S: Itasca State Park ~ June 29 - July 6, 2012
1: Sabrina's 11th birthday! We picked Sabrina up from Trout Lake Bible Camp on our way to Itasca State Park for our week long vacation. Once at our campsite we celebrated her birthday with balloons, decorations and cake. | Saturday, June 30
2: Good S'mores making fire!
4: Sunday, July 1
5: Douglas Lodge We had lunch and then hiked out to the Old Timer's Cabin | Along the path there were huge dragonflies, tiny toads and flying grasshoppers that caught the kids attention. They were able to catch and carry them for a little while before we released them.
7: After Douglas Lodge we drove the Wilderness Drive a 10 mile road inside the park that had lots of stops with lots of exploration into the wilderness. Along the way we saw a beaver dam, a swan and the oldest red pine tree (126 feet tall & 300 years old).
8: Group Bike Ride to the Headwaters of the Mississippi
9: Mississippi Headwaters The kids thought this was a great adventure since they were able to climb on the rocks and play in the water. | We biked 1.5 miles from our campsite to the headwaters. Anthony did a great job keeping up with everyone in fact, he wanted to be the leader! Ally & Trever rented a tandem bike for the day so they could come along on the adventure. It was hot and humid day so cooling off by the water was nice. A great family adventure! | Monday, July 2
13: Natalie & Anthony were always on the look out for creatures wherever we went. While at the Headwaters Anthony found a little toad and Natalie found a live snail that was fun to play with.
16: Monday, July 2 ~ Stormy weather! A major wind storm came through Itasca State Park around 5:45pm while Joey & Dominick were in Park Rapids to get a few things for dinner. It started to rain so Karla, Trever, Ally, Janell and the kids went inside our camper to wait out the storm.We had to figure out revised dinner plans since it was raining and the hubbies weren't able to grill. It got darker and windier and our camper lights flickered but still remained on and we were able to get people fed ~ corn on the cob, pineapple and pasta salad. I had trouble getting through to Dominick on the cell phone to find out when they would be back, since they had been gone for so long. The storm knocked down hundreds of trees and blocked both entrances into the State Park. The guys couldn't get back into the park. Joey helped move trees with his log chain, that he just so happened to have in the back of his truck. Dominick ran back to see how we were doing. We were all fine and very fortunate that trees didn't fall on top of our campers! Trees has fallen on cars and tents blew away but no one got hurt. The State Park workers had their work cut out for them by getting trees off of cars and roads open. The buzz of the chain saws were heard well into the night and the park smelled like fresh cut Christmas trees. The electricity cut out for about 5 hours, if came back on at 12:30am so we could finally get to sleep and cool down. What an incredible night.
18: We went into Park Rapids to Evergreen Fun Park for some mid-morning fun.. Dominick, Joey, Sabrina, Natalie & Janell had fun on the bumper boats while Karla, Trever, Ally & Anthony played a round of mini golf. Dominick finished up Anthony's turn on the mini golf course. After Evergreen Fun Park we went back to camp to cool down at the beach. | Tuesday, July 3
19: Beach Blast! The girls had a blast flying off of Trever's shoulders! Natalie got some serious air. Anthony had fun playing with Trever in the water and was thrilled that he could touch the bottom so far out from shore.
20: Fishing on the 4th
22: On our drive into Park Rapids it started to rain ! We debated if we should continue into town for the parade or go back to the camper. We kept going and the rain stopped before we got into town. The sun came out and heated things up. We got a spot for the parade towards the end of the route and enjoyed all the different parade units. After the parade we didn't know if we should stay in town for fireworks or go back to the campground. We decided to go back to the camper. On our way back it started raining once again! Our little black cloud was following us around! | HAPPY 4th of JULY!
24: The roads and paths were open and trees had been cleared around the wilderness drive. We drove it to the Fire Tower stop. We all started up the tower. The closer we got to the top the stairwell got smaller and you could feel more sway to the tower. Anthony was only 3 stairway turns away from the top and got scared he wouldn't got any further!. He walked back down the stairs with Karla, who had gotten half way up before being sent back down with Anthony. We waved to Anthony & Karla once we made it to the top. The view was spectacular and the girls loved being up that hight!
25: Thursday, July 5
26: Paul & Babe
27: We drove to Bemidji for a picnic lunch in a park and then walked around town. Of course, seeing Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox was a must! This was the first time the kids have ever seen Paul & Babe. We went into the Visitors Center to see all of Paul's giant size tools. Anthony was fascinated with the large gun, fishing pole and ax. | Bemidji