My husband is convinced he is cursed since this is the 4th camping trip he's planned that has been marred by bad weather. Last year I finally got Jesse to agree to camping with Riley which resulted in sleeping in a leaky tent during a super bad storm with an incredibly irritated hubby. We followed that up with a new (read: not leaky) tent and headed up north only to be met with a super cold night where we lasted until about 2 am and then headed to a local hotel.
This year we decided to head up to Grand Marais, but aborted the camping when we discovered rain and cold weather was in the forecast. Instead we booked a hotel. It may not have been camping after all, but it was still a getaway with crappy weather.
And then we have this past weekend. First off, we failed to plan this trip out, beyond picking dates, until the last minute. This meant all the places we were thinking of were booked up. We decided to stay local and headed back to Baker Park Reserve. Jesse may not have appreciated this campground for all the trucks and trains that we had the pleasure to listen to all night, but did think this was a great location when you have kids.
I guess it should have been no surprise that the weather turned shortly before the weekend arrived. Not only were we left with cooler weather, but it was supposed to rain all night on Saturday night. This was after we decided to make it a one night instead of two trip. Forging ahead with our plans, we showed up at the campsite Saturday afternoon and were able to get the tent up just before it started raining for the next 16 hours straight.
At first, it was only a light rain so we headed over to the playground. We weren't going to let a little rain get us down, right? Luckily, parts of the play area were covered with trees so this wasn't as horrible of an experience as it might have been.
We had already decided that we weren't going to be doing any grilling because of the rain. Initially, we were going to grab some sandwiches and eat them at the campsite, but that was with the hope that it wouldn't start raining until 7 pm. We let go of that idea and headed into Wayzata to eat at Sunsets. It looks sunny out that window below, but trust me - it was raining. An added bonus here was that Riley got to view multiple trains right outside the window.
If there was anything positive about this day it was that Sunsets was located right across the street from a Yogurt Lab. We could not NOT go in. I'm a dark chocolate and salted caramel fan, but this time I had the chocolate with salted peanut. Crazy, I know.
|Channeling John Waters|
Ok, so I know this doesn't really seem like much of a camping trip. There's always next year for the real deal, but we did go back to the campsite and sleep in the tent. Riley watched Brave (and even though I've seen this move a good 30 times, I apparently have not seen all the scenes). I also read part of my super long, but good book on my iPad (A Prayer for Owen Meany). And then it was time for bed at like 8. Nothing like being trapped in a tent for 12+ hours.
It rained nonstop all night long which made for a challenging and muddy trip to the bathroom at 1 am. I came back to the tent wet, cold, and hungry and laid awake until 2:30. Good thing I went to bed so early. For those who are thinking about going camping, but aren't sure if it's for them, please know it is usually way more fun than this. Seriously.
Last year when we camped at this location we spent a lot of time near the water throwing rocks. In the morning we walked near the water, but everything was so wet, and cold and all we wanted to do was go home.
But first we had big plans to go to an apple orchard. We went to a different orchard out this way a couple years ago that I planned to go to this year, but I acquired a free hay ride coupon to the LuceLine Orchards and thought it was worth checking out. Turns out it isn't a pick your own apple place, but they did have a lot of other great things that make it an orchard I would return to. Unfortunately, we arrived cold, tired, and hungry and right at opening time so we didn't stay as long as we might have.
|Love these hay bales in the parking area.|
Turns out this place is owned by Terri Traen (from the KQRS morning show) and her husband. They had a good set up and everyone was very personable. We wandered around the grounds and spent most of our time near the farm animals.
Riley was initially freaked out by the noise the animals were making (as she is with most noise), but finally came around and liked this area the best.
We decided to not go on the hay ride or do the corn maze. Everything was wet and chilly. We did get to meet the new baby pig named Runt and we got to sample some of the orchard's offerings. We picked up a peck of Sweet Tango, and a jar of honey butter that is to die for. But before we left we had to have our picture taken.
When Terri saw me taking this picture she came over and took a whole bunch of us as a family. Seriously, a whole bunch... smiling, sticking our tongues out, frowning, looking down at the dog, etc. She had us cover pretty much every emotion. I joke, but it was nice of her to do.
After one last visit with the farm animals and a nice conversation with Terri we headed out. By this time it had already gotten out with the staff that we were the people who camped in the rain the previous night - "Oh, you're the people who camped in the rain last night". Yup, that's our thing.
Later, once home and slightly warmed up, I got to work making my grandma's apple crisp recipe.
Now, what to do with the 20 other apples remaining? Oh wait, Riley already got her hands on those. I walked by and found this half eaten gem in the bowl. She ran up a few minutes later and dug into another one.
I imagine these apples will be gone in no time at all.
So it was cold and rainy (have I mentioned that enough yet?), but I still had fun and think it was totally worth the time I got to spend with my family. Crossing my fingers that 2014 will be our year to camp in nice weather. A girl can dream...