Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Our First Camping Trip

Last weekend, we went on our first camping trip in Northern Minnesota. We registered for some camping equipment for our wedding so it was fun to break some of our gifts in. Phil and I both camped a lot as kids but our families mostly stayed in campers so this was our first experience of camping in a tent. We ended up loving it! Here's a picture-heavy recap of our weekend!

We left Minneapolis on Friday morning, which was Phil's birthday! We dropped his mom off at her cousin's house for the weekend, got lunch at a brewery (the birthday boy LOVES beer) and headed to our first destination - Gooseberry Falls State Park. I know my parents took me here when I was a kid, but I was so young that I do not have any memories of it. We hiked a couple of trails and took in the sites.

After hiking for a couple of hours, we stopped at an area called Palisades Head, which was pretty.

Then we headed to our "home" for the weekend - Temperance River State Park. My aunt and uncle (also known as my Julia Child aunt and uncle as they are the brains behind that annual event) camp here each September and rave about it so I knew we were in for a fun weekend!

Phil and I and our friend Amber set up our tents and got the fire going so we could cook our dinner. It was great to camp with a veteran camper as she knew what all to bring.

Our home for the weekend
Dinner on Friday night was "hobo meals." I grew up eating these, although my parents cooked them on a grill. It's a slice of onion, with a hamburger on top if it, topped with carrots and potatoes. They tasted so good!

After dinner, we sat around the fire...

And of course we had to have s'mores with gluten free graham crackers.

I was exhausted from all the fresh air and activity so headed to bed before 10 pm (which isn't all that unusual for me on a Friday night).

On Saturday morning, we were up bright and early and enjoyed a meal of breakfast burritos. Amber made these ahead of time and froze them so we just had to heat them up over the fire.

A delicious start to the day - with a generous amount of salsa on top!
We started the day by hiking out of the campground to Carleton Peak. It was about 7 miles round trip.
The Temperance River draining into Lake Supeior

The view from the top of Carleton Peak.
After that hike, we re-fueled with some snacks and headed out to do the Oberg Mountain loop, which was highly recommended by my aunt and uncle. The views did not disappoint!

I would love to do this hike in the fall sometimes as I am sure it's extra beautiful with the fall colors!

Our next stop was Grand Marais, MN which was about 45 minutes north of the Oberg Mountain hike. It was my first time in this town (or if I've been with my parents, I have no memory). It is such a cute area. We were pretty worn out from all the hiking so we spent a lot of time on this beach, which was perfect for rock skipping - one of Phil's favorite things to do!

After walking around the town and taking in the sights, we had dinner at Angry Trout. We were told to go here by several people and it lived up to the rave reviews.

We look pretty good for not having showered in almost 2 days. Ha.
I ended up getting the fish of the day in a sandwich. They had a gluten free bun which I don't see often! The side salad was very impressive as it had so many different veggies on it plus fresh wild blueberries.

After dinner we headed back and had another fire + s'mores.

On Sunday morning, we packed up, had another meal of breakfast burritos, and headed to Tettegouche State Park for a couple more hikes. We did a waterfall out-and-back hike, which was beautiful.

There was a cool suspension bridge that you could cross at the top of the waterfall.

The second hike was a short 1.5 mile out-and-back hike to Shovel Point. Palisade head is in the far point of the photo below, so we saw this stretch of the coast of Superior from two different perspectives.

After that, we headed back to Duluth to pick up Phil's mom and then headed back to Minneapolis. We packed a lot of activity into 2.5 days but I am glad that we saw and did so much. Luckily my RA flare did not interfere with this trip as the 2nd steroid injection did the trick. I'm so glad I felt well enough to do all of these hikes!

We loved camping so much that we are going to try to go another time this fall - hopefully in September or October.

Have you ever gone camping?


Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

It looks like you guys had a great time! It is a good idea to go with a veteran, as there are small things that you don't remember or don't know about that really help! Also, it is so important to have good sleeping gear, as a good nights (or a bad one) sleep can really make or break the trip!

I have been camping before. ;) When I was a kid, my parents owned a summer resort with camping and cabins etc, and my cousins would come and stay with us every summer, so it was the norm for us to sleep in the backyard (no tent) under the stars every summer. In addition to that, we normally had a public campfire every weekend with smores etc. In addition, we did a lot of backpack camping, so most of my current gear is more geared toward that. I never really car camped as a kid!! Or that much as an adult actually.

Marlys said...

That area of MN is so beautiful! It always amazes me how the terrain changes so quickly and one feels they are on the coast!
I am glad your trip went so well! AWESOME!

The only times I slept in a tent was when we had cousins stay overnight and we did it as an adventure in the back yard! Glad you enjoyed it - but I am still partial to campers!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Looks like such a great trip- I can't believe how much stuff you fit in!

Camping is something I always want to like in theory but I don't think we'd be good campers, ha ha. I did some camping in Australia but it was sleeping in cots which I feel like doesn't really count ha.

Also, Eric loves skipping rocks. Max loves throwing rocks in water. The two of them can be entertained for hours this way, ha ha!

J and A said...

Looks like a great time and a beautiful spot! Great meals for camping too! We love camping.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Yay!!! I am glad to hear you loved camping :-) Your s'more looks so well put together ;-)

Camping is one of my favourite things to do, and I used to go about 4-5 times each spring/summer in my teens and 20s. Now, we try to go once a year, as Christopher doesn't get as much for holiday time in the summer as I do. He isn't as big into camping in a tent as I am, so we compromised with the Otentiks, which are a great compromise, and so much less work ... but the closest Otentiks are four hours away, so we like to go for at least a few nights, if not more.

That's wonderful that your RA flare didn't put a damper on your camping trip :-)

Carolina John said...

That is a beautiful part of MN! I love camping but am currently too old to sleep on the ground, so I do it glamp style now with an air mattress and electrical hookup. Glad you are enjoying it and had such a fun time!

Stephany said...

So much activity! I am tired reading all about it. :) I am SO glad your RA didn't interfere with all your hiking/camping plans because I know how much you enjoy exploring on foot. Woohoo!

I've only been camping once, but it was tent camping! I was only 7 or 8, though, and I went with my brother and my uncle and his family. All I really remember is eating lots of s'mores and getting rained out on our second night!

Stevie said...

Looks like such a gorgeous area and sounds like you definitely made the most of your time in the wilderness!

I love camping. We have some amazing state and national parks here in WA state so there is no shortage of places to explore! We haven't done any camping so far this summer since we've mostly been busy with house projects, but we might take a trip or two next month and in October since the weather here stays pretty decent through mid-October.

Our last two camping trips were pretty strange because there was a burn ban in effect both times, so no campfire! We have a camping stove so we could cook, but it was so weird to not sit around the fire. We ended up putting flameless LED candles on the grate over the fire, haha.

Gracie said...

You guys got some beautiful pictures, and I'm glad you weren't in pain the whole time. I've never been camping and...I probably never will. I might enjoy it, but David is a city boy through and through!

Charbelle said...

Your pictures are gorgeous!!! I love that y'all were able to escape and enjoy all the beautiful water and trails!!! It's so green and lush and gorgeous!!! Michael has tried to convince me to go camping and I have repeatedly reminded him that I told him from our very first date, literally, I do not camp. I get eaten alive by mosquitos regardless but I can't imagine how much worse it would be camping and I'm a diva and I just know myself well enough to know I wouldn't enjoy it at all. I've told him he is welcome to go camping and I'll stay with Charlotte and Jack.

San said...

What a great trip! Love the pictures. I wish J would be a little more outdoorsy and would go on hiking/camping trips with me.

Jeanie said...

I am SO not a camping fan, much to Rick's chagrin. But I have to say that when I see a post like this with such fabulous photos and the whole energy of "wonderful time"spilling out of it in your words and smiles, I could be tempted!

Shoshanah said...

Growing up we used to go camping every summer, but it's been years since I've been. I'd love to take a camping trip, but the boy apparently isn't a fan, so not sure when it will happen. Maybe I just need to go without him!

Amber said...

Looks like so much fun! You guys fit in SO MANY hikes! I'm impressed!! I do love camping but I'm definitely over tent camping after doing it for several years ha ha. Last year we upgraded to our tiny trailer (it's only 12 feet long!) it's really too small to do any cooking in but it's soo nice to sleep off the ground. We just got back from 6 nights of camping - or more like glamping - as we were in my dad's RV which is 28 feet long with two slide outs so very spacious and comfortable. We still did a lot of cooking outside though!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Oh my gosh, so many beautiful views on your hikes! Even before Henry, we rarely did camping and hiking in the same trip. Probably because we either fit in cycling or running and usually just do one night trips, which allow for less sight seeing, but I would love to do more hiking in areas I haven't checked out around here. At the end of Sept, Pete is taking Henry back to the midwest to visit his family and I'm hoping that the Central Oregon fires will be done or almost put out so I can do some hiking near Bend.

Leigh said...

What a gorgeous area to go camping and hiking! Haha, I have never heard of "hobo" meals before, but that's a great idea especially for camping

Abby said...

Finally playing catch up on blogs! Yay I am so happy you loved camping. What a beautiful destination!!!! Gorgeous photos. Wow!