Monday, October 25, 2010

Blue Mound State Park

The kids had a five day weekend so we decided a family camp out was in order.  I must say, the execution wasn't great for a birthday, but the actual camping was fun.  We spent the bulk of the 21st packing and driving four hours to south west Minnesota.  Justin did buy me a couple of awesome birthday presents:  a new cordless mouse for my laptop and some Chaco shoes (which don't fit right, but the thought was perfect).  We sat around the kitchen table and watched as Justin lit 35 candles on a chocolate cake.  Ouch.  That's a lot of flames.  
We arrived at the state park at 7 pm, which means it was already dark.  We had the entire walk in camp ground to ourselves, and being the weirdos that we are, walked to every single campsite to make sure we got the best one.  
I don't know how cold it was, but definitely in the 30's that night.  So cold!
We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning and set off for a leisurely stroll around the dam.
Proof that I was really on this camp out.
 Isaac was beyond excited to find a late bloomer of a monarch butterfly.  It must have "hatched" recently.  It's wings looked new.

 Ammon learned to somersault and you get to see his first one here!  Even on an uphill!

 Jacob took this cool picture of an army green grasshopper.
 We played a family game of Skip Bo (minus Jacob whom was reading) on top of a rock in our camp site.
 View from the rock.
 Jacob reading.  He moved here because the bugs were bugging him by the fire.
 Yes we did bring bikes on this trip.  It makes for fun times, but a lot of extra planning.  We rode a 6 mile track and walnuts!  I loaded up the bike trailer, you better believe it.  Drools.  Justin went for a mountain bike ride by himself and got a flat at the very farthest place possible so had to walk back. 
The weather, I must say, could not have been better.  Short sleeves felt perfect and the sun was just right.  Perfect Perfect Day.
And even the night was nice and not too cold.  
But, it did rain a small amount during the night and was overcast in the morning.
 We got the geo caching gps coordinates and first went to one and found out it was only for the bison viewing platform.  Lame.  We then went on to find the critter cache, which the kids loved.  Allison traded a pass-along card for a little cupcake thing to put on her shoe.
 Isaac found a baby wooly bear caterpillar. 

 We borrowed horse shoes from the office. 
 Isaac got a 3 pointer!

 Allison had a tummy ache and sat on the swings during our horse shoe game.
 The boys found this awesome frog on their walk back to the camp site.
 Allison eating shells n cheese in a cart.  We decided to pack up before it rained again and head home early. But still had one hike left before we left Blue Mound, bur oak trail and the quarry.

 Allison found a feather and was pretending to write.
 If you look to the right of Isaac, we hiked up that side of the quarry up and over large rocks.  It was fun!  It reminded me of the good old days going through Logan Cave.

 Ammon got into taking pictures.  It was adorable.  I'll put up some of those in another post.
  We tried to find another geo cache at Kilen State Park, but after hill and dale we ended up at an overlook...not the critter cache.  Dumb signs at the ranger station. It looks light in this picture.  Don't let it fool you.  It was beyond dusk.  We hiked back in the dark with flashlights.   It was one of my most favorite hikes though.  I'd like to enjoy it with more sunlight.  Beautiful oaks everywhere, and small brooklets.  Going off track because that's the way the gps says to go was NOT fun.  Stickery plants everywhere!

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