Monday, October 17, 2011

Final Camping Trip 2011: Whitewater State Park

One last chilly weekend camping trip for us and our crew. We left Friday afternoon and made a short drive to the bluffs of southeast MN. 

Our final camping of the summer was supposed to be the peak of the fall color.
This was all that was left of fall color...just a scatter here and there. Most of the trees were already bare.
I was surprised at just how many campers there were out this past weekend. I suppose they were out looking for color too since the people who are supposed to know these things had forecasted it. Looks like they are about a reliable as the weatherman.

The weather cooperated as best as we can expect this time of year. The sun was warm and it was in the 60s during the day but that damn north wind was plaguing us. It never lets us forget that winter is around the corner. 
Perfect weather though to build a big fire and sit around chatting...or not.
We had the crew outside with us as much as possible until their little feet started to chill from the cold damp ground.
The chilly nights in the 40s made me thankful for that little gas furnace in the RV. Add my down comforter and 7 furry little bodies snuggled in around me, and I was toasty warm. Too bad I woke so stiff and sore from not moving most of the night. 

This state park has miles of hiking trails through the river valley and up into the surrounding bluffs. Saturday we decided to take the trail up into the bluffs to Chimney Rock. The trail starts out pretty level along the river and leads to a beach/picnic area.  
There were several of these little waterfalls.
A being the mountain goat she always is just couldn't resist leaving the trail and climbing the sandstone cliffs. From the look of it, a lot of others like to climb up there too and carve their name or initials in the soft walls.
I should keep reminding her that she's not 20 anymore and breakable, but I doubt it would have much effect. 

Most of the trail to Chimney Rock was just a narrow dirt path long the edge of steep drops. Some of the steeper places had wooden stairs like these.

But I preferred the beautiful stone stairs that wound upward overlooking the Whitewater river. 
With all that cardio we did stop for a break on these perfectly placed benches.

We finally made it to the top and A stood out there to survey the world.
It's crazy to me that I can jump out of an airplane, but standing on the edge of that cliff makes me feel woozy. I had to lay down to look over the edge. A just couldn't resist climbing down a little further to freak me out and take this picture.

We were starving when we finally made our way back to camp but A had put meatball stew on in the crock pot that morning so we didn't have to wait long to eat.
Then it was nap-time but it's hard to get much rest when the crew all wants to nap with you.

I cut my not-really-a-nap short because A wanted to check out the Wildlife Center.
Nice wolfie...
...and a giant beaver...
...and A stalking a turkey. She does whatever she can to keep me entertained. 

As usual we had curious visitors to our campsite. Most people are friendly enough, but the asshole camping across from us pissed me off immediately. We had no longer unloaded the dogs (and they had not made a single noise) and he came over to ask us if we were going to be able to keep them quiet all weekend. Grrrrrr! Seriously, IF they are making noise you can complain, but don't come up to me and start complaining before anything has happened! 
We laughed at the idiot every morning as he did his wannabe Chuck Norris workout with bungee strap on the tree and picnic table. Click to see a close up. What a jackass!


Sarcastic Bastard said...

What a dick. I'd just sit and laugh at his dumb ass while he did his bungee workout.

The photo of you with all the dogs around you in bed made me laugh. I have about half that number of cats in bed with me most nights,and I wake up all kinked up and a damn mess in general. My neck is perpetually fucking stiff.

Love to you and A. Glad you had a decent trip, minus the asshole neighbor.


Ms. Moon said...

Okay, that last picture really cracked me up. Ms. Beloved is right- what a dick!
But all-in-all, it looks like you had a wonderful, cozy, lovely time. I'm so glad!

Mark said...

First, that guy looks like a major nut.
Now, those photos are great. I'm torn as to which is my favorite. I like the stair photos but I guess I love the one of you by the fire. Yep, that's my favorite!

LilliGirl said...

I love the water, the stairs, the "cliff" - It is all so beautiful!