July 17, 2009

(Winter) camping (includes about 3000000000 pictures!!!)

Last Monday we got all packed up and headed to one of my favorite campgrounds, Clubhouse.  It is just outside of Marcell, Minnesota; so only about 40 minutes away.  It is a pretty rustic campground; outhouses, hand pumped water, no electricity…  But it is one of the most beautiful places on this earth in my humble opinion!!!  Doesn’t hurt that I was there was a bunch of people that I love!!!

100_4327 This first one was taken when Wyatte and I were out in the canoe.  It was so calm the only waves were the ones I was making with the paddle and the ones coming from the back of the canoe.    100_4280 The view from the boat landing.100_4281 Another view from the boat landing.

Wyatte in the boat, waiting for Daddy to start it and head to the campsite.100_4284 100_4286 And their off!100_4287 Xander taking Wyatte for a walk!  Wyatte had to run full speed to keep up with Xander!!!  I think just a few minutes after this Wyatte ended up taking a digger and John or I took the leash.100_4289 Must have been me, because John go the stroller with the girls!100_4291 Enjoying her ride!  Isn’t she adorable?!?!?100_4293 John pushing the stroller up the “hugest” hill ever!100_4295 Wyatte pretty much ran the whole time!


John finally at the top and able to move a little faster!100_4296 100_4298 Yes that is another dog, no you aren’t losing your mind!  This is my brother’s dog, Rusty.  These couple of pictures are of our camp site.  We did end up setting up another tent right behind where Rusty is sitting for Paul and his friends that came up.  The tarp is over the firepit (over which we cooked all the meals.) and the picnic table.100_4299 John and I and the kids were in the camper that used to be my mom and dad’s but is now just my dad’s.  My mom and youngest brother slept in the tent.100_4301 100_4306 Nevaeh was playing peek-a-boo with Krislyn, Paul’s girlfriend, when they came up.  Krislyn is one of the kids’ favorite people in the world.  They absolutely love her!  She is great with them too!  Wish we could see her more.  This isn’t the best picture of her, but I didn’t get any better ones.  Sorry Krislyn…100_4309 100_4311 Nevaeh was messing around at the table and all of a sudden she was on the ground!  Still not totally sure what happened, but she looked too cute to not take a picture. 100_4312 Here are some more shots from when Wyatte and I were in the canoe.  There are three loons in the pictures, if you look close you can see them.  I am pretty sure it was a mom and two partially grown up babies.100_4313 100_4314 100_4315 100_4316 I just happened to look up at the sun and this is what I saw.  At this time in the trip there were no clouds in the sky, no precipitation at all.  I have never seen anything like this before in my life.  My mom or Krislyn hadn’t either, so…  I don’t know if it was a fluke or if it happens more and I just don’t see it.  Anyways, it was beautiful.  No, I didn’t edit the picture at all either, this is what it looked like in the sky… 100_4318 100_4320 100_4322

 100_4329 Krislyn with all the kids!  Getting ready to make smores.  We tried something old and something new with our smores this year.  We started using chocolate frosting instead of chocolate bars because the bars would end up melted, or get full of water in the cooler.  So we used chocolate frosting on one side, and then going off a tip from the Wright’s (who also go to our church) we put peanut butter on the other side.  Everyone seemed to love them, and decided that it was a keeper idea!  Thanks Nathan and Heidi!  Too bad for me that I don’t like peanut butter!!!  But I enjoyed them with just the normal chocolate.  If anyone else has a smore idea that they would like to share, let me know.  100_4331 100_4333 100_4337 100_4338 All tuckered out after a full day!100_4340 Krislyn and Paul, Kirk, Mom and I, and John played Scrabble after the kids went to bed.  I don’t remember who won (I think Paul and Krislyn beat me and mom by a couple of points, but I could be wrong, that might have been our rummy score….) but the crazy thing, something that doesn’t happen to us very often is that everyone got rid of all their tiles.  CRAZY!!!100_4345 Paul and Kirk like to play disc golf or frisbee golf and since they had their discs we went down to a semi open spot and threw them around a little.  100_4347 100_4348 100_4350 100_4352 Took us a while to figure out with this purple thing is, but we are pretty sure we know now.  If after I describe this someone else has other info let me know and I will fix it!  Based on a paper that we couldn’t really see we think it is sticky and catches bugs so the forest rangers and other guys can see what kind of bugs are around, so they can see if there are any that are potentially dangerous to the trees in the area.  There were a couple of them that we saw around the campground area.100_4353 100_4360 We then took a walk down some of the trails in the woods.  They are all over and lead to tons of different things.  This one goes out to a point, partially down the trail is an opening that I always wanted to set up a tent in and sleep out there, but wasn’t ever quite brave enough to actually do it!100_4361 Aubrie loves this uncle!  Well all of them actually, but!!!100_4364 Some of the natural beauty that we saw.100_4368 Paul helping Aubrie walk down a hill, or trying to get her to let him help.  She was pretty convinced she could do it alone!100_4369 Pumping water to get a drink after the trail walk.100_4374 This time up the hill we let Wyatte hold Xander’s leash and he pulled the stroller up the hill!!!100_4382 Wyatte took a very long nap, something that doesn’t happen much any more.

100_4389 It got pretty cold there on Tuesday, and stayed cold the rest of the time up there.  The kids all had on three shirts, and still seemed cool.100_4392 This is what happens when you are at a campground when it pours rain!100_4393 100_4394 100_4395 John and Kirk had fun making trails in the campsite to let the water run down the hill to keep it from flooding the tents.  100_4396 I didn’t want the kids to get too wet and cold so I made them stay under the tarp for most of the down pour.  100_4397 John’s legs and part of the “trail” that he made to try to keep us dry!100_4398 John got pretty wet!  This pictures are pretty horrible quality, but apparently taking a picture during the pouring rain, under a tarp, in the dark, and through the smoke are too many somethings for my point and shoot camera to handle! 100_4399 Kirk put on his swimming shorts to keep his pants dry(er)!!!100_4400 100_4401 100_4405 I did end up letting the kids run around in the water.  They had fun, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be!  We were camping after all.100_4406 100_4409 Even with a rain jacket he still got pretty wet!100_4411 Aubrie enjoying her thumb and some mommy cuddle time while it was raining.100_4415 Got pretty windy, had to prop the tent stakes up to keep them from snapping… Almost decided to come home at this point.

100_4419Filled this “tub” up with warm water (from the kettle over the fire) and the hand pump, and gave the kids a bath after playing in the rain.  I don’t ever remember getting a bath when we were camping when I was going up, but THEY WERE FILTHY!!!

100_4471 Grandma trying to chop up a birch log that we found for extra fire wood.100_4481 John finishing up the job.100_4482 100_4484 Wyatte got his turn in the tub too!!!100_4423 Wyatte, Uncle Kirk and John getting ready to go fishing.  Aren’t the clouds beautiful in the back ground!?!?!?100_4427 This is another of our favorite spots at this campground.  I am pretty sure is it an old train car, but I could be wrong.  It is at the end of a small crick, that when the water is high enough, flows pretty fast, and we used to float down in on inner tubes.  My dad put up a rope in the culvert so that we could float through there and the pull ourselves back though.  I guess he might have put the rope up in there so that he could pull the canoe back through when he used it to travel from one lake to the other, but we used it for floating too!100_4429 100_4430 100_4435 This was on the walk back from the culvert, I wasn’t brave enough to get in the water much this time!  TOO STINKING COLD!!!

100_4438 This is called the Twisted Trees, and is a white pine and a red pine that have grown together.  They have looked like this since I can remember.  I am pretty sure they got struck by lightning one year when we were there, but we couldn’t find the scar this time….  Still a beautiful thing to look at.100_4439 Aubrie was sleeping in there!

100_4442 Waiting for Daddy and Wyatte to get back from fishing.100_4444 100_4447 Showing off what he caught.  A large mouth bass, a blue gill and a sunny.100_4451 Headed to the pier to fish.  100_4452 100_4453 Nevaeh caught one!  No, you aren’t going blind, it is a little speck of a thing under John’s hand!  The really funny thing is this was the biggest one that we caught off the pier!!!100_4455 I was kinda surprised that Nevaeh held it, but she didn’t seem to mind it at all.  I know she looks kinda grossed out in this picture, but she really wasn’t!  Aubrie on the other hand!!!!100_4462 100_4466 Wyatte was getting shown the art of Bocce Ball!!!

Hope that was enough for you to see!  My fingers hurt from typing, and my eyes hurt from reading!!!  Don’t stress out too bad if you have to come back a couple time to finish!!!