1,066 miles later we have fully enjoyed and returned from the first annual Labor Day Weekend Camping Trip. We really did have an absolute blast and I really did take the best (and most thorough) shower ever when we got back last night.
It's still up for discussion which one felt better: that 20-minute sudsy shower or the Malbec that I drank out of a real wine glass. I even chose to go with the wine glass with a stem which is a big deal because that means I have to hand-wash it.
We left Friday night to stay at my brother's place and the 6 of us got up early Saturday morning and drove 5 hours to a campground just a few miles from Ely, MN. That's Boundary Waters country up there and it really was absolutely beautiful. I love Minnesota lakes country to begin with but there's something about the open, calm waters, luscious trees, and log cabins that just feels so peaceful.
I really did expect camping to be a lot of work - both prep-work and work there but I still could not believe how much food, drinks, and supplies 6 people could possibly have to bring. Add the 2 tents to those that list and we easily filled up the back of 2 pick-up trucks. Then again, I'd say we ate and drank pretty good for the weekend and definitely didn't starve so totally worth it. And the guys decided to cover our campsite as much as possibly when we heard there was rain in the forecast for our final night there. Not only was it an entertaining process, it actually did keep our campsite pretty dry overnight.
I expected to feel a little deprived - you know, of the things I'm used to like hot morning coffee, a cold drink at the end of the day, a well-rounded meal,,, I mean really, is that so much to ask for? :) I was actually surprised and did not feel deprived once. We had omelets-in-a-bag for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, tinfoil dinners (potatoes + hamburger + peppers + zucchini), burgers, and brats. I'd say those are pretty good eats for not having a stocked kitchen.
I take it back - I did feel deprived every time I woke up in the middle of the night and really needed to go to the bathroom but held it until morning because it didn't seem to be worth the trek in the dark. But on the bright side, the bathrooms were nicer than a lot of other bathrooms I've used before and I only had to use the somewhat-icky outhouse once. Again, much better than I expected.
I expected canoeing to be a relaxing, peaceful, and calming way to spend a few hours - boy, was I wrong. Once Parker and I stopped fighting and figured out how to point ourselves forward it continued to be the most strenuous arm workout I've had in weeks. Months even. Also, did you know that sometimes people do this thing called "portaging" for fun? You basically pull your canoe up somewhere, empty out its contents, and proceed to carry it's contents AND your now-empty-but-still-aluminum canoe to another spot to put it in the water and start all over again. Personally, I would have been fine hanging out on this island all afternoon but we decided to give the whole portaging thing a try.
It's basically one of the hardest things I've ever had to do - partly because I was trying to carry all of this while laughing hysterically and crossing my legs so I didn't pee my pants. Long story short, we did portage and I will now cross it off my bucket list even though it wasn't on there in the first place and will probably never do it again - unless I had one of the things with wheels like the professional campers. But I guess it's fun to say we did it. And the GoPro videos should be hilariously awesome.
On Monday we left at 10:00 am and got home at 8:45 pm so all in all, it was probably my least favorite day. Granted, we did stop twice: once, because we practically drive right past the US Hockey Hall of Fame on our way so obviously we had to stop there. He is such a hockey freak and even made me take a picture with the statue out front.
we also practically drive right past the Zorbaz in Grand Rapids on the way home so we spontaneously decided that's where we should have lunch. It was fun to see another one of the Zorbaz locations which is very different from the one we're used to on Pelican Lake. And why would we want to pass on a photo-op when we look so great after no hot shower for 2 days...
Now I just feel like a need another weekend to recover from my weekend. All in all, totally worth it.
How did you spend your Labor Day Weekend? Can you even believe that it's already September?!