Not surprisingly, we went camping this past weekend again. We went to Itasca State Park for the second time this year. Craig’s best friend Tyler came with so we were a four-person family. That was very different for me…all this testosterone around! We kept busy, I only had about an hour to sit and relax and read, but that’s OK. Friday night we had our usual dinner and since it was such a beautiful night, I suggested we go for a boat ride on Lake Itasca. The water was pretty much like glass and it was almost majestic-like on the lake. We saw a couple of loons, even a deer on the hillside…something we rarely see. And one of the nicest things about the outing was that I think we have finally learned the right way to get the boat on the trailer. Amazing in itself.
Tyler had never been to Itasca so Saturday we went down to the Headwaters of the Mississippi so that he could experience that and after lunch we took the boys to Lake George and did some serious tubing. They had so much fun! I took a few pictures. I haven’t looked at them yet but I hope they turned out. It’s hard to take a picture when the boat is rocking up and down! And of course, I can’t tell you how much I love driving the boat! Allen finally had to ask me if he could drive. When the boys had gotten enough, we headed back to the campsite, and after being asked, literally, about 10 times what we were having for dinner (they were really trying to get on my nerves!), we had our taco hotdish (delicious and easy). Allen and I did the dishes and then we all headed to the beach.
Temps must have been in the upper 70s or low 80s and there was no wind at all. Since it was evening the beach wasn’t very busy. After we unloaded all of our stuff, I started walking into the water and didn’t hesitate a bit. It was just perfect. I kept walking and pretty soon just took a dive straight in. After being hot and sweating from working with the boat, fixing dinner and doing dishes, I could feel the comfortably cool water envelope me as I swam. It was heaven.
It was nearly dark by the time we got back to the campsite and Allen got a fire started. Even though I had been refreshed by the swim, I was too hot to be close to the fire. We threw one of these chemical packets that Craig has in the fire and it turns the flames different colors. It’s really neat.
This time we didn’t have one of our usual sites so we were back in the woods a little. I made the reservations almost a year ago so I don’t always remember what I’ve done…and of course it depends on availability too. Even though we didn’t have any grass, we were secluded and surrounded by shade (and we were able to put our awning down this time). We were afraid we were going to be totally attacked by bugs over the weekend being in that woody area, but we sat around the campfire Saturday night and not one bug or mosquito bothered us. The clouds had disappeared so we could see the stars between the trees and it was cooling off. It couldn’t have felt more perfect.
I sat there in my rocker in complete amazement. We had such a great day…down at the Headwaters, tubing, a perfect swim and now a campfire with no bugs and stars illuminating the sky above. Again…how lucky can I be? So much in my life seems to be falling apart, and even packing up on Friday was getting the best of me, but nothing and no one can take that splendidly contented feeling away from me. It may not come very often, but when it does, I own it and I basked in it Saturday night.
This morning the guys went to climb the fire tower (my bad ankle got me out of that) while I stayed behind and made fresh caramel rolls for breakfast and enjoyed a little quiet time to read. After that, as the mercury began to rise, we started packing up. We rolled out at 2:00 and headed to the beach for a couple hours. We like to do it that way so we can get cooled off after working up a sweat while packing up. It was a nice day although the wind was starting to pick up a little. I managed a bit of a sunburn on my face (I know…bad Mary Kay Consultant…I didn’t use my Day Solution with the facial sunscreen). After a swim and a change of clothes, we headed out. We stopped in Park Rapids at the Dairy Queen for a quick supper. Willy had his supper too and of course he got his small vanilla cup. I was walking toward him and he was just staring at me until he finally realized what I had. Oh, did he get excited! We spoil him, obviously.
So, another trip that has come and gone. Not too many left. Two family reunions, a weekend off (if it’s nice we may still go out to the lake for the day), and then its five days in Sioux Falls for site seeing and the LifeLight Christian Musical Festival—our second annual trip. We haven’t talked about September yet. We’ll have to see what it brings. It’s kind of sad knowing we’re counting down now, though I won’t miss the work. But its weekends like this one that I have to hold onto to bring me through the long no-camping winter. It's good to have the ability to close my eyes and meditate a little, bringing myself back to a campground and a wonderful night like Saturday night. They say there is no such thing as perfect, but Saturday came pretty close.