Friday, September 23, 2016

Bear Lake Camping

When Grandma Susie and Grandpa Charles invited us to go camping with them mid-August, we were delighted.  While our original plan had been to camp near Minnetonka caves, many other people shared this awesome idea so all of the developed campsites were taken by the time we got up there.  Fortunately, Charles and Susie knew about some primitive sites along Sinks Road.  When we arrived, our campsite looked just like this.
Absolutely perfect.  Plenty of room for the kids to roam without worrying about disturbing any of the neighbors.  Grandma and Grandpa were well-prepared with plenty of water for cooking and drinking, plus we were only staying one night so showers weren't a big concern.

Here are Eli and Annika searching for the perfect place to make a firepit.

Success!  The kids constructed this adorable fire ring.  We didn't actually light anything since the forest was super dry, but it was still fun to pretend.  Annie is learning to like camping even without fire.  When the day comes that she actually gets to roast a marshmallow, the little gal is going to keel over in ecstasy.

Meals with Grandma and Grandpa Wheeler are always amazing, even when camping.

Brooklyn husks some corn from the garden. So tender and sweet!

Annika sniffs the veggies with longing.

And here's Grandma Susie slicing some mango.  She likes to camp and she likes to cook, but if you put them together the smiles just come bursting out.

After so much running around, Talia's feet were mighty dirty.  It was time to settle in and listen to Grandpa Charles read some Patrick McManus before heading off to bed.  Annika's first experience sleeping in a tent without her Graco was far from positive...

This is what she looked like in the morning.  Maybe that hair wouldn't be so tousled if she settled down and laid still for once.

Eli, on the other hand, is a model sleeper, whether camping or at home.  A boy after my own heart, he loves his zzzzs.

The kids informed me that I snore.  Must be all the flies I catch.

Despite a somewhat rough night, everyone was in a great mood once breakfast got going.  Three cheers for pancakes!

After breaking camp, we decided to take a short hike on the Limber Pine Trail.  Annika found some perfect throwing rocks, just like in Grandpa Charles's story.

As a seasoned mother, I made Annika drop the sticks and stones before offering a piggy back ride.

Here are Eli and Annika climbing the 500 year old Limber Pine.

Brooklyn's got her head in the clouds.

Pretty amazing how this tree grew, despite some tough conditions early on.

The vista of Bear Lake was pretty, even if the air was a little smokey.

One last picture of Daddy Jason with his princess riding side saddle.
After our hike, we headed down to Bear Lake for a picnic lunch and some great swimming.  Even though it's been six weeks, Annika still asks if we can go back to the lake and swim some more.  Sorry, no pictures--as we've learned, phones and water don't mix.

Grandma Susie and Grandpa Charles, thank you so much for the great trip.  We sure look forward to camping with you again!

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