Gooseberry Camping Trip

On Saturday morning, we packed up our two kids & three dogs and embarked on the 3-hour drive to Gooseberry Falls State Park.

Nothing ever goes as planned.

The trip was originally supposed to be a 3-night event, but was shortened to only one night due to JP's busy work schedule. We were hoping to hit the road by 9 am on Saturday, but of course, the back hatch on our van had to break just as we were loading the last of our supplies. JP "fixed" it so that it can now be opened with a screwdriver more easily than it worked before.

Once we hit the road, things went smoothly. Well, except for the part where we stopped to let the puppy "go" on the side of the highway. Rae announced she also had to "go," and as I helped her crouch behind a bush, she ended up "going" on my flip-flopped foot.

Then when we got into Duluth, Rae saw a flag and announced, "Mom, Dad, look! There's an American Idol!" Good grief, what have we done?!!?

We finally arrived at Gooseberry and things just got more interesting. I had called on Friday to let the park know that we wouldn't be arriving until Saturday so our spot wouldn't get taken. The lady I talked to assured me it was no problem and they would make a note on our reservation that we would be arriving Saturday around lunchtime.

Apparently that message never got relayed, so when we showed up, they had already given our reserved site to someone else. It wouldn't have been a huge deal except our friends, the Gills, had intentionally reserved a site right next to ours and had already arrived and set up their camp. They were willing to break camp and move to another site so we could still be together. The park thanked us with free camping vouchers.

Our new site ended up being nice because they were joined sites. It was like having one big site instead of two separate ones. Plus it was further away from the lake and the cold, cold wind.

Which brings me to the final surprise of the weekend -- the weather. All of the forecasts for the area said "sunny with highs between 68-71 degrees," but when we arrived it was 53 degrees and windy in the middle of the day. None of us were prepared for those temperatures, much less the night temps. I had only brought a hooded sweatshirt as my "jacket," and Jon Gill hadn't even brought that much -- just a flannel!

We all bundled up in every article of clothing we had brought and ended up having a great time. Jon & Brenda have two girls as well, and they all played together so well. We went to the falls and waded in the chilly water, made s'mores, and kept warm around a big fire.

Rae & Abigail being silly

The girls playing together
Yes, that is a wood chip in Ruby's mouth.
Rae's teepee inside the tent -- thanks, Grandma! Bedtime was never so fun!
Unfortunately, Jon had to work Sunday afternoon, so they had to leave relatively early in the morning. After they left we packed up our site and then took the girls down to Lake Superior. Being there on those rocky beaches brings back so many memories of when I was young. My parents used to take us there all the time. Watching Rae climb all over those rocks collecting driftwood and Ruby throw wave-beaten pebbles into the water brought all of those sweet memories back, fresh and beautiful.

We'll be back soon.

You can view more pictures from the trip here.

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