Every year my family gets in just one family vacation to go camping. This year we didn’t want to go to far away so we chose the Sauk Centre area. We actually camped at Birch Lake State Forest Campground nearer to Melrose. We love State Forest Campgrounds because they are remote, primitive and cheap. Camping at this campground cost us only $12.00 a night. We arrived early monday afternoon and set up. There was only one other tent in the whole campground. The advantage of arriving on a Monday is you get the pick of the campsites. We chose one of the largest sites- close to the bathrooms and water supply. We set up our tent at the back of the site up on a little hill. Then we proceeded to set up the kitchen, screenhouse and fire pit area. Once everything was set up the guys hopped in the boat to go fishing.
When they got back, Zach helped me get Lasagna (see favorite recipes tab) in the dutch oven and we settled around the fire for the evening. The lasagna was excellent. We ate, played some cards and went to bed early.
In the morning I got up early and put Mountain Man Breakfast (see favorite recipes tab) in the dutch oven. I figured a hearty breakfast would keep the guys on the lake longer and leave me more time to explore the town. (Which I did while on my author jaunt. see previous post) For supper I grilled hamburgers, made Potato Packets, and put an Apple Spice Cake (see favorite recipes tab) in the dutch oven for dessert. Why does food taste so much better when you’re camping? It rained most of the night and except for a little puddle of water by the door we stayed dry. I enjoyed watching the lightning through the skylights in the tent.
Day 3 watched some wild turkey near my campsite and later heard a deer walking in the woods next to us and saw it and the fawn a short while later on the path behind our tent. The guys did some more fishing (in between downpours) and Monica and Gracie drove down for the day to visit us. Zach and Gracie were brave enough to don swimsuits and swim in the cold water while Monica and I sat on the rocks near shore to watch. We were supposed to have fish for supper but it rained too much to get much fishing in so we had brats and dogs over the campfire to go with the Scalloped Potatoes and Ham (see favorite recipes tab) I put in the dutch oven. Said goodbye to Monica and Gracie around 9:30 pm. We offered to share the tent with them if they wanted to stay but Monica had to work in the morning so they left. Rained all night long . This time we didn’t stay as dry. I think our problem was we didn’t have the fly pulled tight enough because it seemed to leak only in the loose spots. I felt drops from time to time on my face but otherwise stayed dry. Zach did too, but Jeff’s pillow got wet on one side and there was a large wet spot by his knee. The back room of the tent where we keep our suitcases and stuff was quite wet.
Day 4 with no end in sight to the rain and no way to get our gear dry we decided to pack up and head for home a day early. I fried eggs and corned beef hash for breakfast and made some toast in the short span of time we were dry but ended up washing dishes in the rain and tearing down camp and the tent and screenhouse in a downpour. We were all wet and muddy when we finished and got in the car to head for home.
Our vacation didn’t quite go like we wanted it too. Tyler wasn’t able to join us, we didn’t get to sit around the fire very much, the guys only hit 2 of the 4 lakes they wanted too, and we never did get in our late night card game and Jiffy Pop but we had a great time anyway. It’s never a disaster when you get to spend time with the ones you love.