#21 Hmm, what’s that sound?

19 Sep

All week I’d been watching the weather forecast for the weekend. Is it going to be nice? Is it going to rain? Since winter in Minnesota is right around the corner (seriously), I knew I was running out of time to go camping with Zooey.

So, when the sun came out on Saturday afternoon, I grabbed my gear and hit the road. (Note to self: Next time check gear before departing.)

Our destination was Wild River State Park north of the Twin Cities. I’d never been there before, but the description of forests and prairies along the St. Croix River sounded good.

An hour later, we were pulling into our campsite – a perfect little space tucked away in the woods.

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but the last time I’d slept in the tent was about seven years ago! No problem. I had the whole campsite set up in about 15 minutes.

Before dinner, I decided to take Zooey out for a nice 3-mile hike around the park. After an initial diversion down a trail that wasn’t actually a trail, we found our way to the St. Croix River. Followed that south for a while before veering west through the forest and prairie. It was a perfect late afternoon for a hike! (Photos below)

We arrived back at camp around 6PM with just enough daylight to fire up the Swedish cookstove and make some dinner. Gotta love the Swedish cookstove! That thing is amazing and so easy to use. I actually ate really well – black beans and rice with fresh avocado and tomato. Tasted great going down… with the emphasis on going down. More on that later.

Zooey was terrific the whole time – just hanging out and enjoying the sites and sounds of the forest.

After dinner, we went over to the amphitheater for the evening ranger program. I’m such a sucker for ranger programs. Good times!

Back at camp, I started another fire and just chilled out for a while.

That’s when things started getting crazy.

I was sitting there thinking, “I had a great day hiking, setting up camp, cooking dinner, going to the evening program… but now it’s only 8:45PM… should I just go home now? Hmm, sleeping in my own bed sure sounds nice.”

So, I put Zooey in the car and took down the whole camp in the dark! I was down to the last tent pole when I turned off the flashlight and stood there for a moment in the moonlight.

“What the hell am I doing?” I don’t know if I said it out loud, but I was sure thinking it. “I wanted to go camping and now I’m standing here packing up. This is ridiculous.”

So, I took everything back out of the car and set up camp – AGAIN – in the dark! Yes, if you think that sounds crazy that would be a fair assessment. 🙂

Around 9PM Zooey and I ducked into the tent to go to sleep. I knew it would be a pretty chilly night, so I tried covering her with a blanket. She was having none of it. She was up and down and up and down for about 15 minutes before finally settling down for the night.

As soon as I lay down, I heard a noise.


“Damn it! The air mattress has a hole in it!”

Now, it’s only a two-inch thick mattress, but it sure helps when sleeping on the hard ground. How do I know it’s hard ground? Because after 10 minutes the air had gone out of the mattress and I was laying on it.

Nonetheless I thought, “I came out to go camping and damnit I’m gonna camp!”

After trying to get comfortable for what I thought was 20 or 30 minutes I grabbed my phone to check the time. 11:15PM.

“OK, that’s it. I’m outta here.”

Yes, at 11:30PM I broke camp in the dark – AGAIN!

Zooey and I got home at 1AM and I have to tell you, my bed never felt so good! (And no, I don’t feel bad at all about bailing in the middle of the night. Makes for a better story anyway.)

P.S. I don’t know what it is about me and beans from a box, but it’s a good thing I decided to drive home in the middle of the night. My stomach was not at all happy this morning. Talk about The Bighorn Chili Incident Part 2. 🙂

Photo: Hitting the trail.

Photo: “T” in the forest.

Photo: The scenic St. Croix River facing Wisconsin.

Photo: Taking a break on the prairie.

Photo: The Swedish cookstove in action.

Photo: Exhibit “A” – beans and rice from a box.


4 Responses to “#21 Hmm, what’s that sound?”

  1. Matt October 13, 2011 at 5:57 PM #

    You’re a crazy person. I’m totally there with you on all this though. I did the same thing back in college up North. Got to Duluth, went around, went up the coast, went around. Ate a wild strawberry. Yum. Dinner. About 9 I’m sitting there, should I just go home, I have stuff to do tomorrow!!!!

  2. ditchthebun October 17, 2011 at 12:45 AM #

    Classic I love it! This is exactly what would happen if I got my fiancee camping, although the trick would be getting him there in the first place. We live in Australia and about a year ago he was offered 2 jobs in the US, one in Minnesota and one in Phoenix… apples and oranges right?! We seriously considered both, I had only recently got my job though and i had dreamed of this job for years, we had spent the previous 2 years getting him to the company he wanted so we decided not to take it or look at moving to the States until after we are married. The thing I loved about Minnesota though was looking at the Real Estate photos online they are considerate enough to post photos of what the front of the houses look like in summer and winter hahaha.

    • treubold October 17, 2011 at 1:25 AM #

      Haha! Yeah, quite the difference here between summer and winter! 🙂


  1. Chasing the sun: Photos from the road with Zooey-Roo | The Adventures of Jumping Jasper-Roo the Vizsla Dog - November 2, 2015

    […] Photo: The night we “tried to go camping”. You can read the rest of that story here. […]

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