot. I think I do that so I can give people directions later. Somehow my little excursions become helpful at a later time! lol

We ended up parking in the picnic area where we had a little bit to eat before setting off for a hike allllll the way around the park. There was water, meadow, forest, road, pretty much everything but mountains. We also saw these little crablike things that I are unfamiliar to me.... except from being in Houston and LA. So I'll have to look up what those things are! The ones we saw were all dead so I'm sure the photo doesn't show their "live coloring."

After the hike, we hung out at the picnic area for a little while so Tori could spend a little time outside. I can't wait to get her leg fixed so she can come along on more of these hikes! (=