May     ►
Archive RSS
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/921670-October-Camp-Out
Rated: 13+ · Book · Personal · #1921220
My thoughts released; a mind set free
#921670 added October 7, 2017 at 4:58pm
Restrictions: None
October Camp-Out
We returned from a short camping trip yesterday, likely the last time we will get out this year. Since we didn't get home until late last night, we just emptied out the vehicle and left most of the stuff to deal with today; that's what I've been doing up until now, putting some things away and drying out the wet stuff.

We camped in northern Minnesota, a state park by the name of Maplewood, by Pelican Rapids. The park is huge and we only had time to sample a little bit of it. But, what we did get to enjoy was awesome. We hit the park, full of Maple and other hardwoods at the peak of the fall colors.  With the many hills, some quite large, and various lakes, the view was nothing short of spectacular.

We camped on the shore of Grass Lake in a tent. We also set up our screen tent, as a kitchen, since our tent isn't very big. the view from the screen tent overlooked the lake and the colorful hills behind. The temperatures were brisk, only getting into the sixties by day and down to the upper thirties and low forties by night; pretty chilly to sleep in a tent.

But, with our sleeping bags zipped together and an oversize quilt over top of them, we stayed comfortable through the cold nights. Hannah, our dog, also found her way into our sleeping bags during the night, to stay warm. We had a little light rain the first night, but nothing leaked and it was wonderful falling asleep to the sound of the rain drops against the tent.

We got to the park Wednesday afternoon and got things set up rather quickly. Enjoyed a wonderful meal cooked outdoors, then sat and enjoyed a campfire until about ten or eleven. We were all tucked into our bed before the rain came and since everything else was in the screen tent, nothing but our chairs got wet.

I woke early on Thursday, to the sounds of something trying to get into our food. We had seen what we thought was a cat the night before, it strolled right past us while we enjoyed the fire, but it turned out to be a raccoon.  He had returned and was trying his best to get into our coolers and food container, but luckily everything was well stowed and he only managed to get away with two bananas.

I got up to the cold, brisk air about four-thirty, when I heard him attempting to open one of the containers. I had long sleeved pajamas on, so just needed to grab my jacket and slip my feet into my shoes, then I was out and heading to the screen tent to chase the little burglar away. He just looked at me from the screen tent, then moseyed across the grass to the edge of the lake, stopped and finished eating one of the bananas.

I shook my jacket at him and tried to shoe him away, but he just looked at me for a minute, like I was demented or something, then finished eating the banana. Once done, he picked up the second banana and strolled into the tall grass and was on his way to pack away his treasure for later.

We named him Ricky when he returned on Thursday night. We were enjoying the fire and he just strolled across our camp and headed for the screen tent, looking for his dinner. He could care less that we were right there, and if there had been anything available, I'm sure the little camp-robber would have just enjoyed his pilfered vittles right there while we watched. Unfortunately for Ricky, we had stowed all the food containers in the back of the vehicle except for the marshmallows and fudge cookies we had with us by the fire. With nothing to interest his appetite, he soon strolled away to look at other campsites for his dinner. He didn't return that night, as far as I know.

Besides Ricky entertaining us in the evenings, we got in some kayaking and hiking. We did what was supposed to be a two mile loop on Thursday afternoon, but I think it's quite a bit longer. The trails were well marked, but uneven and there were a lot of big hills; a pretty difficult and tiring hike by the time we returned to camp, but the scenery was definitely worth the workout. Besides the vivid fall colors, we seen quite a few swans enjoying the lakes. While kayaking, we were entertained by a loon and her young as they dove for food.

Friday was our last day and we had to be packed and out by four in the afternoon. It was another chilly night and cold morning as we sipped coffee and enjoyed the beautiful view from our screen tent. But, the forecast for rain around noon was off and by nine that morning we had a pretty good rain coming down. Rhonda packed up the items in the tent while I worked in the screen tent packing up our kitchen. Most of these items stayed dry, but the tent leaked and the screen tent was sopping when we rolled them up. Our chairs by the fire and Hannah's bedroll we had out by the fire were soaked, and our clothing, tarps, and a few other things got pretty wet.

Even so, we had things packed and stowed before noon and set out to explore more of the park. We decided on a shorter hike, up to a lookout on a big hill. It was a difficult hike up, but it was sure worth it when we reached the top and looked out upon the park, lakes, and surrounding country side. Once we hiked back down, we took a scenic drive through the park to check out other camping sites, observation blinds, and more of the breathtaking beauty of Maplewood park in the fall.

Now, we pack our camping gear away and wait for spring; we are eager to return to Maplewood State Park and see what it looks like in the spring. We may pick a more primitive campsite on Lake Lida and there are miles and miles of hiking trails to check out as well as numerous lakes to explore by kayak.

© Copyright 2017 TJ simply-running-amok (UN: callmetj at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
TJ simply-running-amok has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/921670-October-Camp-Out