Camping at Fort Ridgely

>> Monday, July 01, 2019

The boys and I spent the night in a tent on Friday. My wife had to work this past weekend, and she planned on going on to a concert with her sisters on Friday night, so us boys had to have our fun as well.

First, I had some tent work to do. When we were camping a few weeks ago, we had some tent leakage issues in our 16-year-old tent. So I took over the neighbor's driveway as they were on their honeymoon (as we have a better view of their driveway than we do of ours, and it's more tucked away and secure) and used some sealant on the seams of our rainfly:

Drying after I painted some sealer on the seams.

I also got some waterproofer to put on the tent and rainfly once they were up, and I also had to repair one of our tent poles. Lots of pre-game work!

The boys and I took off Friday just after lunch. We pulled in and checked out Fort Ridgely Creek that ran right along side the campgrounds:

Loud and fast.

There were lots of crickets in the drinking fountain. Charlie picked out a lot of them.

Putting up our tent.

GNATS. There's an issue with them in parts of MN and WI this year.
No mosquito issues, but too many gnat bites.

The view from the back of our campsite peeking on my boys on the footbridge.

Charlie over the creek.

Running around the historic fort. Chasing 13 stripe gophers.

At the fort.

We found a decent bathroom tucked back in the woods near the fort...

... we came back here at 9 pm to get ready for bed.

A camping first: we picked up pizza for supper!
I didn't bring my pan, as we did this trip ON THE EASY.

The boys LOVED playing in the creek a few campsites down from our tent.

The campground was just 1 road with spots on either side. Lots of big trucks
and campers. We were one of 3 tents there (and one tent also had a camper).


Henry had a few.

85 degrees and sitting by a campfire.

Back by the bathrooms, the boys found a cat (near an amphitheater
stage being redone, with an old cemetery in the distance).

A head-light bedtime selfie before stories at 9:40.

We had a nice calm night. It was 80+ degrees for a while, but the fan kept me alive. I woke up at 12:30 and pulled up my sheet. I woke up at 3:00 and pulled up my quilt. And then I was up at 6:30. A pretty decent night in a tent!

My view at 6:30 a.m.

Rags drying, hatchet, pocket knives, oatmeal, and apples.

More S'mores after breakfast? Why not.

In this photo and the last one, you can see the little "nook" that our
tent was set back in. Nice privacy back there! A great site! (#31)

This is the most the boys WANTED to help take down the tent! Yesssss!

More playing in the creek before leaving.

Here's a quick video with a few clips from the campgrounds:

Yes, that video started with Charlie trying to "floss."

Then we hit the road for New Ulm (only about 30 minutes away). We wanted to stop at Flandrau State Park as well. Hitting these 2 were #41 and #42 on our list of MN State Parks that we've been to over the last 24 months. Flandrau had a line of cars to get in, and I told the boys "the swimming hole" must be pretty popular. Once we got there, the boys LOVED it:

Warm water, and it was aerated too.

People filling in. The pond was 2.5' on the left, up to 5'
in the middle section, and up to 7' on the right (out of frame).

Lovin' it.

The big beach house. The wall on the right hides an outdoor
shower/changing area for men. (Women's out-of-frame on the left.)

Some playtime on the playground at Flandrau before we left.

Sweaty selfie at Flandrau.

Always the sign of a good weekend!

About the only thing I'd do different for this trip was to NOT take my whole big "cooking supplies" container when I was planning on doing so little cooking. I have 2 Rubbermaid tubs for camping: 1 full of snacks / seasonings; and 1 full of plates, pans, S'mores sticks, etc. I should have just taken 5 minutes to take out the few things we needed instead of packing the whole damn tub.

Otherwise, just another fun trip with my fellas!


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