This week on Thursday I believe my senior pastor told me that I should take Sunday off (seriously this is next to unheard of and we ALWAYS work Sundays, but it was to be a slow Sunday, nothing out of the ordinary happening and he was preaching) because I have been crazy busy with trips with kids. Marc and I had already planned to meet up with a couple of friends at Itasca State Park for Friday night, so we thought we'd go see if we could get into a site for Saturday night as well, have one night with friends and one night just the two of us. It was marvelous. We got to Itasca State Park and the ranger at the check in spot told us that there was a 35 person wait for camping spots and that you can't reserve the next night until the day of (Itasca is 70% reserved and 30% first come first serve). As I was saying I would be back tomorrow and what not I had her double check what site we had for Friday night, when she saw that we had a backpack in site - she said that she could get us a reservation for a backpack in site (whoop whoop). So we had a site for both nights! REJOICE!
We went to camp (roughly a 2 mile hike one way) and began setting up. We had a BEAUTIFUL spot (B07) we had a short path to Myrtle Lake and our campsite over looked the lake. It was AWESOME! We couldn't even see our neighbors. Dakota ran off leash while we were at the campsite and was on her leash when we were out hiking around. I think she thought she died and went to heaven, her humans were giving her full attention, and she had a lake to run and play in. It was wonderful! We spent our days cooking over a campfire (we made some delicious food, lots of food in the pie irons and lots of food in the dutch ovens and lots of yumminess. With all of the hiking that we have done we were all very hungry people most of the time) - hiking around and exploring the miles and miles and miles of trails - climbing up to the top of the observation/fire tower (I believe it is 10 stories tall) - and visiting the head waters of the Mississippi River.
It boggles my mind how small the headwaters of the Mississippi River really are and it is nuts to think how many rivers feed into it and how massive the river is by the time it gets down to the coast in the south. Nuts and cool. We were able to walk across the headwaters and the water is not much past my ankles. We laughed at the wide variety of people who were at the headwaters. Some were straight out tourists who took their five minutes to snap a picture and ran off to try to find something better, there were some with swimming suits on their kids splashing and playing away, some confused at what they were looking at. Thousands of photos taken. Then there were people like us, who we could tell had been camping and had been hiking around and enjoying the park. We all sort of greeted one another with our hair scattered every which way, our clothes showing our adventures we had had, and our bodies smelling like last night's campfire. There is something glorious about camping.
I love the way in which when we go camping we shut our phones off, we eat when we are hungry, we smell like day old campfire, and we haven't a care in the world. So very thankful for friends, family, Dakota, camping, and some down time. We had an absolutely marvelous trip and we are already trying to figure out how we can squeeze some more backpack camping into our schedule before the snow sets in (fingers crossed it won't be until at least October). I have posted a few more pictures at the end of this post, sooo much fun and it was hard to only select a few photos (I think I took over 300).
Do you have any fun plans for the rest of summer?
Thoughts on camping?
Favorite camping recipes - please share!