Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Backbone State Park Vacation 2012

We try to venture up to Northeast Iowa at least once a year. This year, we decided to take our week at Backbone, near Strawberry Point. We love trout fishing, and that area is prime for doing so. Unfortunately, between the heat, rain, and stocking schedule, we came home empty handed. We had fun, though. The park is a destination in itself with its own creek, river, caves, swimming beach, hiking-riding-snowmobiling trails, and play areas. We super enjoyed it, and were disappointed when the forecast called for rain the latter part of stay, so we decided to head home early and vacation from home, which also was fun.
I like to take the back roads to and from NE Iowa, though often we are in a rush to get home, or I am tired and can't navigate, so we take the big roads. Here we stopped in a tiny town for gas, snacks, and a stretch.
I love small towns on patriotic holidays. We ended up driving up Memorial Day, and all the small towns had out their flags. Beautiful.
After setting up camp, we headed on a bike ride to the little park near the restrooms at the campground we'd chosen. The kids were psyched to have their bikes along for the trip and made good use of them.
Anyone know what kind of moth this is? He sure was pretty.
Nose bites, er, kisses
Lovely G is more attached to her daddy than the other kids were. I love it.
This was her first time on a swing...
...she wasn't real sure what to think.
I think she did better when she could see daddy pushing her.
Babywearing makes my life so much easier with an infant. Lovely G loves it, too. It is a comfort like being at home that we can take anywhere, though. No matter where we are, I can slip her on my back and she can calm down and sleep.
Um, somebody got stuck. 
Ambulance! Superboy took a tumble off his bicycle and Dad rode away to his rescue, bringing him back to Dr. Mom.
I need to find where it is,but I have a nearly identical picture of me and Superboy when he was this age while we vacationed in Minnesota. I will repost when I find it.
The beach! We had a funny combination of weather while we were up there. This day was just hot enough to make going to the beach enjoyable, while we awoke the next day and turned the heater on in our tent. Iowa in the spring :)
This was Lovely G's first time at the beach and on sand. She wasn't too keen on it, but managed to survive :)
Taking a rest before dinner, in our tent. I love how big it is-it allows so much space for kids to be able to move around, including our littlest.
"Don't mind me, Mom. Just perfecting my pole dancing technique."
We have a pretty awesome camp grill, but at least once each trip we try to cook over the fire. We went simple this time, with hot dogs and cheddar dogs.
This is our sleep setup. I plan on blogging our whole camping set up later, but as you can see, our tent is huge. Love it. We get asked about it all the time, and yes, we do prefer it over a camper. We have air mattresses for all of us, more than enough room to keep what we want in the tent with us, though we usually live out of the trailer and keep the tent for sleeping/lounging quarters. The strand lighting is great for lights, and as you can see, we bring the portable DVD player for raining/cold days. We read together from our complete Winnie the Pooh volume, too, and did a lot of talking and playing games.
What kind of caterpillar is this? Anyone? It was super pretty, too.
We were at Bloody Run Creek at this point. It has primitive camping we may have to use some time, as it is a ways north of where we camped. Beautiful grounds, though, that have hardly changed since we used to come up here when I was a kid. I remember floating down the creek with my dad, and seeing all the wisteria growing and hanging on the cliff, in bloom. Hummingbirds were swarming it. I love Iowa. Granted, I also remember the time we were fishing there and we kept coming upon water snakes. Not so fond memory, there.
So, after we came home early, we still had to have fun, right? That next day we went out to eat at our favorite Asian restaurant, Jade Garden, followed by watching Men In Black 3 in the theatre. This lead to us decided that movie theatres are overrated and expensive, and we really prefer our home theatre. It is worth waiting for things to come out on blu-ray to get to sit in a recliner, pause for potty breaks, and eat way better food.
The next day we had to run a couple errands, and in doing so, had lunch at another favorite of ours, Gibb's A&W in Indianola. I have been going there since a kid, and introduced it to Dad, who also loves it. This was Lovely G's first time here. She liked sitting with the window down as we waited for our order.
We finished our week off visiting my Grandma Pat at her nursing home's family day. It was nice to go see her-I most definitely do not get up there enough. This was her first time meeting Lovely G, who she thought was, indeed, lovely :)

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