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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Labor Day Camping

We decided, rather abruptly, at breakfast the Friday of the Labor Day weekend, to go camping. Dad had the day off, as well as Monday, and we rarely get 4 days with him in a row, save for those two vacation weeks a year. We also do not spend nearly as much time as we'd like trout fishing, and part of the reason we got a trailer to hold all of our camping gear was so we could take off on a moment's notice. One hour after breakfast, we were on the road headed north, as all we needed to pack was food and clothes. Love it.
We were planning on camping on one of the streams that have public ground around them-it is free to do so, though it is primitive camping, meaning no toilet, water, or electricity, which we can easily camp without. As we were pulling up to the stream we were aiming for, one we hadn't fished before, but was close to Decorah, as we had plans to eat there at some point that weekend, we noticed a private campground across the street.

We pulled in, asked a few questions, and were directed to a lovely spot next to a willow tree. It did have electric, which is a handy extra. It also had a port a potty not far from where we were pitched, so we lessened the use of our small, personal one, which is always nice, since emptying that is never anyone's preferred unpacking job. The kids were thrilled to be under the willow tree, though it did pose some logistical problems when trying to decide how to set up camp.
Lovely G loved camping. She had to "help" with everything. It was particularly tiring keeping her out of the tiny gravel. Oh, toddlers.
We didn't fish the first night, but the kids still had fun. There were one other boy and girl at the grounds, about their ages, so they rode their bikes (another awesome perk of the trailer) around till well after dark. The grounds were so nice on a holiday weekend-anywhere else would have been packed, and there were only about 5 other trailers there with us (we were the only tent), and they were all folks up there to fish. Quiet, peaceful, perfect.

The next morning, we got up, made and ate breakfast, then headed out for a day of trout fishing. To try to keep on a budget, we did a pretty good job of carrying food with us. It is easy to sluff off and just eat out a lot, especially since we were camped so close (about 5-10 minutes) to town. We had lunch meat sandwiches and chips for lunch, as well some other snacky foods. These next few photos are at Canoe Creek.
Creek chub that think they're trout are annoying. Bait wasters, but fun for the kids to examine before tossing them back. Now, had we had catfishing plans later, this may have been handy.
Next we drove to Coldwater Creek, which had been stocked the day before. There were quite a few folks there, so the fishing was not as good as it may have been. Some anglers are great about giving you room so everyone has a nice chance, while others can be super rude, making noise or splashing in the same area you are trying to fish. Super annoying when trout fishing, since they spook so easily. After dealing with this for a while, I took the kids down to a shallow area to let them play in the water while Dad fished. I love trout fishing, but so long as we have kids, I tend to let him do the bulk of it, as it takes a lot of time and patience to teach the kids how to, and they get bored after awhile. Splashing in the creek (away from others trying to fish and downstream, to boot) is just so much more fun. They get awfully creative with their games they play, and are rarely ready to leave when it is time to go.
When we first moved in to the home we are in now, there was a lot of jewelweed near the creek in the back. I have not seen any for years, but there is a ton along the creeks up where we fish. It is great for dealing itches, but super annoying to get your hook caught in. Pretty, all the same.
For some reason, I really like this intersection. Hello, Minnesota!
Next up were the Bears. By this point, the kids were tired, Lovely G was taking her late afternoon nap, so we staying in the truck while Dad cast in a few times. After this, we headed south to the tent.
While we were up there, Pony Gal managed to learn how to ride her bike without the training wheels, goaded on by the other two kids up there on bikes without trainers. Her dad had promised her a newer, bigger bike once she accomplished this, so had to make an impromptu run to a store for a new bike. She had needed a bigger one for awhile, but we hadn't wanted to get it until she could manage on just two wheels.
On our way back from the Bear Creeks, I noticed something odd in the woods. We were headed down the road, so I backed the truck up, peered in, jumped out and climbed through the ditch to the wooded area. In a true fashion that can suit me up as my father's daughter, I had spotted a large patch of puffball mushrooms. I loaded my shirt and arms and ran back to the truck, as it was getting late. There were a lot that were too far gone to be safe to eat, but we brought back these beauties, eating one that evening, and taking the rest home to saute and put in the freezer. Dad had a fun time poking fun at my mad skills :)
So, as I always do, I planned on being skunked and had a back up dinner ready to go. But, we did okay, and had fresh, fried trout and sauteed mushrooms for supper. Delicious, and by citronella candlelight, ha ha.
After such a fun, full, day, the kids still had a little energy to play with their new friends, which they did until late. We then nestled down in our beds for the evening, talking a bit. I was a bit grouchy since my allergies were going nuts, but we did pretty well. I really do enjoy the tent camping more than the camper.
We left for home late the next day, after having lunch at Mabe's and doing more fishing, and spent that Monday just relaxing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome hospitable, intelligent discussion. I do not welcome mean-spirited comments. Though they are "moderated" I post pretty much everything, with a very, very small exception-that being spam and those who aim to hurts others intentionally. I'd love hear what you have to say, otherwise!