Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Our Camping Trip

Well we survived camping with extra kids in toe. Each of the older children decided they wanted to bring along a friend on this years camping trip. We ended up at Itasca State Park in Northern Minnesota. It is the second largest state park in Minnesota, and it holds the start of the Mississippi River.

I rented a beautiful cabin last year to use this year that held 8 people, which is one big reason we were able to take extra children with. However NO WHERE on the web site did it state that there was no running water! We did however have a "cozy" outhouse just steps from the front door. And I honestly don't think I have ever seen a kitchen sink without a faucet attached.
So we compromised in how we did things at the cabin. Like all 4 older kids + Jeff taking a bath in the lake. Hauling water from the pump to boil water to wash dishes in. Buying a 3 gallon jug of water for drinking. Plus Timmy & I driving 20 minutes inside the park to get to the closest hot shower. The girls said they felt like the pioneers without any water.

On the first full day we took our "Hiking Club" hike. My family joined the Hiking Club a few years ago, just for fun. There are set hiking miles through all the Minnesota State Parks that you complete, and half way through the hike there is a secret password that you write down to prove you made the hike. Well, Itasca's hike was 3.5 miles, but at the end there is a 1 mile off road to get to the fire lookout tower. Well after already hiking for over 3 miles, what is another mile! Seeing the tower was cool, but it was another 8 flights of stairs to get this stunning picture from the top (Wow am I out of shape). We all survived the hike, only 4 of the 7 of us got blisters on their feet. And everybody left with at least 10 mosquito bites on different places.

But the big attraction at Itasca is walking across the Mississippi River at it's start. Here is a great family picture that one of the extra kids took for us. There was a little log bridge that made for some pretty neat picture opportunities. The water was so clear I think you could have just dipped in a cup and drank it!

A little further down the river, the kids wanted to see if they could reach across the whole river. This is my favorite picture of the whole camping trip.
So all in all, our family camping trip was a complete success, even without water. We tried out a few new campfire recipes that worked out, the girls got to learn the fun of needing to use the bathroom in the middle of the night in a thunder storm, and Jeff & I found out we can handle extra kids camping. I would just suggest one extra day to see everything, three days was just not long enough.

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A blog about living within your means in todays world, while being married, raising three kids, working full-time, and trying not to go crazy in the process.