Wedding and State Park Trip

>> Thursday, July 11, 2019

We had a big weekend last weekend. We went to my cousin's wedding south of the Cities, and then went camping at Whitewater State Park with my sister's family. That makes the 3rd weekend in a row that I was camping with my boys (but this time, we were "camping" in a camper cabin, which is sooooo nice). Here are a few pics from the weekend:

Charlie was the ring bearer!

My family.

Charlie again.

Another cousin (not the bride) with Charlie.

My fellas and my cutie. (Note the scrape on my forehead from a 4th of July incident.)

"I'm here for the beer." Nice, Henry.

In the hotel pool the next morning.

We then hit the road for a 40 minute drive to Whitewater State Park. I don't have as many photos from camping because we were there last summer and had a great time. We were excited to be back. The first thing we did was head just outside of the State Park to Elba so we could climb their fire tower. First: climb the bluff to GET to the fire tower:

Henry near the bottom. Both him and my niece kept track of the steps.

Me, my wife, my niece, and my Mom.

Up to the base of the fire tower, some 630+ stairs later.

The view from the base of the fire tower. Whitewater is down that highway.

The gang at the top.

The 2nd group to climb: my brother-in-law and his kids. (He recently had shoulder surgery.)

Henry wanted to go up it once I came down, so I climbed the 140 steps of the tower twice.

The ladies heading down.

Waiting at the base of the tower.

Heading down.

We said goodbye to my folks, and we made supper. The grocery store where I planned to stop to get green beans was all out, so I got small potatoes, an onion, and a bell pepper instead. I added some garlic and made a tasty side:

Chicken cheddar bacon ranch brats. Pre-cooked so they were easy to "cook" (heat up) on the fire.

Everyone eating.

My 2nd brat. On a fire-toasted piece of bread, with some romaine from my Mom's garden.

Dave and I took the kids to the chilly swimming hole while the ladies went on a run. Whitewater is known for being mostly mosquito-free because the water's always moving and it's so chilly so they can't lay eggs. But the kids don't mind its chilliness:

Digging trenches for the water.

A selfie on their run. See the fire tower on the bluff right above my sister?


Around the fire for s'mores that night.

Synchronized toothpaste spitting off the deck.

We had a decent night in our little cabin. We had the farthest one up the trail, and my sister's family had the one we were in last time. Both were great! I headed outside at 6:50 to start the breakfast fire, and Henry woke up and came out to pee about about a half hour later:

Warming by the fire as I made the first of 3 batches of bacon.

Bacon and eggs.

Breakfast! That's also some Canadian bacon by Dave. I also toasted 5 English
muffins over the fire too. (I had a Canadian bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich.)

Then we were off on 2 short hikes. First to "Chimney Rock" which we loved last time:

More stairs. LOTS of those around Whitewater.

Uneven terrain.

The kids in a tree once we got higher up.

In front of Chimney Rock! There's a hole behind my leg that
you can crawl through and look out over the trees.

The kids in Chimney Rock. STEEP drop-offs out those openings back there!


My niece and nephew in the rock!

Then we crossed the road and did part of another hike up to Coyote Point. Here's Ian all ready to go:

We found a cliff before too long! And a little tunnel/cave up there.

The boys in another spot.

After making it up to the overlook, we came down these STEEP stairs
backwards like a ladder. This doesn't really show how steep they were.

Another cave off the trail...

... so of course we climbed up to it. But it was full of spiders, so we didn't go in.

More fun climbing on the way down.

Zonked out a few hours later on the way home.

Here are more photos from Whitewater from last summer. This is one of our favorite MN State Parks so far! Lots of fun!


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